As we age, many of our senses begin to get worse. Often those who never wore glasses are forced to adjust and begin using them to read. Even those who wore glasses may need increased prescription strengths or bi- and trifocals. What people sometimes fail to notice, because the loss is gradual, is that they have a harder time distinguishing sounds. Fortunately, the medical community has stayed abreast of these problems and has many aids and diagnostics to help determine the problem and to correct it. With a hearing test, it is possible to determine how severe the loss is and have an appliance fitted to adjust the amplification levels of incoming sound to allow a person to hear again.

The first step in your hearing test will be to sit down and discuss the concerns and questions you are having. It is a terrifying and unsettling situation to be losing one's ability to distinguish noises, and it can be shocking to lose the sound of your loved one's voices. An audiologist will address these concerns and work to help you understand what is possible to help correct your deficiency. Often it is preferred if a close loved one comes with you in order to provide additional information and help to build a better understanding of your abilities and limitations.

After the initial consultation, the doctor will perform the actual hearing test. Likely he will discuss with you the process and make sure you understand what will happen. The first and most common procedure is to determine which decibels can and can not be sensed. You will be asked to sit in a soundproof room and wear headphones. These are connected to a machine called an audiometer that transmits different frequencies and different volumes, or decibels. The audiometer will send the sound to each ear independently. As you signal that you have sensed the sound, the doctor will plot a data point. The audiologist can look at all of these data points and determine what the amount of the loss is

Finally, after the hearing test is over the audiologist will discuss his findings. He will discuss the different options for correction and help you select the best choice for your needs. Then he will program the aid to address the problem by amplifying specific frequencies using specific amounts of volume, depending on what the problem is. After that, you will have it fitted to your ear to make sure it is comfortable, and you'll be on your way.

After wearing and having an aid fitted, the doctor may ask that you come back periodically and have a hearing test to ensure that it is providing a sufficient amount of correction and addressing your needs appropriately. Of course, if there does seem to be a problem, make sure to contact the doctor at your earliest convenience.