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What to Expect at Your Hearing Test
While booking a hearing test was simple enough, you may now be worried about what’s going to be involved in your audiologist appointment. You want to know how well you can hear, and you’d rather not be left imagining the worst in the meantime! Well, We’ve got a handy little guide for you here to make sure you know what to expect before walking into a hearing test.
What you’ll be asked
When meeting your hearing healthcare professional, you’re going to be asked about your current hearing health and your hearing history. This will be done via a health form, and you’ll need to write down any and all potential issues that could be affecting your hearing, such as what you get up to in day-to-day life, as well as any medications you’re currently on, and if you live with any chronic illnesses.
You’ll also be asked if you’ve ever experienced any head injuries that could have affected your ability to hear. You may also be asked about hearing issues within your family, to determine if you may have a genetic predisposition to hearing loss.
The different phases of a hearing test
A hearing test is performed in a room that has been sound proofed, and usually has three distinct parts to it: a physical checkup, and then two accompanying audio tests. Sometimes further audio tests are conducted if your audiologist feels it is necessary – remember, you can always ask questions about what’s happening next.
The physical test will require looking into your ears, to check for any visible abnormalities like a wax build up, and also to ensure that sound can pass freely through your ears during the later tests.
Then, a pure-tone test is conducted, which measures how well you pick up sounds on a decibel level, played to one ear at a time. Then a speech test is conducted, which measures your word recognition ability, and usually requires you to pick out words amongst regular daily background noise.
Your healthcare hearing professional may also have you complete a tympanometry test. This test measures how well your eardrum works in terms of pressure and how well the muscles in your middle ear reflex.
Understanding the results of your hearing test
Once the hearing test has been completed, you’ll be shown a results graph, known as an audiogram. Plotted in decibels regarding pitch and volume, you’ll see two lines representing both of your ears in turn. Anything between zero to 25dB is known as normal hearing, with anything below this described as hearing loss.
Once you’ve been through your results, the hearing healthcare professional who’s working with you will be able to recommend forms of treatment, if need be. Whether you need a behind-the- ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE) or an in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid, your audiologist will be able to find the right, comfortable solution for your needs.