Many different parts of the body need maintenance and checkups to make sure that they operate at their best, and some clinics exist to test various senses and motor skills for the body, anything from vision (a person may need glasses or have cataracts), blood pressure, body fat, and hearing. In the latter case, a person’s hearing should be checked for any gradual hearing loss, and losing one’s hearing can be anything from inconvenient to very dangerous, based on their occupation and lifestyle, and options are out there for those who visit a hearing clinic and receive bad news. A hearing aid clinic or other hearing centers can help anyone figure out any problems with their auditory senses and what to do in case something is going wrong. Who generally suffers hearing loss, and why? How does testing for hearing needs work?
Rates of Hearing Problems
Americans both young and old may suffer from hearing healthcare issues, and a person who suspects hearing issues in themselves, a child, or a loved one should arrange a visit to a hearing clinic to check in and see what needs to be done. Across the United States, there are statistics for hearing loss in all sorts of people. Among Americans aged 65 and over, for example, one out of four people will suffer hearing loss to some degree, and will need to visit a hearing clinic. In fact, 15% of all adults aged 18 and over are experiencing hearing trouble in one form or other, and around 28.8 million American adults today could benefit from the use of hearing aids. Even children may suffer from hearing loss, and in the classroom, this can mean missing half of all spoken words, interfering with the discussion, and some 90% of deaf children were born to hearing parents.
What causes hearing problems in these people? Exposure to sounds over 85 decibels can damage hearing, and for some people such as those working in factories or around large vehicles like aircraft are especially vulnerable to hearing damage, and people who attend or perform in musical concerts such as rock musicians are often exposed to high decibels, and this can cause gradual hearing loss. Bacterial infections can also cause hearing damage, especially in children, and in other cases, deafness is simply genetic and a person may be born that way.
Visiting a Hearing Clinic
Hearing test centers can help a person gauge his or her hearing and see if treatment is needed. According to Healthy Hearing, allergies, head colds, compacted ear wax, and ear infections can damage one’s hearing, so visiting a clinic is essential if one suspects a cause for hearing impairment. When getting tested, a patient will be in a room or large booth whose sound levels are very low to muted, with no interfering sounds like air conditioning or ringing telephones. There, a patient will wear headphones or ear buds and the doctor will provide directions through a microphone. The test itself is non-invasive and painless, and it usually involves the patient indicating in which ear a sound appears, even if it is very soft. The patient may also hear voices at varying audio ranges, to test at what lowest levels a patient can hear and understand spoken words. Different tests exist for newborns and babies to test them for any genetic or infection-caused hearing damage, and parents who suspect hearing damage can bring in their infants for testing.
Test results are measured not in percentages (which can be misleading), but instead on the lowest decibels and tones that the person can register and understand. An audiogram is a graph that shows the lowest frequencies or pitches that the patient was able to register, and the level of hearing loss is gauged not in percentages, but in the lowest decibel that the patient can register, or a hearing threshold level. Normal hearing ranges from 0 to 25 dB HL, while moderately impaired hearing ranges from 41 to 70, and profound hearing loss is over 91. Treatments such as hearing aids or fighting off a bacterial infection can be decided upon based on test results and the patient’s health and preferences.