What to Expect at a Hearing Test

April 13, 2020

What to Expect at a Hearing Test
 
Dr. Darcy Benson
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The purpose of a hearing loss test is to decide whether you have hearing loss and how severe or mild it is. Hearing loss has far-reaching health implications, and having a baseline hearing check and a regular follow-up check will help you detect it early.

 

A hearing consultation

We start by asking a series of questions to learn more about your hearing experience.

Questions may cover many areas, and some may seem insignificant, but they are all critical. A standard question, for example, like “Which ear do you use when listening on the phone? “May seem insignificant. Knowing what ear you are using, however, might be a hint to the audiologist that one ear performs better than the other.

Also, a health history interview is likely to answer concerns about your medical history, current medications, family history of hearing loss and disease, noise sensitivity, work history, interests, and any hearing problems you or your family members note.

The responses to these questions help give us an overview of your current hearing condition, help us decide which tests are appropriate, and how you will respond to various treatment options.

 

A series of tests

A hearing test is not just one test, but a series of different tests. Such tests help determine the range of sounds you can hear. During a hearing test, you are never at risk of pain.

Below is a list of potential hearing tests, as well as a description of what happens during each test.

  • Ear exam:Most examinations begin with a visual evaluation using a small tool called an otoscope. It helps the audiologist to look into the ear to see if any noticeable problems, such as earwax blockages, exist.

 

  • A pure tone test:This is a crucial hearing check used to identify hearing thresholds, as well as the size, degree, and nature of the hearing loss. During the test, you’ll wear headphones linked to an audiometer playing a range of tones. Your doctor will monitor the volume and will lower it until you can no longer hear the sound. Then, when you listen to it again, the doctor will increase the volume. By pressing a button or raising your head, you’ll show that you can hear the sound.

 

  • Speech recognition test:We use this assessment to determine how well you hear and understand speech. At different volume rates, you’ll listen to a collection of common words and repeat the ones you hear.

There may be other tests performed, but these three tests form the core of any hearing test we’re likely to administer.
 

Reviewing the results

The final results of your assessment will show several things: whether you have hearing problems, which ear listens better and how well you hear low and high pitched sounds.

The speech assessment helps provide useful details about your ability to understand speech clearly in noisy environments. To obtain the most accurate hearing profile for you, we may conduct additional tests to determine other aspects of your hearing ability.

If the tests show you might benefit from hearing aids, we’ll show you a few sample models to illustrate how they work. We’ll also explore appropriate options for your hearing loss and lifestyle.
 

How to prepare for a hearing test

Many people are very nervous about the idea of a hearing test. Unfortunately, anxiety can have a detrimental effect on the test. How quickly a sound is recognized depends on the sensitivity on the day of the test, but also your mood.

On the day of your test, allow yourself plenty of time, and try to get in a comfortable frame of mind for your hearing test. Tell someone to come with you to help you stay calm and to help you recall details we provide.

If you have hearing loss, it is vital to seek treatment from a specialist you can trust. Our audiologists will advise you, test your hearing, prescribe a hearing aid, and tailor it to your personal needs. Contact us today to set up an appointment.