Difference Between Hearing Screening and Hearing Evaluation

Woman with hearing loss is getting a professional hearing test

There are a lot of hearing terms that get thrown around, and this jargon can cause a lot of confusion in conversation. The fact is that there are several levels of hearing testing, and they all go by different names. When you are dealing with your hearing and need to see a hearing specialist for your hearing health, you should be aware of the difference in terms so that you can talk about it in the correct sense. Knowing the right hearing health terms is essential, and they’re vital to being able to get the proper treatment. This can help you to ensure that the issues that you are experiencing are fixed quickly.

With the right hearing instrument specialist, you should be able to come away from an appointment feeling confident about the terms that you are using. When you understand all angles of hearing health, you gain confidence in your own health that you may not otherwise have felt. So, let’s explore the differences in terms of hearing screening and hearing evaluation.

Hearing screenings

The term hearing screening refers to quick, painless tests that can ascertain once and for all whether you have hearing loss and need additional testing. In this test, you can either pass or fail with no in-between – it’s very clear cut. If you pass, you don’t need to worry about any further action. You’ll still need to do regular screenings in the future, as time can change your hearing as can several other factors. If you fail a hearing screening, then this test is then repeated later on. The actual hearing screening depends on the age of the patient dealing with the hearing screening:

Newborn hearing screening & children

Most babies have a screening before they’ve even left the hospital after birth, and this is repeated again a few days later. It’s essential to do this because they can get the right treatment and evaluation necessary to their case as early as possible. Children are retested at school age to check their hearing is still of a good quality.

Older children and adults

Most older children and adults have a pure-tone test, which is a type of hearing screening as they age. This includes headphones being put on and pressing a button when they hear a sound. Children should be tested every few years, and adults should be screened every decade until they turn 50. After the age of 50, a hearing screening should be scheduled every three years to keep up with hearing health.

Hearing evaluations

When you fail your hearing screening, your doctor will refer you to a specialist hearing health provider, and they are trained in all aspects of hearing care. The hearing evaluation involves so much more than just the testing, as when it comes to identifying a hearing problem, it’s just one part of the whole process. The conversation will include a hearing history conversation that will discuss any issues in the past, your lifestyle and other things that could affect your hearing, including any problems with your heart and diabetes

The lifestyle questions will include talking about your exposure to loud noise, such as construction sites and concerts. They may also include a physical examination of the inner and outer structures of the ear. You may also be asked different questions, such as:

  • Do you have any hearing loss?
  • How bad is it, and does it affect one or both ears?
  • What are the treatment options that best fit you?

Several hearing tests are involved during the hearing evaluation stage, and your hearing health provider should be able to talk you through what they need from you to determine the severity of the problem. They will be able to talk you through the tests and tell you why they’re doing those tests at all. Be honest during the evaluation so that you can get the right help from your hearing provider. They can collate all the results from the tests during the evaluation and come up with a treatment plan for you, which may include hearing aids. 

Get your screenings and hearing evaluations on time throughout life so that you can remain proactive with your hearing. The best thing to do is approach a local hearing provider and book an appointment as soon as you can. Learn more about West Family Hearing by calling 425-245-8507 for an appointment today.


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