What to Expect During a Hearing Test
When it comes to visiting an audiologist for a hearing test, it can be hard to know what to expect — especially if you’ve never gone before.
Don’t worry; visiting an audiologist isn’t as scary or nerve-wracking as it might seem. The initial appointment with an audiologist involves an evaluation of your hearing. From the evaluation, which is typically conducted through a series of hearing tests, the audiologist will be able to determine the type and degree of hearing loss you suffer from.
While that’s the “nutshell” definition of a hearing test appointment, it’s always wise to dive deeper into what goes on during an appointment in order to have the right expectations when you meet the audiologist.
Before an audiologist begins to run tests, expect to have a lengthy conversation with him or her. The audiologist will want to know your past and current medical conditions, your hearing health history and any jobs you’ve worked in. The audiologist will ask very specific questions to gain a better understanding of the perceived hearing loss. Common questions include:
- Does hearing loss run in your family?
- Do you notice the hearing loss in one ear or both ears?
- Have you been subjected to any loud noises?
- Do you notice a ringing in either or both ears?
- Have you experienced dizziness or vertigo?
- Were ear infections common during your childhood?
- Does your ear hurt?
- Do you have a difficult time hearing the voices of men, women or children?
- Are there any particular environments where following a conversation is difficult?
After discussing your health history and current conditions, the audiologist will likely begin testing. A hearing test actually entails a series of tests that will inform the audiologist how well you hear a variety of tones, sounds and speech. Types of tests you may endure include:
- A visual examination of the ear using an otoscope
- Air and bone conduction testing
- Word discrimination testing
The results of the tests will come out on an audiogram. The audiologist will read the audiogram and go over the results with you, informing you of the type and degree of hearing loss you have.
After receiving a diagnosis, the audiologist will prescribe a solution, typically a set of hearing aids. The hearing aids will not be available for days or weeks, as most hearing aids are custom-made. When they arrive you will have your next appointment, known as a hearing aid fitting.