If things are not quite how they used to be, it might be time for a change. Sometimes, change is good. Changing your socks every day is usually a really good thing. Changing the sheets on your bed every now and then is a good thing. And, when you're finding that you can not really hear the TV anymore or your mom telling you to brush your teeth and clean your room, it might be time to change how you hear. You can find out if you are having hearing problems very easily: all it requires is a simple hearing test.
Taking a hearing test can be just as scary as any other medical procedure. The trick is to be prepared and know what you're getting into. The first thing you will need to understand is what the audiologist (or teaching doctor) is going to be looking for. There will probably be a couple of different procedures performed, to determine where your problem is located, if there is indeed a problem. After all is said and done, the audiologist should explain the tests and put the results in layman's terms for you.
Before you proceed, you need to have a handle on your medical history, as this is something the audiologist will want to know. Some things you should have prepared to talk about are noises you have been exposed to at work, physical damage to your ears, and illnesses or medicines that might have had an effect on your hearing. This gives the audiologist help in determining the best way to treat your hearing loss.
The first thing the doctor will do will be to inspect your ears for damage. He will do this so he can be sure to know if the hearing loss is caused by actual damage or if there is something deeper at work. Following this, you will be taken to a soundproof room for further testing. This room will probably look a lot like the rooms you see on TV where musicians record their latest number one hits. It's soundproof so outside noise will not interfere with the tests.
Your audiologist will give such tests as the pure tone test, speech tests, and the test of the middle ear. Depending on the results and whether or not they seem to be comprehensive, the audiologist may give further hearing tests. If he does not, he will take all of the graphs, reports, and papers, sit down with you, and explain what they mean. As you look at the results, you will be able to tell things like which ear you hear better in, and such things as how mild or severe your hearing loss is.
Remember, there is no such thing as stupid questions. If you are lost or confused as to what your results mean, it's okay; ask your audiologist to elaborate. It's their job and they want to help you get a grip on exactly how bad your hearing loss is.