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A Guide to Hearing Tests

Ear Exam

Hearing tests are amongst the most common services that audiologists perform for their patients. It’s the single best way to get to the bottom of any hearing concerns you might have. Not only can they help diagnose hearing loss, but they can look at potential causes, as well as what you can do about it. Here’s a simple guide to a hearing test, so you better know what to expect if you arrange one.

When you arrive at the office

At the reception, you will first be asked to provide some details on forms, covering personal information, your medical history, and insurance details. Next, you will discuss many of these details personally with the audiologist. This will include any medical conditions, medication, symptoms, noise levels in your lifestyle, and other aspects that could highlight risk factors. All the information gathered by the audiologist and their practice will remain strictly confidential, used solely to ensure a more informed test and diagnosis.

The visual examination

A device called an otoscope, a minimally invasive tool is placed against the outer ear, and the audiologist takes a look through it. With this, they can see well into the ear canal using light and zooming features and may even have a camera so the audiologist can show you potential issues. This way, they may be able to find some problems or causes of hearing loss, such as earwax build-ups or signs of infection.

The hearing tests

This is the primary purpose of the appointment. This series of tests usually involves entering a soundproof booth and hearing noises through a headset. For a tone test, you will hear tones at different pitches and volumes, and be asked to respond in a specific way, either by gesturing, pressing a button, or vocally confirming that you hear it. The speech test is much the same, playing recordings of speech or having the audiologist talk at different volumes, pitches, and levels of background noise. The aim is to repeat what you hear.

The results

During the hearing tests, the audiologist will be recording details on your results. These details are compiled into what is called an audiogram, which is a measurement of your range of hearing and capacity to understand speech at different levels. As such, the audiologist can show you if you have hearing loss, what level of hearing loss it might be, as well as which frequencies and pitches it affects your hearing at.

Following the hearing test

If the audiologist believes that there is a specific physical cause of your hearing loss, they may recommend further tests to see your ear’s reaction to different levels of pressure or to measure your inner ear’s reflexes when exposed to noise. Otherwise, if you are diagnosed with hearing loss, they will likely recommend further appointments to treat it, which may include helping you select and fit a hearing aid.

Hearing tests are a convenient and comprehensive way to get to the bottom of your hearing health. With the help of a reliable, experienced audiologist, you can clear up any concerns, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment.