Difference Between Hearing Screening and Hearing Evaluation
Do you think that you might be experiencing hearing loss? If that’s the case then you may need to speak to a hearing instrument specialist. They will be able to check or test your hearing and provide you with treatment options. After a hearing test, the typical treatment option provided will be hearing aids. However, it is worth noting that there are actually a variety of different possibilities on how a hearing test can be completed.
Specifically, you should be aware of the difference between a hearing screening and a hearing evaluation. Let’s explore these options in more detail.
What is a hearing screening?
A hearing screening is best described as a simple test which is a pass or fail. Ultimately, this will determine whether you have normal hearing or not. What it won’t do is provide a detailed assessment or your hearing. It certainly won’t provide any information on the cause or the type of hearing loss that you have.
This is usually based on your ability to hear a series of beeps and tones at normal range. While you can get this type of screening from a hearing instrument specialist, it’s also possible to complete this test yourself through an option that you might find online. Be aware that online tests are usually not particularly accurate. The results will depend on the device you are using and whether you set your hearing correctly.
While a screening will test and explore your hearing across different pitches, it is not substantial enough to reveal the type or even the degree of your hearing loss. As such, you won’t know whether it is significant enough for you to need hearing aids. It will however tell you if your concerns are founded or not.
What is a hearing evaluation?
Also known as a hearing exam this is far more comprehensive. This will be completed by a hearing instrument specialist and can only be completed by a professional with this type of qualification or position. Here they will explore both your history and explore a number of different types of hearing tests.
Crucially, this doesn’t just stop at providing details on your type of hearing loss and the level that you are experiencing. An examination like this will also provide counseling and support. You will have an expert providing you with information on the type of hearing loss that you are experiencing and what the results mean. They will help you come to terms with your condition and make recommendations on treatment.
This is perhaps the most crucial and significant difference between the two types of evaluations. Whereas one will typically stop at a hearing check the other will involve a series of tests. You will get information on the next step that you can take which is often going to be hearing aids. A hearing instrument specialist will even be able to provide the next steps to get you fitted for a hearing aid as well.
There are a variety of different tests included in a hearing evaluation. For instance, you will be asked to listen to tones and note the faintest tone that you are able to hear. That’s an air conduction test. Speech testing will check your ability to recognize words in different environments and speech reception will test whether you can understand spoken words and what level.
A pure-tone test is a common evaluation performed to determine the effectiveness of your auditory system. A bone conduction test may also be used to determine whether your inner ear is working effectively by bypassing any blockages. This is completed with a small instrument that vibrates and is placed behind your ear.
Ultimately, the goal of a full hearing evaluation is to provide a complete profile of your hearing loss. It will ensure that you understand the cause of the problem. This could be an issue with your outer, inner or middle ear. Again, this helps to guarantee that the right treatment option can be identified and provided.
The key difference then is that while a hearing screening will show whether you have any hearing damage, a hearing evaluation will provide a deep dive. Only one must be completed by a hearing professional. They will also be able to offer you additional support and ensure that you understand how to proceed. A hearing screening will often be the first step but a hearing evaluation is typically the final outcome before getting the solution you require.
We hope this helps you understand the difference between these two types of hearing tests. To learn more about The Hearing Guy contact our Asheville office at: (828) 820-2001 or Hendersonville: (828) 398-0978.