There are many reasons you may need a hearing screening test. Whether you’re experiencing a slight loss of sound, you need an occupational test, or you have a child with suspected hearing problems—knowing what to expect will reduce any anxiety or stress on the day.
While any good audiologist or hearing specialist will tailor the test to the specific needs or condition of their patients, there are certain aspects that are common to almost all assessments.
If you want to know what to expect during a hearing loss screening test, read on because we’re going to tell you…
To determine what type of hearing loss screening you might need, it’s common that an audiologist will conduct a consultation prior to the test itself. This is a process that may involve filling out forms and answering relevant questions.
Pure-tone audiometry: Listening to a variety of tones and volumes in a sound-treated room or vessel.
Speech-based audiometry: Sitting in a quiet environment and listening to excerpts of speech at different volumes to determine your comfortable listening threshold.
Real-world-type hearing assessment: This form of screening is similar to speech-based audiometry, but in this instance, speech is mixed with real-world background sounds and noises.
Tympanometry: Sometimes an audiologist will conduct a tympanometry test which involves screening for your acoustic reflexes. Typically, a soft earplug is placed in the ear to check how effectively your ear muscles are moving while measuring your middle ear muscles’ reflexive response.
Whatever your hearing test involves, a professional audiologist will remain to guide you through the process from start to finish.
At the end of your hearing loss screening test, your audiologist will take you through the results; explaining their findings in detail.
With your results explained in full, you will be offered treatment options tailored to your specific hearing issue.
At Hearing & Audiology Perth, we will help you find the best treatment for your needs and take you through the process step by step. We also offer an exceptional aftercare service, should you need it further down the line.
With over 34 years of specialist experience and an industry-leading team of clinicians, we can help you with all of your hearing needs.
Hearing Awareness Week is held each year to coincide with World Hearing Day on 3rd March. Hearing loss is a significant issue in Australia, costing $15 billion each year. Hearing loss is more common than heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and affects 70% of people over the age of 70.
Tinnitus can be both a cause and a side effect of hearing loss and affects around 18% of the Australian population.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the perception of noise inside the head or ear, including ringing, buzzing, humming, hissing, roaring, or rushing, heard in either one or both ears. Occasionally, it can be the sound of music playing, particularly in older people.
For some people, tinnitus is constant, while for others, it comes and goes. It can sound to the sufferer as if it is coming from somewhere external, or it can be clear that it is from inside the head.
The noise that tinnitus sufferers can hear is not caused by any outside source but comes from a fault in the auditory system. It can be mild, causing annoyance but not interfering in everyday life.
It can also be severe and debilitating. Tinnitus sufferers may experience poor concentration, fatigue and sleeping problems, stress, irritability, memory problems, anxiety and depression.
Causes of tinnitus
It has no single cause and can be a symptom of a number of underlying disorders. Depending on the cause it may be possible to treat or reduce tinnitus symptoms, while for others symptoms can be managed. People who have hearing loss are more likely to experience tinnitus, but it can affect anyone, of any age. Men are slightly more likely to have tinnitus than women.
Some common causes of tinnitus include:
Long-term exposure to loud noises
The ringing in your ears that you may have experienced following a loud music concert is a form of short-term tinnitus. It usually goes away within a few hours, but consistent exposure to loud noise, whether music or industrial equipment, can cause permanent tinnitus.
Like other hearing problems, age can lead to tinnitus developing in later life. It tends to develop gradually as the ear’s delicate tissue degrades over time, particularly after age 60.
Ear infections can sometimes cause tinnitus. Though this is usually temporary, repeated ear infections and bouts of tinnitus may cause longer-term symptoms. It is important to have the underlying cause of recurring ear infections investigated.
We all need some earwax to protect the ear canal, keeping it free of dirt and bacteria. In some people, too much earwax develops, blocking the ear and sometimes causing tinnitus.
Though it is rare, this inner-ear disease often causes tinnitus, along with vertigo.
Some types of medication can cause tinnitus, including aspirin, some antibiotics, cancer drugs and antidepressants.
Physical changes to the ear and head
There are a number of physical problems that can cause tinnitus. They include:
Eustachian tube dysfunction. The tube that connects the ear to the throat stays open rather than closing as it should. This often develops due to pregnancy or weight loss.
Otosclerosis (stiffening of the ear bones). This condition, which is often inherited, can cause tinnitus as the bones in the ear change and grow abnormally.
Temporomandibular joint problems. Problems with the joint that connects the jaw to the skull, just below the ear, can lead to tinnitus.
Tumours. A tumour in the head or neck can lead to increased pressure on the ear, resulting in tinnitus. An acoustic neuroma, or tumour on the cranial nerve, is particularly likely to result in tinnitus, usually in one ear.
Injuries. A perforated eardrum, which can result from a severe ear infection, loud noise or scuba diving, will often cause tinnitus in one ear. In addition, injuries to the head or neck can lead to tinnitus.
Treatment for tinnitus
Severe tinnitus can be deeply distressing, interfering with how you live your life, causing or exacerbating mental health problems and making it difficult to work. It is important to remember that almost all tinnitus can be effectively treated and improved, even if you have been told in the past that there is nothing that can be done.
Treating and managing tinnitus involves understanding how it works, adapting to the symptoms, and improving your psychological associations with it. The treatment of tinnitus depends on the cause, your lifestyle, your personality, and the severity of the condition. It may be that your tinnitus has a specific, treatable cause that we can identify. If it does not, then we will work out the most appropriate course of action to reduce your symptoms.
At Hearing & Audiology, we are passionate about helping people with tinnitus and know that the majority of tinnitus can be treated with the appropriate expertise and care. Our tinnitus specialists have trained with internationally recognised tinnitus experts so that the most up-to-date advancements in knowledge are passed on to you. At your appointment, we will discuss a personalised treatment and management plan with you, while providing strategies to better deal with your tinnitus symptoms. At the conclusion of all assessments, a written report will be sent to your doctor unless otherwise requested.
To book an appointment with one of our tinnitus specialists, call (08) 9388 8003.
As a vital human sense, hearing plays a significant role in the way we interact with the world around us, particularly when we’re growing.
Hearing is vital to your child’s development as it will shape the way they learn, focus, and communicate with others. If your child is having difficulties with their hearing, they will feel locked out from the world which will stunt their personal progress.
If you have concerns about your child’s hearing abilities but you’re unsure whether to take action, here are three definitive signs that your child might need a hearing test.
1) Saying “What?” More Frequently
One of the most prominent signs of hearing loss or difficulties is asking people to repeat themselves frequently.
If your child is asking “what?” more often than usual when you are talking to them (or they’re requesting that you repeat your sentence or instructions a lot), it may not just be a case of ‘selective listening’—it could be because of hearing difficulties.
If your child has problems focusing their attention for extended periods of time or they find it difficult to hold a conversation on a specific subject, they could be finding it difficult to process sounds.
Naturally, younger children will zone out or bounce from one thing to the next, but if you feel that a lack of attention is getting in the way of your child’s development, booking a hearing test might be the first step in helping them.
3) Louder speech & louder volume
Has your child started talking at louder volumes than usual? And, do they play music or watch television at a higher volume than usual?
If you’ve answered yes, this may be a sign of hearing challenges—and it will require immediate attention. While your child might be experimenting with speech and sound, if they are experiencing audio-based issues, a hearing test will help you get to the root of the cause.
For your reference, here are other possible signs of child hearing issues:
Responding to you sometimes and not others.
Falling behind in certain areas of education.
Looking at your face intensely when you’re speaking.
Moving one ear forward or leaning in when they are listening to someone speak.
There are several reasons for hearing loss and many subtle signs that your child may need a hearing test. If you have any concerns at all, booking a hearing test is without a doubt, the best course of action.
As a leading hearing specialist in Perth with Subiaco, Duncraig, Geraldton & Karratha, we’ve helped countless people tackle a range of hearing issues. Our specialist staff and cutting-edge equipment and highly-trained audiologists will guide your child through every step of the journey.
We are official members of professional bodies, Audiological Society of Australia, Australian College of Audiology and Independent Audiology Australia—and with over 30 years of professional experience, you can count on us.
For more information about our cutting-edge hearing healthcare services, please call (08) 9388 8003. Or book an appointment at one of our Perth branches today—we look forward to meeting you.
Worried about your hearing? You might have seen that some websites, including ours, are now offering online hearing tests to check whether you have any problems. These online tests are a great screening tool to give you an idea of your hearing levels, but should not replace a full diagnostic hearing assessment by a hearing professional.
Are Online Hearing Tests Accurate
How Do Online Hearing Tests Work?
Online hearing tests are simple. You’ll hear a series of sounds in-ear to check which frequencies you can hear and at what volume you can hear them.
Some tests personalise your results by asking personal questions about you. For example, knowing how old you are will help a test decide if it thinks reduced hearing at some frequencies is a natural problem caused by aging, or something else. These questions help the test personalise your results and aim to increase both the accuracy and the relevance of the advice you receive.
4 Reasons Why You Should See An Audiologist if You Feel You Have A Hearing Loss
Online hearing tests are getting more sophisticated, but should only be used as a screening tool. The test will help to advise whether you have a hearing loss or not, but it is not able to check your ears for wax or other blockages, check the health of your eardrums or hypothesise on what may be causing your hearing loss. It is also unable to identify serious underlying health issues that a consultation with an Audiologist could identify. Furthermore, the equipment you use at home with an online hearing test does not necessarily meet the same standards as headphones used by your Audiologist, meaning you could obtain incorrect results.
If you are undergoing a hearing test for a particular job, such as a Pilot’s Licence or Commercial Driver’s Licence, an online test is not sufficient in providing reliable and accurate results.
What Does an Audiologist Do That an Online Test Doesn’t?
When you visit an audiologist, you’ll receive a far more comprehensive hearing test than you would online. Not only does an audiologist have a university qualification and advanced training, but they also have access to specialist equipment.
For example, they can provide the correct conditions for an accurate test (i.e. soundproof booth) to establish a baseline measurement of your hearing – the amount of background noise in the average home makes this impossible to do accurately.
The audiologist will:
Consider your medical history and any current conditions.
Physically examine your ears using an otoscope.
Assess the health of your eardrums and the space behind the eardrums.
Go beyond hearing loss to help diagnose the cause of frequent ear infections, address balance issues, and remove wax or other foreign bodies from the ear.
Provide precise diagnosis and treatment.
When Should You Book In With An Audiologist?
You should book an appointment if you or your friends or family have noticed an issue with your hearing. Common issues include regularly speaking too loudly, having to turn up the volume on the radio or television higher than before, and having problems concentrating on voices in a noisy room.
“Can you say that again?” If this is something you find yourself saying over and over again throughout the day, it might be time to get your hearing tested.
Aside from your friends and family having to repeat themselves, and your difficulty in following conversations, there are a range of signs that indicate hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss can be caused by many different conditions and circumstances, and can manifest in a number of ways.
To make sure you’re ready to tackle hearing loss as soon as it develops, look out for the following 5 signs that you need to get your hearing tested and get to the audiologist as soon as you notice any of them pop up.
1. It Affects You in Social Situations
· You frequently have to ask people to repeat what they say
· You have difficulty focussing on conversations
· People sound like they’re mumbling or speaking softly
· You can’t understand conversations when you’re in a loud environment (e.g. in a crowded café, in a meeting or at a party)
· People complain that you have to the volume on the TV turned up too loud
· People say you speak loudly
· It’s difficult to understand people over the phone
· You don’t notice when your phone is ringing
· You often misunderstand what people are saying
2. It Takes its Toll on You Mentally and Emotionally
· You feel exhausted from straining to hear others
· You get frustrated at people when you can’t hear them properly
· You feel stressed and annoyed at not being able to hear
· You don’t like meeting new people because you’re afraid you won’t understand them
· There’s more wax or discharge in your ears than usual
4. You’ve been Exposed to Loud Noise
· You’ve been exposed to loud noise over a long period of time
· You’ve been exposed to a single extremely loud noise, such as an explosion
5. You Have a Medical History that Points Toward Hearing Loss
· You’ve had a viral or bacterial infection in the ear
· Your ear has been damaged
· You’ve experienced physical trauma to the head
· You have a family history of hearing loss
· You take ototoxic medications
· You have a circulatory condition
· You have a thyroid condition
If you’ve noticed any of the above signs and symptoms of hearing loss, it’s time to have your hearing tested at one of our four Hearing And Audiology clinics in Perth. Our professional Perth audiologists can perform hearing loss services like hearing tests, hearing aids for children and adults of all ages. Book in with an audiologist in Perth online or call us on 08 (08) 9388 8003 today.
Hearing tests are an integral part of assessing, and subsequently diagnosing, hearing loss. They can help detect conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitusrelief, SSD, and a range of other conditions that affect hearing. If you don’t have your hearing tested regularly, you risk leaving hearing problems undiagnosed and therefore untreated.
When Should I Get My Hearing Tested?
It’s important to have your hearing tested as soon as you suspect hearing loss may be present. Hearing loss often develops gradually over time, so it can be difficult to pinpoint when symptoms start. However, there are early warning signs that you might be developing hearing loss. If you notice any of the following signs and symptoms, it’s time to book an appointment with Perth audiologist providing hearing loss services and hearing aids.
Book in for a hearing test if there are social indicators such as:
You’re experiencing tinnitus (loud ringing not coming from an external sound)
You frequently have to ask people to repeat themselves
You have difficulty focussing on conversations
You struggle to isolate voices in loud environments (e.g. in a crowded café or in a meeting)
You feel tired from straining to hear others
You struggle to hear the TV or radio at a normal volume
You feel stressed and annoyed at not being able to hear properly
You can hear better on one side than the other
You have trouble understanding people on the phone
People sound like they’re mumbling
Or if there are medical indicators such as:
You’ve had a viral or bacterial infection in the ear
Your ear has been damaged
You’ve experienced physical trauma to the head
You have a family history of hearing loss
You take ototoxic medications
You have a circulatory or thyroid condition
You’ve been exposed to loud noise over a long period of time or a single extremely loud noise, such as an explosion
How Often Should I Get My Hearing Tested?
It’s a good idea to get hearing tests routinely throughout your life. If you’ve never had your hearing tested, we suggest you come in for a hearing assessment from one of our audiologists in Perth to establish a baseline test. This baseline test should be carried out as early as possible in your adult life as it comes in handy if you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss and need to have another test. The results of the second test can be compared with the baseline to detect the severity of any hearing loss.
After your initial baseline test, your audiologist will provide advice based on your test results, medical condition and history and let you know when to come back in for a future hearing test. The time period will vary depending on your age and condition.
At Hearing And Audiology, we have the best audiologists in Perth offering range of hearing tests for adults, children’s, pensioners and veterans, tinnitus assessments that are carried out in both quiet and noisy environments so that we can effectively determine particular types of hearing loss and the best hearing course of treatment.
Book an appointment with one of our specialist Perth Audiologists today if you’ve noticed any signs of hearing loss.