If you are experiencing hearing problems, don't panic. There are several available tests and treatments depending on the severity of your hearing loss. Tests may include:
- A Physical Exam - a doctor will look into your ear for possible causes of hearing loss. It may be an inflammation from an infection or earwax buildup. Diagnosis is key to understanding hearing loss.
- General Screening Tests - this may include a whisper test, asking you to cover one ear at a time and see how well you can hear the words at varying volumes. The doctor will check how you respond to the sounds, but accuracy is limited.
- Tuning fork tests - metal instruments: tuning fork, produce sounds. It is a narrow, two-pronged steel bar that retains its tuning almost indefinitely when tuned to a specific musical pitch. Simple tests with tuning forks help your doctor detect hearing loss. This evaluation may also show where in your ear the damage has occurred.
- App-based hearing tests - some mobile apps help determine if you have hearing loss. These tests may not be accurate.
- Audiometer tests - more thorough tests conducted by an audiologist where you wear earphones and hear sounds directed to your ear. Each tone is repeated at certain levels to find which of the quietest sounds you can hear.
Once you have taken the tests and your audiologist finds the concerning ear or the cause of the hearing loss, they will suggest some treatments. These may include one of the following:
- Earwax blockage removal - if the cause is an earwax blockage, a simple suction tool will help remove the blockage, and the doctor can perform this out-patient.
- Surgery - some treatments can only be done through surgery, like abnormalities in the eardrum or bones (ossicles). For infections with persistent fluid, the doctor can drain them by inserting small tubes in your ear.
- A hearing aid - like eyeglasses for your eyesight, hearing aids can help prevent potential hearing damage. An audiologist can discuss the possible benefits of a hearing aid and fit you with a device. Loose fit aids are currently the most popular due to the fit and features offered.
- Cochlear implants- if you have more severe hearing loss and gain limited benefit from conventional hearing aids, a cochlear implant may be an option. Unlike a hearing aid that intensifies sound and directs it into your ear canal, a cochlear implant bypasses broken or non working parts of your inner ear and directly stimulates the hearing nerve.
An audiologist and a medical doctor specialising in disorders of the ears, nose, and throat (ENT) can discuss the risks and benefits of taking the tests. We can't stress the importance of the hearing test, especially the one that requires you to be in a good treatment facility for the test.
The Listening Lab in Malaysia has a mobile hearing centre with a customised sound treatment facility to achieve a highly accurate hearing test result. The Listening Lab, a leading hearing care clinic in Malaysia, has been offering quality hearing care services to hearing loss patients, including a professional hearing test. For your hearing test needs, please feel free to contact us.