Do you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves? Do you have family members complaining about your television being too loud? If so, you may be a good candidate for a hearing test. This is a check of the auditory system that tests whether the brain is receiving sounds, and what kind of hearing loss you may be experiencing.

When we hear sounds, we are hearing the vibrations that air, fluid and other environmental factors make. These create sound waves that have a certain speed and height that determine their pitch and volume. These sounds travel through the different parts of the ear and become impulses in the nerves, which continue on to the brain where the hearing occurs.

The first step in the hearing process is when the sounds enter the ear and hit against the eardrum, which is the point of distinction between the middle ear and the outer ear. As the sound hits the eardrum it causes it to vibrate, which moves the vibrations into the three bones of the middle ear, which also vibrate and make the sound louder as it passes into the inner ear. Finally, the sounds waves reach the inner ear and nerve impulses are created which travel to the brain for interpretation.

There are several reasons why would you want to have a hearing test performed. These include:

-Baby hearing screening that is done right after babies are born, and determine if they have any hearing problems that may inhibit their future ability to learn, speak and understand language. These tests are required in all 50 states for any baby that is born in a local hospital.

-Children and teenagers should be checked annually or semi-annually at their scheduled doctor's visits. Oftentimes behavior problems and learning disabilities are caused by hearing problems. Most schools districts also provide hearing tests for children when they begin school, or when they reach certain age milestones.

-During a routine physical your physician will check your hearing, usually through whisper tests, unless you show some sign of loss of hearing.

-For evaluation of a person who has noticed some type of hearing problem or has trouble understanding the conversations of people around them.

-To check senior citizens for hearing loss.

-To check the hearing of people who continuously shout loud noises on the job.

If you are experiencing any type of hearing loss, see an audiologist right away so that you can be evaluated through use of a hearing test, and your hearing loss can be properly treated and restored.