Many individuals in La Verne take their hearing for granted – until there is a problem. By then, their treatment options are likely to be limited. Scheduling a hearing screening is the best way to discover a problem early, increasing your chances for a long-term solution.
Hearing Loss Statistics
Hearing loss affects about 20 percent of the American population. That means about one in five people in La Verne are experiencing a hearing impairment – and many are unaware there is a problem! Hearing loss occurs gradually, making it hard to notice the signs. It takes seven years, on average, between the onset of symptoms and the first hearing appointment. This is precious time that you can’t get back.
Left untreated, hearing loss can lead to a variety of physical, social and psychological health problems, including:
- Social withdrawal
- Isolation and loneliness
- Reduced mental alertness
- Memory impairment
- Increased risk to personal safety
- Cognitive decline and dementia
- Impaired job performance and reduced earning power
- Cognitive decline and depression
- Kidney disease
- Increased risk of falls
What’s in a Hearing Screening?
A hearing screening is comprised of a series of individual hearing tests. Your La Verne audiologist may recommend any or all of the following as part of your hearing screening:
- Air Conduction Test. Also referred to as pure tone audiometry, this test measures your response to sounds of varying pitches and volumes. You’ll be placed in a sound proof booth, given headphones and asked to respond to a series of sounds by pressing a button or raising a hand. The results show your degree of hearing loss and which ears are affected.
- Bone Conduction Test. Bone conduction testing measures outer or middle ear blockages that can hamper your ability to hear. A small device is placed behind your ear or on your forehead and struck; the associated vibrations produce a mechanical tone that should stimulate your cochlea. Your response indicates how well sound is traveling through your ear and which part of your ear is affected.
- Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR). ABR testing utilizes electrodes that are placed on your head, scalp or earlobes. Once attached, you will be given headphones through which sounds are delivered. The electrodes measure your brainwave activity in response to these sounds. ABR tests are used to diagnose inner ear (sensorineural) hearing loss.
- Speech Testing. Speech testing measures your ability to comprehend speech. You’ll be given a series of words and phrases in both quiet and noisy settings; your ability to repeat them back will help determine whether you’ll benefit from hearing aids or assistive listening devices.
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs). Otoacoustic emissions are faint sounds produced by the hair cells of the cochlea in response to sound. To test for an OAE response, a probe containing a microphone and speaker is placed in your ear canal and sound is generated in order to stimulate the cochlea and cause a corresponding vibration. If a hearing loss exceeds 25-30 decibels, no sound will be produced.
If you’re apprehensive about a hearing screening, don’t be! Each test is quick, painless and completely safe. Your La Verne audiologist is happy to answer any questions you have and can schedule you for a screening at your earliest convenience.