How Does an Audiologist Conduct a Hearing Test?

a pediatric ear doctor examining a childs ear

If you are booked in for your first hearing test, you may be feeling a little bit nervous about what to expect. After all, it is natural to be anxious when doing anything for the first time. You may be worried that the hearing test is going to be intrusive. However, there is nothing to panic about. The audiologist will simply assess your hearing so that they can determine whether you are experiencing hearing loss, and if so, the extent of the hearing loss. This will enable them to provide you with the best possible service and assistance

When you visit an audiologist, one of the first things that he or she is going to do is assess your personal medical history and your hearing health history. This will enable them to discover more about any concerns you have regarding your hearing. After all, there are a lot of different possible causes of hearing loss, therefore, by looking at your history, it will help the audiologist to figure out if you have anything genetic in your family or anything that could have been inherited. 

Health conditions, including the likes of ear infections, head colds and allergies, can also contribute to hearing issues, as can impacted earwax. As a consequence, your audiologist may ask if you have had any trauma lately, as it is possible that this could be linked to your hearing loss, even if they both seem unrelated to you. 

Now, let’s get to the hearing test part of it. Hearing tests are non-invasive, and you won’t experience any sort of pain either. Most hearing exams will be carried out in an enclosure or a sound-treated room, which is quiet and designed to keep out any noises that could potentially interfere with your hearing exam score. 

During the hearing test, you will be asked to wear soft earplugs or headphones that have wires that are linked to an audiometer. This is a type of instrument that is used to carry out hearing tests.

Specially-placed speakers are also typically present in the room. They are used for testing small children or infants. They can also be beneficial when it comes to testing people who need to wear cochlear implants or hearing aids during the process. 

There are a number of different parts of a hearing test. Firstly, you have the pure-tone audiometry part of the test. This involves listening to tones at various volumes and pitches. Your hearing care professional is going to speak to you, supplying you with instructions via your headphones. You will need to concentrate and listen carefully to what your audiologist says, as you will need to respond to them, even if the tone is very soft and you can hardly hear what the person is saying. The aim of this test is to determine the softest sound you are able to hear at every frequency tested.

This is just one of the tests that can be carried out during the hearing examination. Another part of the process is what is known as speech audiometry. This involves using live or recorded speech rather than pure tones. You will be asked to repeat the words back that you hear. This is used so that the audiologist is able to figure out the listening level that is the most comfortable for you, as well as the upper limits of comfortable listening.

Other tests include testing for hidden hearing loss, speech in noise and words in noise tests and tympanometry. It is vital to recognize that you’re not necessarily going to have to do all of these tests, yet they represent some of the main options available to your audiologist.

For those who are unaware, tympanometry is a type of test that is used to examine your acoustic reflexes. A soft plug will be used that generates sounds and makes pressure changes within the ear. This is used to figure out how well your eardrum moves and therefore, the reflexive responses of the muscles in your middle ear.

Contact us today for more information

If you would like to book a hearing test or you have any questions concerning this and/or the services our audiologists provide, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for more information. We would be more than happy to assist you in any way that we can. Contact the Hearing Doctors today at 630-752-9505.