What Happens During a Hearing Test?

hearing test
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If you have a hearing problem, having a hearing test can be a great way to determine the current health of your ears. While a hearing test is often a straightforward process, many are concerned about what to expect.

The process is painless and non-invasive and lasts no more than an hour, so there’s nothing to be worried about. If you’ve been booked in for a hearing test, here’s what to expect to help make the process less daunting:

Lifestyle And Health Details

Your journey starts with providing as many details as possible about your medical history and lifestyle. The information you provide helps your audiologist determine what might be causing your hearing loss. 

Medical conditions such as ear infections, allergies, and head colds often contribute to hearing loss. The health practitioner may also ask about any drugs you might be taking as some medications may also cause hearing loss as side effects. They may also want to know whether you work in a loud environment and the types of social situations and hobbies important to you.   

Finally, your audiologist might want to discuss your symptoms and how they affect your daily life. Any information you provide about pre-existing health issues, any medication you’ve been taking, and your lifestyle could prove valuable.

A Visual Examination

After reviewing the information you’ve provided, your audiologist will then perform a physical examination of your ears. This helps confirm any obstructions in your ears that might be causing your hearing problems. For instance, blockages caused by excess earwax can cause symptoms similar to hearing damage.

Your audiologist might insert a tiny camera into your ear to examine the health of your eardrums and ear canals and ensure that sound has a clear pathway. This part of the test is typically shorter and shouldn’t take more than ten minutes.

Tone And Pitch Test       

This part of the hearing test typically entails testing how you hear tones and pitches. The test occurs in a soundproof room. The soundproof room helps eliminate background noises that could make you not hear quiet sounds.

During the tone test, you will be asked to wear headphones and listen to some tones played at different pitches and volumes.  The tones are played into one ear at a time to help determine whether your right or left ear has hearing loss.

You’re asked to press a button or raise your hand to show when you hear a sound. How you respond to each tone shows whether you can hear soft or loud sounds and low-pitched or high-pitched sounds. 

Speech Recognition Test

After the tone and pitch test, your audiologist conducts a speech recognition test. While still in the soundproof room, you will listen to a live speech at different volumes through the headphones. The speech is played quietly into one ear at a time. You’ll be required to repeat the words you hear to check how good your hearing is in daily situations. 

Hearing Test Results and Treatment Options

The results of a hearing test are almost instant. Your audiologist will record everything that happens during the test and present you with the results right away. From the results, you will know the problem with your hearing and the extent of your hearing loss.

The audiologist will then compare the test results with your symptoms to ensure their data matches your experiences. Then, they will discuss the different treatment options available to you. These can be prescribed hearing aids to improve your hearing or other treatments like surgery and cochlear implants.

The health practitioner will tell you about the different hearing aids on offer and which ones might suit you best. While your audiologist may make recommendations, you’re the one to decide what option fits best for your life. Before making the final decision, be sure to consider factors such as your work, family, and social life to ensure the option you choose suits all aspects of your life.

Online Hearing Tests

Apart from in-person tests, there is a wide range of hearing tests available online that you can take from the comfort of your home. An online hearing test may help determine whether you should go in for thorough in-person testing.

During your online hearing test, you will be asked to listen to several tones at different pitches and volumes to see how well your hearing is at different frequency levels. Next, your audiologist will want to know how well you can hear in challenging listening situations.

Once you complete the test, you will be presented with your result and told about the different treatment options available to you. Based on your test results, your audiologist may book you in for follow-up appointments and a thorough diagnostic hearing assessment to establish the extent of your hearing loss.

Follow-Up Appointments

Hopefully, this information provides more clarity on what you should expect during your upcoming hearing test appointment. If you’ve been experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss, it’s always best to book a hearing test soonest possible.

The follow-up appointments will mainly include hearing aid fitting and evaluations to help you choose a hearing aid that best suits you and your lifestyle.

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Written by Amanda Howard

Amanda Howard, a LA native, is one of Dine Magazine's writers with a focus on food, wellness, and parenting . When she's not busy being a mom she focuses her time on writing and taking long hikes.


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