Hearing testing is critical to everyone: children, adults and older adults. If a hearing loss is ignored or untreated, it can get worse. But hearing loss that is identified early can be helped through treatment, such as hearing aids, medications, and surgery.
If you think that you have a hearing problem, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. You will be referred to an otolaryngologist, a doctor who has special training in problems of the ear, nose, throat, head, and neck.
There are usually several steps to hearing testing. They include:
- A visit with an otolaryngologist. He or she will try to find out why you have a hearing loss and offer treatment options. Your otolaryngologist will ask you for your medical history, ask if other family members have hearing problems, do a thorough exam, and prescribe any needed tests.
- A visit with an audiologist. Your doctor will probably recommend that you visit an audiologist. An audiologist is a health professional who can identify and measure hearing loss. The audiologist may use several diagnostic hearing evaluations to determine the nature and severity of your hearing loss.
- Hearing Health Strategies. Your doctor can recommend strategies to help improve your hearing health. Scientists are studying ways to develop new, more effective methods to treat and prevent hearing loss. In recent years, new hearing technology has become available that far surpass what people previously used to improve their hearing. You may also be interested in alternatives to hearing aids.
- You may need a hearing aid. Many people who have a hearing loss wear a hearing aid. A hearing aid is an electronic, battery-operated device that makes sounds louder to the wearer. Unfortunately, only 20 percent of people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wear one.
Hearing aids come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. Some hearing aids fit inside the outer ear or the ear canal, while others fit behind the ear.
The audiologists at Hopkins Hearing have the experience and expertise to help find the right hearing aid or assistive listening device for your lifestyle and needs. We work with the companies that make and develop hearing technologies and have a wide array of hearing aids for you to choose from. Your audiologist will work closely with you on testing, fitting and fine tuning your hearing device.