Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Tests
A hearing test determines the sensitivity of a person's hearing throughout the entire speech spectrum. An audiogram is a hearing test that measures the quietest sound that may be heard many times across the speech range. Hearing tests are performed by an audiologist, and if you’re experiencing hearing loss, you should book an appointment as soon as possible to determine the cause of your hearing loss.
At Your Appointment
Prepare to discuss all of the challenges you're having with your hearing as well as any other concerns you're having with hearing loss during your appointment. It's important to speak freely about the various situations in which you have trouble hearing effectively.
It could be beneficial to bring someone else to this appointment. When there's a lot to remember, two heads are always better than one!
What Happens in A Hearing Test?
The audiologist administering your hearing test should greet you and explain what will happen and in what order things will be completed. They'll look into your ears to make sure there's no obstruction or other reason why the hearing test can't be done.
They'll then want a brief history of your hearing, including when you first noticed problems, whether they came on gradually or suddenly and whether you've had any infections or injuries that could have contributed to your hearing problems and the issues you've had to cope with.
The audiologist will then conduct an audiogram to assess your hearing. It will take roughly 20-30 minutes to complete the test. You will be asked to answer in some way that you have heard the sound normally by clicking a button every time, no matter how quiet or faint it is, using headphones.
This is done in one ear first, then the other, because the results may vary. Other tests may be required depending on the outcome, but this will be discussed at the time.
There are two main ways to measure sound:
- Decibels are used to measure volume or level (dB).
- Pitch or frequency – both are measured in hertz (Hz).
When an audiologist tells you the results of your test, they will most likely mention these two terms. If you need a copy of the test, you should ask on the day.
Most audiologists will now do a speech audiogram to determine how well you can hear speech. This usually entails having you listen to speech using headphones or a loudspeaker and then repeating exactly what you heard.
Depending on the test process, this can be done in the presence of background noise or in a quiet environment. This test informs the audiologist about what can be accomplished with amplification and what amount of hearing improvement is possible.
Depending on your results, your audiologist will now talk about treatment options available such as hearing aids or implants to aid your hearing.