Hearing Assessments

for reliable evidence based assessments for young and old

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Heidi Allan Audiology Franschhoek Hearing Test Cape Town

Hearing Asessments

A hearing test is a non-invasive and relatively easy procedure which is adapted to the age and needs of the patient. We conduct these tests at Heidi Allan’s Practice to accurately diagnose our patients’ hearing status. The tests are usually conducted in a soundproof booth using highly calibrated equipment and may take the form of a game with younger children or a more formal procedure with older children and adults. It may also include tasks that do not depend on the response of the patient, allowing children as young as one day old to be tested.

 The aim of the assessment is to establish whether there is a hearing loss, and if a hearing loss is identified, to establish what has caused the hearing loss. If a medical condition such as wax in the ear, middle ear infection, a perforated ear drum etc. exists, that has caused a temporary, treatable condition, the patient will be referred for a medical opinion and treatment. If the hearing loss appears to be more permanent in nature, other forms of assistance need to be considered.

The most important aims of a hearing assessment are to establish the impact that the diagnosed hearing loss, whether temporary or treatable, on an adult or child, is having on communication and lifestyle and to provide guidance for management.

Why should I have a hearing test?

“We don’t know what we can’t hear because we can’t hear it”.

Hearing and brain function are closely linked. With changes in hearing, we often see changes in the brain’s ability to deal with sound. If your hearing is starting to change, the sooner you do something about it, the better for your brain’s functioning.

Being able to hear efficiently helps to grow your confidence, improve communication, and maintain relationships while keeping your brain stimulated.

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“If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want. “ – Anonymous

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“Hearing is a blessing to us and we must never take it lightly.  Those who cannot hear, they are the ones who know the importance of hearing.  Let us take care of it. “ – Anonymous

What can I expect from a hearing assessment?

A hearing assessment is very different from a simple hearing screening test. A hearing assessment with an audiologist is a diagnostic procedure that is conducted using highly specialized audiological equipment and part of the assessment is conducted in a soundproof booth. The audiologist will assess the mechanical aspects of your ears, your ability to hear sounds, to hear and understand speech, and to process different aspects of sound, such as listening in noise. A hearing screening is a quick test to see how well you hear different tones. You either pass or fail the screening but this does not provide enough information for further assistance.

Who needs a Hearing Assessement?

Everyone! Babies, children and adults of all ages (not just those over 60). Hearing should be assessed from the day one is born and regularly thereafter. Hearing is the sense that keeps us in touch with our world and is the key sense to developing appropriate communication abilities.

When should your hearing be assessed?

Hearing should be assessed at birth and annually thereafter UNLESS there is a medical reason, such as repeated ear infections, which may affect the hearing. In this case, hearing should be assessed more regularly at the recommendation of your audiologist or doctor.

Who should assess my hearing?

An audiologist is the professional who specialises in all aspects of hearing healthcare.

Living with hearing loss can be very tiring

Getting through the day with a hearing difficulty can be hard work. Everyday situations require more effort as you need to pay extra attention to follow and understand what is being said. When you have a hearing loss, your ears lose their ability to pick up certain sounds, which means that your brain has to work much harder to “fill in the gaps” to determine what is being said. This requires more mental resources and can leave you feeling exhausted. Using more mental resources to hear leaves you with fewer resources to perform other important brain functions such as remembering what was said. So, even if you manage to follow the conversation, you may struggle recalling what was said. To reduce the load on your brain, it is important that you can hear all speakers clearly, especially in noisy environments.

If you find yourself more fatigued than usual at the end of the day, it could be an indication of a hearing loss. Why not make an appointment for a hearing test at your local audiologist to be sure?

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“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”

– Saint Augustine

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“Listen to your inner self, it knows you best.”

– C. Elizabeth

Here’s what you can expect when attending your first Audiology Appointment:

If you have never visited a hearing care professional, you probably don’t know what to expect. You are in for a pleasant experience that is interesting, informative and a great start your journey to being able to communicate effectively again.

What to expect…

When you arrive for your visit, the audiologist will discuss your hearing, health and personal history to understand what factors may have influenced your hearing and also to acquire a better understanding of your personal hearing needs. In addition, a hearing assessment will be conducted. The hearing assessment is non-invasive and not painful or uncomfortable and consists of a number of different procedures. After the audiologist has interpreted the results of your hearing test, she will explain them clearly to you. Hereafter, you will develop a plan for the way forward.

Bring someone with you…

Most people find it comforting to bring a spouse, friend or family member to this visit. You will typically get more out of your visit if someone close to you can share in the experience. Bringing someone with you can also benefit the audiologist as it will enable them to learn about your hearing abilities from someone who interacts with you regularly.

Understanding your hearing…

To understand a hearing impairment, you first need to understand hearing. It is your brain that “hears”, using the sound that has been collected by your ears. Your hearing serves many purposes such as keeping you safe, locating where sound is coming from, helping you follow conversations and supporting your balance.

Your ears and brain form a system and work together. Your ears funnel information into the hearing system and your brain processes the information into sound and meaning. The more detailed the information your brain receives, the easier it is to identify and follow what is being said. 

The audiologist can prepare a report of the hearing test results and provide a copy of the audiogram.

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