For most of us with healthy hearing, we might tend to take the ability to hear for granted and not realise how fortunate we are to be able to hear without issues. Think about it, our sense of hearing enables us to communicate effectively and efficiently, listen for signs of danger and raise our overall quality of life with music and entertainment. Being able to hear is a precious gift and often, we only become more aware of its value when we start to lose it. Therefore, according to The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) guidelines, going for a hearing test every three to five years is recommended to ensure healthy hearing. Beyond evaluating your hearing condition, hearing tests can help determine the type of hearing loss you have and its severity. In this article, we will explore what you can expect at a hearing test in Singapore, better preparing you for your next appointment.
Consultation with your Audiologist
Before administering the actual hearing test, your audiologist will first ask you questions revolving around your hearing to get a better understanding of your current hearing condition. They may even use a magnified ear light known as an otoscope to look into your ears. During this process, your audiologist examines your ear canals and ear drums to ensure that sound is able to travel efficiently through the middle and inner ear structures. You can see the inside of your ears as well when this video otoscope is projected on a screen. A record will be kept to keep track of any changes to your ear over time.
Hearing Test Components
After the consultation with your audiologist, you will be taken to a sound-treated booth that eliminates any noise to ensure accurate test results. You will be given headphones or soft earplugs to wear, which are connected to an audiometer to assess your hearing acuity. Hearing tests consist of a few components as explained below.
Pure-tone audiometry focuses on pitch and volume. You will receive instructions through your headphones from your audiologist or hearing care consultant. The tones you hear may be very soft and barely audible to you, however, it is important to listen carefully and respond. This hearing test measures the softest sounds you can hear at each frequency.
Speech audiometry is performed in a quiet environment with recorded or live speech. You will be evaluated on your ability to hear and understand the softest speech sounds by being asked to repeat what you heard. Speech sounds are sometimes used by audiologists and hearing care consultants in Singapore to determine the maximum level of comfort for listening and the most comfortable listening level.
Connected Speech Test
Contrary to being conducted in a quiet setting like the pure-tone and speech audiometry hearing tests, the connected speech test (CST) will assess your ability to hear in loud environments. You have to focus on what a speaker is saying while a soundtrack plays increasingly loud noises in the background. This mimics real life situations including having to hear and communicate in a crowded restaurant or mall. Apart from the CST, the Speech Perception in Noise test (SPIN), Speech in Noise test (SIN or Quick SIN) and Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) also centres on hearing in loud ambiences.
Results and Follow-up Appointments
Once you have completed your various hearing tests, your results will be presented in an audiogram that showcases the softest sounds you can hear at different pitches of frequencies. Your audiologist or hearing care consultant will explain these results to you and what they indicate for better understanding. Depending on your results, different hearing care solutions options may be addressed should there be signs of hearing loss. Your audiologist may also set up follow-up appointments if further discussions are necessary.
Hearing tests are painless and non-invasive, and one visit could save you years of frustration. We should never take our hearing for granted, but instead, put in the effort to maintain our hearing and check for potential hearing loss.
At The Hearing Solution Group, we offer a suite of services and solutions including hearing tests that are tailored to your needs. Book a hearing test with us today and get a professional assessment of your hearing condition! You can also contact us at 63370090.