Whether it be for a routine hearing screening or for a concern that hearing loss is present, a variety of hearing tests are available to assess hearing capability. Routine hearing assessments are vitally important in children as poor hearing may go unnoticed and negatively affect speech development and general learning skills. Hearing loss in adults can come on suddenly or gradually and affect relationships, work and other daily life activities. Normal hearing is 25 or fewer decibels (dB) in adults and less than 15dB in children. Profound hearing loss is typically 95dB or more. 100dB is generally considered complete deafness.
A variety of tests exist to assess hearing. They can be as simple as using rubbed fingers and a whispered voice or more involved like electrophysiological tests that help determine the specific cause of any hearing loss. More complex tests include: pure-tone audiometry, speech audiometry, tympanometry, electrophysiological tests, and acoustic reflex testing.
If hearing loss exists, the nature and cause of the hearing loss is investigated. If reversible causes exist, steps are taken to remove or treat the influencing factors such as infection, environmental factors or obstruction. If the hearing loss is not reversible, hearing rehabilitation is often the next step in managing hearing loss.
Hearing rehabilitation, also known as audiologic, aural or auditory rehab, involves training and assistance to improve one’s hearing. Focus is placed on adjusting to life with hearing loss and making the most of assistive devices and managing conversations with others.
Hearing rehabilitation is much more than just learning how to work a hearing aid or television device. Rehabilitation trains individuals with hearing loss to optimize their other senses such as the use of visual cues and aids. Visual cues include lip-reading, taking notice of speakers’ facial expressions, body language, context and environment. Individuals with hearing loss also learn ways to maximize communication. They learn to reduce background noise, rearrange furniture in the home or office to encourage closer face to face interactions, even carpeting and rugs can be used to absorb noise and enhance conversation. Most importantly, individuals prevent hearing loss from decreasing their quality of life. Through hearing rehabilitation they learn to control their environment and optimize their new level of hearing.
At Devore ENT, we have a staff and facility fully capable of assisting our Dayton hearing loss patients to help them regain their quality of life. For more information about the hearing treatments we offer, simply schedule a consultation.