What to Expect at Your Hearing Test

It’s an important step to take- scheduling a hearing test. Knowing that you have problems with your hearing and then seeking help and more information about it is great, leading you towards more satisfaction with your life and health. But you may not be sure exactly what goes on during a hearing test- so knowing what’s going to happen beforehand can be helpful.

First, there will be general examination and discussion of your symptoms. Be sure to tell the nurse or doctor exactly what’s wrong with your hearing, including any pain, trouble understanding others, tinnitus, dizziness/balance problems, and etc. Then your ears will be examined with a small auriscope, used to look for any problems in your eardrums and ear wax.

Some elements of hearing tests will change depending on the age of the patient, the exact problems, and etc. For example, some computer-based tests are specific to children, like the AOAE test, where the ability to hear soft clicking noises through an earpiece is tested. There are tests that both children and adults can be given, but it all depends on the specific case.

Hearing tests in adults are more varied- there are simple ones, where the nurse/doctor blocks one of your ears and whispers into the other, while you repeat their words. There are also tests for speech perception and comprehension, as well as tuning fork and bone conduction tests that work through vibrations against your ear. The tests you take to display your hearing ability will vary, but they are all relatively simple and painless. Talk to your doctor beforehand or research further what may be in your hearing exam, especially when considering your specific symptoms and age.

At the end of your hearing test, you’ll be given your results, often presented in the form of an audiogram. This will inform you of any hearing loss you may have, and what kind it is. After this, you can talk to your doctor or specialist and figure out what your next step should be. Being able to classify and treat your hearing loss is incredibly important, and will improve your life in many ways.

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