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4 Questions About Hearing Tests

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Ear Exam

Prior to your first hearing test, it’s natural that you will be curious about what the test is going to involve. In an effort to try and resolve any anxieties you may have, below, we’ll go through the four most common questions people have about hearing tests— and providing the answers and reassurance that you require.

What does a hearing test involve?

There is not just a single hearing test, but instead, a number of tests are used to allow your audiologist to best understand any hearing loss that you may be experiencing.

  • The most common test involves listening to a set of sounds through headphones and pressing a buzzer when you hear a sound.
  • You may also be tested for how you interpret speech, either performed live or using a recording.
  • A tuning fork may also be used. The fork is tapped close to your ear and you can then distinguish how quickly the sound fades, how clear the sound is, and answer other questions as asked by your audiologist.

Your audiologist will also check your ears for any signs of structural damage or potential infections that may be contributing to your hearing loss.

How long does a hearing test take?

As a general rule, you’re going to want to set aside at least 60 minutes for your hearing test. This is usually sufficient time to speak with the audiologist about any issues you are experiencing, go through the test, and evaluate the results. While there is no guarantee that your experience will require the full hour, this is a good amount to have planned into your day.

Are hearing tests painful?

As a general rule, no: hearing tests are not painful, as they are assessing your hearing itself. They are not obtrusive, and the audiologist will make very little contact with you.

There is, however, a chance that the hearing test may be uncomfortable if you have an active ear infection. However, if your audiologist inspects your ears and suspects you have an infection, they will likely discontinue the test and recommend you visit your doctor for antibiotics.

If you are experiencing any ear pain prior to your appointment, then it makes sense to inform the audiologist of this, so they can be particularly aware of any potential issues.

Will I receive a hearing aid immediately?

Unless you have specifically requested this with your audiologist, the answer is likely to be no. Hearing aids need to be carefully fitted and evaluated, so this is usually performed at a second meeting. This meeting will give you the chance to try different hearing aids and receive thorough guidance on proper usage and maintenance.

Hopefully, the above has help to demystify the basic elements of your hearing test, and you now feel confident that you can attend your appointment knowing exactly what to expect. Most people find a hearing test a standard, easy process, so try to stay calm, and you’ll find that the test is a complete breeze.