Hearing tests at CareNow®
Many people don’t consider hearing tests to be something they should regularly have done. Unlike a routine physical exam or even a visit to the dentist, it’s common to wait until hearing loss symptoms begin before getting tested.
Unfortunately, by the time symptoms begin, you may have already done permanent damage to your hearing. That’s why The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) recommends that healthy adults with no symptoms between the ages of 18 and 40 get a screening done every three to five years.
Here’s a look at what you can expect from a hearing test, including where you can get one for yourself or a loved one.
What is an audiogram?
An audiogram is not a hearing test, although many people get it confused with the term audiometry screening. The audiogram is actually the graph that reveals how you hear different sounds. An audiogram is what your provider will use to determine if you have any hearing loss.
The audiogram pulls measurements that are taken during an audiometry screening and turns them into a graph — with a vertical graph revealing loudness and a horizontal axis showing tone. By reviewing the two, a provider can see how well you detect different sounds at different volumes.
Is a hearing test free?
A hearing screening should be included as a part of your annual check. If you are experiencing hearing loss symptoms, however, you should make an appointment to get your hearing tested. Urgent care clinics are a great option for one-off hearing tests as they can provide you with quality service that’s both quick and convenient.
Urgent care clinics are also a great option as they accept most insurance and provide substantial savings for those without insurance. You can find a full list of health insurance plans accepted at CareNow® urgent care here. Always check with your insurance provider for questions about your individual coverage.
CareNow services vary by market, so be sure to call your local CareNow urgent care clinic prior to making an appointment to see what hearing tests are available.
How to get a hearing test for a child
When a baby is first born, a hearing test will be performed at the hospital. If your baby fails this test, it doesn’t always mean there is hearing loss, but your baby will need to be retested within three months.
It’s common practice for children to get their hearing checked at their annual physical. However, these checks are usually more surface level, with the provider checking for excess wax, fluid, or signs of infection.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children get a more thorough hearing test done at ages four, five, six, eight, and 10. If your child shows symptoms of hearing loss either as a baby or toddler, they should have a hearing test done. These symptoms include:
- Not responding to loud noises
- Not reacting to your voice by three months of age
- Not turning their head toward you by 6 months
- Not imitating sounds by one year of age
- Not speaking at all by age 15 months
How often should you get a hearing test?
For healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 40 with no symptoms of hearing loss, ASHA suggests that a hearing screening be done every three to five years.
As you get older, your risk of age-related hearing loss increases. That’s why the recommendation for people 60 years old and up is once every year — even if no hearing loss symptoms are present.
If you’ve experienced noise-induced hearing loss or are regularly exposed to loud noises, you’re at a greater risk of permanent hearing damage and should have your hearing checked once a year. This type of hearing loss can impact individuals of all ages.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with hearing loss, it’s still important to get your hearing checked annually. This will allow your provider to ensure your hearing isn’t getting worse and that your hearing aids are set to the level you need.
What happens if I fail my hearing test?
Just because you fail your hearing test doesn’t mean you should panic. There are different levels of hearing loss, and most can be managed. Should your test reveal hearing loss, there are several treatment options available, including:
- Hearing aids: This small device can be worn behind or inside the ear to help amplify sound. Thanks to technological advances, hearing aids have a number of advanced options that can be customized specifically for you and your level of loss.
- Cochlear implants: Typically used for people with more severe hearing loss, this device is surgically implanted in the ear. Once in the ear, a cochlear implant can send sound directly to the hearing nerve.
- Surgery: If hearing loss is caused by problems with the eardrums or the tiny bones inside the ear, surgery is a great option to help treat the issue.
It’s a good idea to catch hearing loss at the beginning, so setting up an appointment with your provider or local urgent care clinic is important if you begin experiencing symptoms.
How long does a hearing test take?
In most cases, you can expect a hearing test to take around 30 minutes. Hearing tests are a completely painless procedure where you’re asked to wear headphones while listening to short tones being played at various volumes and pitches.
The test will be performed on one ear at a time to show how you hear in each ear individually. A tuning fork is often used during a hearing to check bone conduction behind your ears, ensuring that sound can travel through the bones surrounding your ears.
Whether you’re experiencing symptoms of hearing loss or are looking for an audiometry screening, CareNow can provide you with quality, convenient service. Since hearing-related services vary by CareNow location, you should always call ahead to see what your local clinic offers.
At CareNow®, we’re proud to have earned the distinction of Accredited Urgent Care Center from our industry’s association, Urgent Care Association (UCA), so our patients know they’re getting the care they deserve.
With more than 175 locations throughout the country, all open after hours and on the weekends, it’s easy to find a location near you. Don’t forget to use our Web Check-In® feature when you visit so you can wait from anywhere instead of the clinic waiting room!