Friday, December 16, 2011

Can You Hear Me?

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 14% of people between the ages of 45 and 64 have a hearing loss.  There have been a few times recently that I've had trouble hearing what people are saying, so I wondered if I might have a problem.  Today I had a hearing test done at St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf to find out. The Institute is mainly known for their children's programs, but when I read a couple of weeks ago in the church bulletin that they were offering free adult screenings I called and made an appointment.

Although I've never been to the campus, it was easy to find. When I signed in at the front desk, the receptionist gave me a visitor pass and directed me down a ramp to the Audiology department.  Once there, I only had to wait a few minutes to be escorted back to a room.  The audiologist was friendly and put me at ease.  She asked if I was having any problems hearing, then looked in my ears with an otoscope.  Next, she directed me to a booth at the far corner of the room.  The booth had floor- to-ceiling walls, a window on one wall, and a chair facing the window.

Once I sat down in the chair, she explained what would happen.  I'd be subjected to a series of tones, and I was to indicate I'd heard them by pressing a button.  She handed me the button, then took a set of headphones off a hook on the wall and placed them over my ears.  The headphones fit very snugly, so she said I'd be more comfortable if I took off my glasses.  I did.  Once everything was ready, she left the room, closing the door behind her.  The lights in the room were dimmed.

Without my glasses everything was blurry, but I could see her take a seat at the window in front of me.  A few seconds later the test started.  Some of the sounds were loud, and some were softer.  They also varied in tone from low to high.  I had to really concentrate to hear some of them!  The test took about five minutes, and I knew it was over when the lights came back on.

I got my results immediately, and was pleased to find out my hearing is normal.  The audiologist told me that I can have the test done once a year.  That's comforting to know, and I'll remember it if I think my hearing is getting worse.


  1. Now, there is the "adult male hearing loss" that seems to only kick in when they are needed to do something...

    Have you ever seen the Bill Cosby skit "The Weapon"? Too funny!

  2. My hubby and I were just talking about this subject last weekend. We are in the same area as you. Can you tell me how to get in touch with them for this service? Please please PLEASE! :) If you answer here I will receive it via e-mail or you can e-mail me directly. This is SO timely for us! :)

  3. That's very interesting. Hearing loss seems to hit the men on my side of the great grandpa, grandpa and dad...and there are many times I can't hear something when everyone else can!

    Glad yours was ok!

  4. Interesting Kathy and very brave of you! Nice to know what this is all about, I'm still in denial but sooner or later...

  5. We just bought the noise cancelling headphones for travel on airplanes because we were worried that the ear buds could be damaging to our hearing. I hope it works. Thank goodness your hearing was normal. It's reassuring to know for sure.