What to Expect at a Hearing Test
Hearing loss can be an emotional journey, and scheduling your first hearing test can sometimes feel a bit scary.
If you are like most of us, you have probably been thinking about scheduling a hearing test for quite some time. On average, patients wait about 7 years from the time they notice changes in their hearing to the time they seek treatment. This is a long time to build up anxiety about your hearing test - when really it is a very quick, totally painless, and really informative process.
1. Expect to be treated with dignity and respect.
We put this one first because we believe it is the most important. We know that hearing loss can be emotional, and we understand that everyone’s situation is completely unique. At Absolute Audio, you can feel confident in the fact that you will be given the time and attention you deserve. We’ll make sure you fully understand the entire process, answering all of your questions along the way. We know that oftentimes a hearing assessment is the first step towards building a lasting patient/practitioner relationship, and we do whatever we can to help you feel comfortable and at-ease.
2. Expect to be asked about your medical history.
When you arrive for your hearing test, our friendly staff will ask you to fill in medical history forms that will be very similar to the ones you fill out at every doctor’s appointment you go to. The answers to these questions will help us to better understand where you are coming from, as well as how you perceive your current needs. Once in the room, we may also ask you about your lifestyle, occupation, and hobbies. This helps us to better understand the types of environments you typically find yourself in, which will help us to provide the best hearing solutions.
3. Expect to have a physical examination.
Next, we will use a tool called an otoscope to look at your outer ear, ear canal, and ear drum. This will help us to determine if there are any physical blockages or damage that may be affecting your hearing.
4. Expect painless hearing assessments.
Depending on your medical history and specific needs, you will be given a series of hearing assessments. Here are a few examples of some of the hearing assessments you may be given.
Pure Tone Audiometry
For this assessment, you will be given headphones and will sit in a soundproof room. A variety of sounds in various tones and pitches will be played in the headphones and you will be asked to push a button each time you hear a sound. This will help us to gauge what you can and cannot hear.
Difficulty understanding speech, especially in noisy environments, is the number one reason people decide to get a hearing assessment. With this test, you will be given headphones and will be asked to decipher the speech you hear. Sometimes, additional background noise may also be played to better simulate a real-life situation.
Bone Conduction Test
Although this test has a bit of an intimidating-sounding name, it is 100% completely painless. With this test, a small probe is placed on the skull behind the ear. Tones are then played through this probe and once again you will be asked to push a button or raise your hand when you hear the noise. This test sends sound directly to your eardrum, completely bypassing your ear canal. This can be very helpful in determining the type of hearing loss you may be experiencing.
5. Expect your hearing test results right away.
One of the best things about a hearing assessment is that the results are available right away. Once your assessments are complete, you and your audiologist will discuss your results. We will be able to walk you through your hearing strengths and weaknesses, and will also be able to develop and discuss treatment plans and options. Combining the results of your hearing assessment including your type and degree of hearing loss, as well as elements of your lifestyle and budget, we will also discuss some hearing aids that may be appropriate options for your specific needs.