Your hearing is an important factor in your day-to-day quality of life. Hearing loss may be difficult to recognize in its early stages, but progressively worsens over time. If you have noticed a change in your hearing, you are not alone. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America:
- One in three people over the age of 65 has hearing loss
- Out of every 1,000 children, two to three have hearing loss
- 36 million adults in the United States have hearing loss
- 17% of all adults in the United States have hearing loss
Audiological evaluations, or hearing evaluations, help your doctor determine the level of hearing loss and the potential need for hearing aids. These evalations are painless. When your assessment begins, you will be placed in a sound booth with headphones. A series of sounds and tones will be played to determine your hearing ability at different frequencies. It may be necessary to have further testing, including speech discrimination and noise tolerance evaluations.
Hearing aids have come a long way from the large, noticeable devices of previous generations. Much like you would have a custom pair of eyeglasses made, if a hearing aid is needed it will be custom fit to provide you the best possible fit and hearing improvement.
Ramie A. Tritt, MD, President, Atlanta ENT.