A hearing assessment is a non-invasive and relatively easy procedure which is adapted to the age and needs of the patient. It is usually conducted in a soundproof booth using highly calibrated equipment and may take the form of a game with younger children or a more formal procedure with older children and adults. It may also include tasks that do not depend on the response of the patient, allowing children as young as one day old to be tested.

The aim of the assessment is to establish whether or not there is a hearing loss, and if a hearing loss is identified, to establish what has caused the hearing loss. If a medical condition exists such as wax in the ear, middle ear infection, perforated ear drum etc, that has caused a temporary, treatable condition, the patient is then referred for a medical opinion and treatment. If the hearing loss appears to be more permanent in nature, other forms of assistance need to be considered.

Most important is to establish the impact that the diagnosed hearing loss, whether temporary or treatable, adult or child, is having on communication.

YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT ?

If you have never visited a hearing care professional, you probably don’t know what to expect. You are in for a pleasant experience that is interesting, informative and a great start on your path to being able to communicate effectively again.

What to expect …..

When you arrive for your visit, the audiologist will discuss your hearing history to understand what factors may have influenced your hearing and also to get more information on your personal hearing needs. In addition, a hearing assessment  will be conducted. The hearing assessment is non-invasive and not painful or uncomfortable. After the audiologist has interpreted the results of your hearing assessment, she will explain them clearly to you. It will then be time to develop a plan for the way forward.

Bring someone with you …..

Most people find it helpful to bring spouse, friend or family member to this visit. You will typically get more out of your visit if someone close to you can share in the experience. the audiologist will also benefit from learning about your hearing abilities from someone close to you who interacts with you regularly.

Understanding your hearing …..

It is your brain that hears and not your ears. Your hearing serves many purposes such as keeping you safe, locating where sound is coming from, and helping you follow conversations. Your ears and brain form a system and work together. Your ears funnel information int the hearing system and your brain processes the information into sound and meaning. The more detailed the information your brain receives, the easier it is to identify and follow what is being said.

WHO NEEDS A HEARING ASSESSMENT?

Everyone! Babies, children and adults of all ages (not just those over 60). Hearing should be assessed from the day one is born and regularly thereafter. Hearing is the sense that keeps us in touch with our world and is the key sense to developing appropriate communication.

WHEN SHOULD HEARING BE ASSESSED?

Hearing should be assessed at birth and annually thereafter UNLESS there is a medical reason, such as repeated ear infections, which may affect the hearing. In this case, hearing should be assessed more regularly at the recommendation of your audiologist or doctor.

WHO SHOULD ASSESS HEARING?

The audiologist is the professional who specialises in hearing healthcare.

LIVING WITH A HEARING LOSS IS VERY TIRING

Getting through a day with a hearing loss can be hard work. Everyday situations require more effort in order to follow and understand what is being said. When you have a hearing loss, your ears lose their ability to pick up certain sounds. Your brain has to work much harder to “fill in the gaps” to determine what is being said. This requires more mental resources and can leave you feeing exhausted. Using more mental resources to hear leaves you with fewer resources to perform other important brain resources such as remembering what was said. So even if you manage to follow the conversation, you may struggle recalling what was said. To reduce the load on your brain, it is important that you hear all speakers clearly, especially in noise environments.

“If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want. “
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“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”
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