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Hearing Evaluations & Testing

Numerous studies show that people with hearing loss benefit from early identification.

It is recommended that you get regular dental and vision checkups, so your hearing should be evaluated annually to ensure the health of your ears.

FHS encourages everyone to complete a thorough hearing evaluation, even if you don’t currently have any symptoms.

During your hearing evaluation, you should expect:

  • Discuss your medical history.

  • Talk about your current lifestyle to get a better understanding of how hearing loss is impacting your daily life.

  • Use state-of-the-art equipment so that your current hearing ability can be determined.

Participating in a hearing test is easy and completely painless. You’ll gain a better understanding of the volumes and frequencies you can hear as well as how well you understand the speech of others. If you do have hearing loss, it’s our goal to provide you with comprehensive information so that you can decide which course of treatment is right for you.






Hearing Evaluations are Crucial for Long-Term Hearing Health

You could have an impairment and not even know it. Over time, these conditions can get worse and can impact your ability to enjoy your day-to-day life. Thankfully, FHS member organizations offer comprehensive hearing evaluations and can help you on the road to better hearing health.

Most people don’t realize how important a hearing evaluation can be, both for preserving your natural hearing ability and for uncovering any hearing impairments that you may have. With our comprehensive hearing evaluations, that time is spent learning about your hearing ability and making plans to improve it.

Hearing Loss in One Ear Versus Hearing Loss in Both Ears

Hearing loss doesn’t always affect both ears. Sometimes, you can have hearing loss in one ear; this is also known as unilateral hearing loss or unilateral deafness. But hearing loss in one ear or both ears can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Aging

  • Chronic ear infections

  • The use of particular drugs

  • Certain infectious diseases

  • Exposure to excessive noise

  • Genetic causes

  • Complications at birth


Some of these causes are reversable but some are due to natural processes (like aging). If you have hearing loss in one ear, you could be a candidate for a variety of treatments or a single hearing aid. Hearing loss in both ears may necessitate two hearing aids, but it really depends on your evaluation and specific condition.

Our hearing evaluations are designed to diagnose exactly which part of your ear isn’t functioning and thus allows us to create the most appropriate treatment plan for your needs.

There are four main types of hearing loss:

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

The most common type of hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss occurs due to a problem with the inner ear or auditory nerve. It presents itself when either the auditory nerve or the hair-like cells in the cochlea have sustained damage or are missing. This results in the inability to send complete nerve signals to the brain.

This kind of hearing loss can be caused by the following:

  • Genetics

  • Malformation of the inner ear

  • Exposure to loud noise

  • Aging

  • Head trauma

  • Illnesses

  • Drugs that are toxic to hearing (ototoxicity)

Conductive Hearing Loss

Although rather uncommon and typically temporary, a conductive hearing loss can occur in some patients. It’s caused when an issue in the outer or middle ear blocks sound from the inner ear. Treatment involves the use of medication or surgery while other individuals opt to use hearing aids to improve their hearing ability.

Conductive hearing loss can be caused by:

  • Ear infections

  • Benign tumors

  • Swimmer’s Ear

  • Foreign object in the ear

  • Fluid in the middle ear from colds

  • Malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear

  • Allergies

  • Perforated eardrum

  • Impacted cerumen (earwax)

Mixed Hearing Loss

When multiple parts of the ear’s anatomy are damaged, a mixed hearing loss can occur. In most cases, both the middle or outer ear along with the auditory nerve or inner ear have sustained an injury of some type or have encountered one of the conditions listed above. The conductive hearing loss present may be reversible while the sensorineural hearing loss is often permanent.

Auditory Processing Disorders

Rather than a hearing impairment which affects the ability to detect sounds, Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) causes individuals to struggle with their ability to organize, analyze, and interpret noises around them. While all parts of the ear are functioning properly, the auditory processing centers in the brain do not function normally and it is often due to a tumor, disease, injury, heredity, or an unknown cause. APD does not always include hearing loss and many times the treatments for this disorder are dramatically different when compared to treatment for a hearing loss.

According to the World Health Organization, around 466 million people worldwide have some form of hearing loss – and 34 million of those people are children.

Hearing loss is as varied as the people it affects. What works for one patient may not work for another, so that’s why you must take a customized approach to your care. FHS member organizations utilize a collaborative approach to hearing healthcare. They understand the value that family members and friends can bring to this important visit. It is encouraged all patients to bring a loved one with them to their hearing evaluation. This can also help to make you feel more relaxed and allows you to discuss your options with someone you love and trust.

FHS member organizations pride themselves on taking a personalized approach to hearing healthcare, and never attempt to recommend options that take on a “one size fits all” mindset. Instead, they know that your hearing needs are as unique as you are, and they will work to create a customized solution that fits both your budget and lifestyle.

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