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So What Happens During a Hearing Test Anyway?

When you arrive for your exam, you will be greeted by the front office staff and asked to fill out several forms, including those that record your personal information, medical history and verify your insurance. You will also receive a copy of a Notice of Privacy as mandated by law.

As your exam begins, your audiologist will review your personal information with you and will ask you some questions that are designed to discover the specific types of environments in which you may be experiencing some difficulty in hearing.

Next, your audiologist, will look into your ears by using an otoscope. This instrument is used to see the ear canal and the ear drum and whether or not there is ear wax obstructing the canal. Sometimes he uses a video otoscope so you can see inside your ear as well!

The first test that is conducted is the pure tone hearing test. This is conducted in a soundproof booth. The 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 push a button.

The next test is the speech test. During this test 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 the patient can not only detect, but understand speech.

And finally, another test that may be conducted is a speech in noise test. This test will determine how well you hear in a noisy environment.

The results of your tests will be recorded on a graph called an audiogram. The audiogram reflects your hearing loss in frequencies and decibels. Your audiologist will use these results to make recommendations on the best way to treat your hearing loss and what type of hearing aids will best meet your needs and lifestyle.

Want to learn more?

Click here to learn about the types and causes of hearing loss.
Click here to take a “Hearing Assessment Quiz.”
Click here to learn what happens during a hearing screening appointment.
Click here to learn about digital hearing instruments.