What You Need to Know: Hearing Screenings & Hearing Evaluations
Imagine being unable to read a book properly. You look at the words on the page, and they appear like a blurry, jumbled mess. So, you pick up your phone, and you make an appointment to have an eye exam. With the help of an optometrist, you are able to correct the issue you were having.
It’s easy to notice when something is wrong with your vision. We depend upon this sense so heavily, we notice pretty quickly when we struggle to read words clearly. Our hearing, however, seems to be easier to excuse. “It’s old age!” we say. Or, “I just have a little bit of wax in there, it’ll clear up on its own.”
When we begin to experience hearing loss over time, we adjust. Unlike when our vision goes, we can make do by asking others to speak louder, turning up the music, or consider it just a fact of life.
At A&E, we believe we can improve your quality of life by offering hearing services that bring sound back into your life. We just need you to make an appointment to have a hearing screening, or even better, a hearing evaluation.
They sound the same, don’t they? Let’s clear that up. Here are two important differences between a hearing screening and a hearing evaluation:
1. While a hearing screening is free, a hearing evaluation is not.
Why is this important to know? Well, most people jump at the chance for a free screening. Which is great!
“A free screening is like an eye exam–recommended for everyone,” says Dr. Brittany Panetta, an audiologist with A&E since 2014. “It’s great for those who are curious about their hearing.”
A hearing evaluation, however, is a much more thorough test.
Most insurance companies cover one hearing evaluation per year, but this depends upon your insurance. Tweet This
“A lot of people assume it’s included in their insurance, but some plans exclude hearing,” says Cait Tutt, who works in the front office. “Some people don’t realize diagnostic testing is subject to a policy’s deductible.”
In some cases, your insurance may require you to have a referral, a prescription, or an order from your primary care doctor.
If you’re unsure if your insurance will cover a hearing evaluation, we are willing to check for you. Just call our office and give us the information for your insurance coverage, and we will be on our way to providing you with great hearing care.
2. A hearing evaluation is much more thorough than a hearing screening.
The screening is great for alerting the patient if there seems to be some hearing loss, but unlike an evaluation, it cannot tell us what kind of hearing loss you may be experiencing.
A hearing evaluation will test how well the eardrum is functioning, if any bones are broken inside the ear, test speech discrimination, and how well the brain processes information, among other tests.
“If you’re having a lot of complications with your hearing, I recommend a hearing evaluation,” Dr. Panetta says. Tweet This
A hearing screening, on the other hand, only looks at air conduction testing, which tests at what level patients can hear sounds at different frequencies.
“There is no additional testing, like brain processing, type of hearing loss, or ear drum functioning,” Dr. Panetta explains.
Even though we know the differences between these two hearing services, you might still be on the fence about taking hearing care seriously.
It could be intimidating to make that first call and set up your hearing evaluation. You might be unsure about your insurance coverage. You might not think you have any hearing loss.
Take the first step and come in for a free hearing screening.
“It is a good entryway into hearing care,” Dr. Panetta says. You aren’t committing to anything except caring for yourself and your quality of life.
But, if your hearing seems to be deteriorating or not what it used to be, a hearing evaluation might be right for you. We can walk with you every step of the way. Our thorough diagnostic hearing evaluation will be able to pinpoint exactly what type of hearing loss you experience and help us determine the right plan of action.
You don’t have to be afraid of hearing loss. You can trust that we want what is best for you, your hearing, and your quality of life. Give us a call. Let’s get you on the path of great hearing.