How Hearing Tests Work

So What Happens During a Hearing Test?

When you arrive for your exam, our Patient Care Coordinator will ask you to fill out several forms, including those that record your personal information, medical history and verify your insurance. At this point and with your permission, we can check your insurance for hearing loss benefits.

Hearing tests begin with your audiologist reviewing your personal information and asking questions that are designed to discover the specific types of environments in which you may be experiencing difficulty.

Next, the doctor will conduct a physical ear exam and look into your ears using an otoscope. With this instrument, your audiologist can see the ear drum and whether or not there is ear wax obstructing the canal. All of our audiologists use a video otoscope; so you can see inside your ear as well.

Thorough hearing testing by an audiologist is critical to determine the proper hearing solution (if necessary).

The first of our hearing tests is the pure-tone test which is conducted in a a soundproof booth. Your audiologist will place headphones that are connected to an audiometer over your ears. The audiometer transmits a series of tones at a variety of volumes into your ears to determine the exact point, or “threshold”, at which you can hear various frequencies of sounds. When you hear a sound, you will be asked to press a button.

Second is speech testing. You will listen to a series of one and two syllable words at different volumes and be asked to repeat them. This will determine the level at which you can not only detect, but understand speech. An additional hearing test that may be conducted is a speech in noise test. This test will determine how well you hear and comprehend sentences in a noisy environment.

The results of your hearing tests will be recorded on a form called an audiogram, which your audiologist will review with you. The audiogram reflects your hearing loss in frequencies and decibels. You will be shown the type, pattern, and degree of hearing loss, as well as the percentage of normal conversational speech that you are still able to hear. Your audiologist will then relate these results to your concerns about your hearing. The next step is to consider treatment solutions.

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