How to prepare for your first hearing test

Woman Getting Ear Exam

The purpose of a hearing test is to determine the nature and extent of your hearing loss. Hearing loss can take many different forms and so a proper hearing test is vital to help characterize it accurately. Regular hearing tests are also necessary because the type of hearing loss you have can vary over time.

The first question that many people have is “what happens at a hearing test?”

  • Introduction: The first part of any hearing test is the introduction. The introduction is where you and your audiologist get to know each other, build a rapport and start to develop a closer relationship. Building a close relationship with your audiologist is crucial because you need to feel comfortable approaching them with any hearing loss issues you may have.
  • Check the ear canal: The next step is to check the ear canal for blockages. If you wear hearing aids already, you may be prone to wax buildup in the ear canal. Some hearing aids can prevent the ear from removing wax buildup naturally. But even if you don’t wear hearing aids, it is still prudent to check for any occlusion of the ear canal as this can cause hearing loss and muffled sounds.
  • Consultation: The consultation is the part of the process where the audiologist asks you about when you first noticed that you might have hearing loss. They should also ask you about the situations in which you find it hard to hear what's going on, whether that’s listening to specific pitches or somebody speaking to you in a noisy room. During the consultation, the audiologist will check your medical history. Reviewing your medical history is important because it might indicate the source of your hearing loss. Head injuries, certain medications and a range of infections can all lead to problems with hearing.  
  • Audiogram: The audiogram is the primary hearing test. During an audiogram, you wear a pair of headphones and listen to sounds piped through to a soundproof booth. The audiologist will ask you to indicate when you hear any noise and uses this information to build up a picture of the type of hearing loss that you may have. Usually, these tests involve listening to a variety of different noises over a 20-30 minute period and pressing a button every time you hear a sound.

How to prepare for a hearing test

If you’ve booked a hearing test, then you’ll want to get the most out of it. It’s a good idea, therefore, to go to your appointment prepared.

Bring all necessary documents

To make the process as smooth as possible, you’ll need to take all the necessary documents with you. These include your ID, insurance information, medical history and a referral form, if applicable.

Take a pen and paper to make notes

The results of a hearing test can be quite detailed. Many patients, therefore, find it useful to take a pen and paper into the audiologist’s office with them so that they can write down relevant information. This information can be helpful when selecting an assistive hearing device in the future and tracking your hearing loss over time.

Prepare a set of questions

Hearing loss can be a complicated subject and so you may have some questions. It can be hard sometimes to remember all the things that you want to ask your audiologist, so taking a list of pre-formed questions can help a lot. Your audiologist should be able to answer any question you have related to the nature of your hearing loss, which hearing aid to choose and how to manage hearing loss.

Prepare for questions

Audiologists need to collect as much information as possible about your case to offer a high-quality service. It's essential, therefore, that you prepare answers to the questions that you’re like to face.

Write down the following:

  • When your symptoms started
  • Any noises that you may hear in your ears (ringing, hissing, whirring)
  • Any pain that you might feel in the ear
  • Any history of infection
  • Any history of injury
  • If you've used hearing aids in the past
  • If people in your family suffer from hearing loss
  • If you have had any issues with dizziness or balance

Your audiologist may also ask you whether you have any social or psychological problems that could potentially be related to hearing loss, such as a desire to avoid social situations and feeling exhausted after concentrating on what a person is saying in conversation.

If you want to learn more about hearing tests and how to prepare for this appointment, call Desert Hearing Care at (480) 985-2544.


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