A hearing test is non-intrusive and entirely pain-free, despite what your initial impressions might be. It does not require painful injections or equipment that looks frightening. And the best part is, a hearing test usually only lasts 30-40 minutes!
Knowing what to expect at a hearing test is useful to prepare yourself for the day. This may reduce any uncertainty or worries ahead of time. With that in mind, here’s what to expect during each stage of a hearing test.
Step # 1: Consultation
The first step will be to review your hearing and medical history with us. In particular, let us know of any noise-related incidents that have arisen in the recent past that could have impaired your hearing. We’ll also ask you questions about your daily activities and lifestyle to get a better understanding of environments that are challenging for your hearing.
Step # 2: Ear Examination
In this step, we’ll conduct a physical examination of your ears. We use a tool called an otoscope to peek into your ears to see if there is any injury or blockage.
We also learn a lot about your ear canal size and shape, something we will keep in mind later if you are a candidate for hearing aids. The nature of your ear canal tells us a lot about which type of hearing aid will suit you.
If we see anything out of the ordinary, we can refer you for further medical evaluation.
Step # 3: Hearing Tests
Hearing tests also take place in a soundproof booth. We will ask you to wear headphones or earplugs to help immerse you in the tests. Here are three tests that we often perform:
Pure Tone Audiometry
Pure Tone Audiometry tests the ability to hear sounds at varying volumes and with different pitches or frequencies. Each ear will be tested individually. You’ll be asked to indicate when you hear a sound.
This tests your ability to hear speech sounds. We’ll read aloud phrases at varying volumes. This test addresses which voices may be hard for you to understand and sound environments in which you find it hard to hear.
We use this test to determine the sensitivity of your ear canal. A lightweight rubber probe goes into your ear and can mimic changes in air pressure. The probe will measure the response of your eardrum to several stimuli, such as low-pitched tones.