We cannot emphasise the importance of undertaking a proper hearing test enough.
A hearing test is the first important step towards a successful hearing journey.
When administered properly by qualified personnel, the test will help us establish the presence or absence of hearing loss. If hearing loss is detected, this test will also help us to determine the type and degree of hearing loss (i.e. which part of the ear is causing the problem and how much is the damage of the auditory system). Hearing loss can be classified into three types as shown below:
- Sensorineural hearing loss
Common causes: aging, noise-induced, virus infection, etc.
- Conductive hearing loss
Common causes: impacted earwax, perforated eardrum, middle ear infection, etc.
- Mixed hearing loss
Combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss is often treatable through medication or surgery. However, for sensorineaural loss hearing, aid amplification is often the most effective solution for overcoming individual hearing difficulties. The hearing test results provide important information for the audiologist to select the most suitable hearing aid model and adjust the aid to the required degree of hearing loss.
Knowing how much hearing loss you are suffering from is important. But knowing how much residue hearing is left, can be even more important as it will determine the amount of benefit you may obtain from hearing aid amplification. Our audiologists at The Hearing Specialist will help you to understand your test results and recommend the most suitable hearing solution.
Hearing loss can present acutely or may be progressive in nature. Often, this could be a consequence of excessive and prolonged noise exposure (resulting in noise induced hearing loss) or simply due to ageing of the inner ear function – a condition called presbyacusis. Whatever the cause, we are certain that it has a profound impact on our quality of life
When do we suspect we have an ear condition or hearing loss?
Besides speaking excessively loudly, there is a tendency to tune up the volume of the radio or television. Depending on the specific cause, there could also be associated ear-related symptoms of vertigo (a spinning-type of dizziness), tinnitus (ringing sound in the ear), ear discharge or pain in the ear
Hearing loss begins to socially estrange someone from the community since the sufferer may fear not being understood and choose not to participate in any conversations. At work, one may not be able to participate effectively in meetings and discussions and thus, jeopardize one’s capability and be misunderstood
Thankfully there is HELP available! With better understanding of the problem, you are able to better identify your issues and treat the condition promptly and even improve your hearing quality
The first step in dealing with the problem is to seek medical help and arrive at an accurate diagnosis so that treatment is specific and targeted. The use of otoscopy and sometimes micro-otoscopy will allow the ear drum and ear canal to be visualized. A tuning fork testing can be performed in the clinic setting but the confirmatory test would involve the audiometry and tympanometry in order to determine if the there is a hearing loss and the nature of hearing loss(whether a conductive deafness or an inner ear dysfunction). Occasionally, radiological investigations such as a computer assisted tomography (CAT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies are needed to further evaluate the middle ear and inner ear anatomy
This depends on the specific cause of the hearing loss and may involve medical and pharmacotherapy or surgery or hearing rehabilitation including the use of hearing aids
- Hearing Preservation Surgery
This may involve drainage of middle ear fluid (myringotomy) for otitis media or repair of perforated ear drum (tympanoplasty) or reconstruction of middle ear bones (ossiculoplasty) or stapedotomy – just to name some
- Hearing Aids
Conventional hearing aids are worn in the ear for any form of hearing loss – whether it is inner ear disorder or conductive disorder. The hearing aid technology has progressed in leaps and bounds over the years and we now have frequency specific and minimally visible aids that are readily available for individualised needs and requirements
Implantable hearing aids (e.g. bone anchored hearing aids and middle ear implants and cochlear implants) are increasingly being used for specific situations such as profound deafness in both ears or single sided deafness
The very first step in dealing with hearing loss is to ensure that you take every precaution in not allowing your hearing function to be damaged – which is done by reducing prolonged and excessive loud sound exposure. Ensure that ear defenders are used when working in a noisy environment and always seek early medical help whenever you suspect a likely hearing problem
he that has Ears to hear… let him hear
Dr ENG Soh Ping
Consultant Ear Nose Throat Surgeon
It depends on the type of hearing loss. For example, if the hearing loss is due to a middle ear infection, medication would often be sufficient to resolve the issue. However, if the hearing loss is due to inner ear degeneration or nerve damage, a hearing aid is likely a effective solution to address the hearing issue. This explains the importance attached to getting an accurate hearing test done.
Some of our users shared “now I understand the need to see you” or “so this is what a hearing consultation process is like…”
Some of you may wonder what takes place at an audiological or hearing care clinic. Allow us to walk you through the consultation process.
The importance of a proper hearing test cannot be emphasised enough. This forms the basis of determining the absence or presence of hearing-related condition including the type and degree of hearing loss and the appropriate solution.
When you consult a professional Audiological Services clinic, here is what you can expect:
- Seem by a qualified Audiologist who is trained to provide professional testing, diagnosis, evaluation, fitting and support
- State-of-the-art, calibrated testing facilities and equipment
- A signed copy of the hearing test report, also known as a pure-tone audiogram for your understanding and monitoring
- Try it for yourself. Gain first-hand experience of the latest range of advanced hearing solutions that meet both your hearing needs and lifestyle by trying out the hearing aids on the spot across different listening situations.