Hearing is very important in our everyday lives. Pilots and others who work around aircraft are exposed to various frequencies of loud noise over long periods of time. For this reason, regular hearing testing is important to detect hearing loss in its early stages. Unfortunately, hearing loss is not reversible, however, we can control the exposure to noise. If it is found that hearing loss is occuring one needs to evaluate the cause and ensure that all that is possible is done to reduce further loss.
Audiometry is the measurement of hearing capability. Several methods of hearing testing are available. The most commonly used is pure tone testing. For this test a patient wears high quality earphones and is asked to indicate if they can hear sounds at a specific frequency and loudness, or decibels. The ears are tested separately. The results are recorded on an audiogram. The allows the health professional to graphically evaluate the hearing for each ear over various frequencies. If hearing loss is detected, further testing may be indicated.
Currenltly, we have all hearing testing performed by a licenced audiologist whose office is located in the same medical building as your medical examination. Hearing tests for pilots are performed on Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. There is no fee for this test.
Not all pilots require hearing testing. It depends on your age, the category of certification applied for and past medical history. If you have a copy of a previous audiogram, please bring it with you to your appointment. It helps determine if there are changes from previous and if hearing loss is old or new.