What to expect at a hearing test

They say that you should get a hearing test every ten years until you are 50, then every three years following your 50th birthday. Not sure what to expect from our hearing evaluation? Here is a quick guide:

1. Consultation

The first thing we're going to do is try to understand your experience of hearing loss. We then try to rule out any medical causes of hearing loss. We do this by asking questions about your medical history. There are many causes of hearing loss, so don't be surprised if we ask a question that is seemingly unrelated to your ears! Some common questions include:

  • Did you notice any changes to your hearing skills?
  • Which circumstances do you have hearing difficulties?
  • Have you ever had any prior ear or head injuries?
  • Are you around loud noises?
  • Are there any issues you have over your hearing?

In the weeks leading up to your hearing exam, it is helpful to think about these questions beforehand so you can give us a more comprehensive answer when the question is asked to you.

2. Physical Hearing Evaluation

Now we're going to review your ears with an otoscope, a device that lets us look through your ear canal into your eardrum. This helps us figure out with anything within your eardrum is causing an injury that might lead to hearing loss. 

3. Hearing Tests

There are a whole host of hearing tests we can administer. But the most common types of hearing tests include the following:

A test of pure tone audiometry tests the gentlest sound a person is able to hear. You must wear earphones during the study, and then listen to a range of sounds that are played into one ear at a time.

The capacity of a person to recognize speech from background noise is tested by a word recognition test (also called speech discrimination test). This can help us decide how useful a certain hearing aid might be.

A tympanometry test identifies issues such as earwax impaction, perforated eardrum, ossicle bone damage or middle-ear tumors. The cranial nerves and brainstem are tested by an acoustic reflex examination.

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audiogram hearing test results

4. A review of your audiogram

Once the tests are complete, we will then run you through each portion of the test results, describing in detail each section of your results. This is a great time to ask further questions of your hearing. If your test reveals a hearing loss that a hearing aid might improve, we'll let you sample some models in the office. This will give you an early indication of how well they might work for you.