What Happens During a Hearing Test?
Most people will need to take a hearing test at some point. This simple procedure is designed to measure the level of a person's hearing across a full range of sound and is conducted by an audiologist. The test aims to measure a quietest sound that can still be heard across the speech range, and you may hear this referred to as an audiogram.
How do I prepare for a hearing test?
There are some actions you can take to be fully prepared for your hearing test once it's scheduled in. Think about all of the issues you have experienced - it could be things like your confidence, times where you have not been able to communicate properly. Also think about if you have experienced any other problems which can be associated with hearing loss, like tinnitus. You will want to discuss all these factors with your audiologist, and be able to describe the situations where your hearing is most challenged, such as in a crowded and noisy situations. Anything that helps you to have an open and productive discussion is good. You may also want to take a notepad so that you can jot down anything important during the session.
What is the process of a hearing test?
Your hearing test commences with the audiologist explaining what a hearing test entails, what processes they will be following and any equipment they plan to use. Then you should have a short conversation about the issues you're experiencing. The audiologist then examines your ears to ensure there is no physical blockage or wax build up that might affect the results of the test. You may be asked questions such as when you first began to notice problems with your hearing, whether they happened gradually or all of a sudden and if you have sustained any injuries or infections which might explain some of the issues you're experiencing. You'll then start the audiogram part of the appointment, which generally takes around half an hour to complete. This test will start with you wearing a pair of headphones, and listening to a series of sounds and being asked to make a response to indicate what you hear - sometimes this is done by pressing a button. You will hear sounds first in one ear and then the other, in order to isolate any problems. You may then have some different kinds of follow up tests, if your audiologist has said they are required.
How will I know my results?
Your hearing test results will show two kinds of measurement. The first is a volume or level - this is represented in decibels. The second is pitch and frequency, measured in hertz. Your audiologist will refer to these two factors when describing the results of your hearing test. Your results and a possible course of treatment will be explained to you. A hearing test is usually quite simple, but if there are complications you may be referred for further testing, especially if you have had an injury or a serious ear infection. Remember to ask all the questions you need to in order to understand what your results mean and to take some notes if you need to.