Hearing loss is a common problem, especially for older people. Roughly one in three Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 experience some type of hearing loss. And among people over the age of 75, about half have trouble hearing, according to the National Institute on Aging.
Younger adults can have hearing problems, too, with about 14% of people age 20-69 having some type of hearing problem.
The best way to check your hearing is to have a hearing evaluation. At Sharp Hearing Care Professionals, Dr. Kevin Sharim and his team of audiologists specialize in performing careful, thorough hearing evaluations. Read on to learn what to expect during a hearing evaluation, and what happens if Dr. Sharim discovers any hearing loss.
Checking your hearing
There are various types of hearing loss with a range of causes. The most common type is age-related hearing loss, which develops gradually as you age. Some other types of hearing-related problems include tinnitus (ringing in the ears), misophonia (negative reactions to everyday sounds), and hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound).
During your hearing evaluation
Your check-up starts with a discussion about your medical history, the medications you take, and your history of exposure to loud sounds.
You also receive a physical examination of your ears with a device known as an otoscope. Using an otoscope, your audiologist can look for structural problems, eardrum damage, wax buildup, obstructions, or signs of infection that can interfere with your hearing.
Next, you receive a hearing screening to determine whether you can hear a variety of different types of sounds.
If this preliminary test shows weaknesses in hearing, you receive in-depth hearing assessments and a hearing test to ascertain the full range of your hearing loss and to look for evidence of its cause. Further investigation can help determine whether you have a medical condition that may be contributing to your hearing loss.
If your hearing evaluation uncovers hearing-related problems, Dr. Sharim and his team work with you to create a personalized treatment solution customized specifically to your hearing needs and medical history.
Some treatment solutions may include:
- Cleaning wax out of your ears
- Switching medications if hearing issues are related to a specific drug you take
- Hearing aids
- Assistive listening devices
- Custom-made earmolds
Get checked regularly
It’s best not to wait until hearing loss becomes serious to schedule an evaluation. Dr. Sharim recommends a baseline evaluation to check your ears and your hearing. During your baseline evaluation, you receive a recommendation on how often you should follow up with future hearing checks.
To make an appointment for a hearing evaluation, contact one of our offices in Oxnard, Santa Barbara, West Hills, or Santa Monica, California.