What to Expect at a Hearing Test
If you have noticed changes to your hearing, it is time to have your hearing tested. Ascent Audiology & Hearing offers comprehensive hearing testing that evaluates how well you hear and whether you have significant hearing loss. Hearing testing is non-invasive and painless and can help isolate the cause behind your hearing issue.
Wondering what to expect in a hearing exam? Here’s an outline of what we do during a hearing test.
The first step of your hearing test is a consultation in which we review your medical history and lifestyle factors that may contribute to a hearing issue. We’ll go over your history of medications past and current, as well as ask you about noise exposure risks in your life, such as occupational noise. Certain medical conditions such as anemia, diabetes and heart disease can play a role in hearing loss, so we will also review your medical history.
We’ll review the issues that bring you in for a hearing exam, including how long you have experienced hearing issues and what impact hearing issues have had on your life. If tinnitus is a factor in your hearing issue, we’ll ask you about how it is manifesting in your hearing. Going over your history can help us find the cause of a hearing issue and also decide on the best course of treatment.
The next step of your hearing test is a physical examination of your ears. Your hearing specialist will use a handheld device called an otoscope to peer into your ear canal. Looking into your ear canal can help us see any physical abnormalities such as obstructions, malformations, impacted earwax, perforations in the eardrum and signs of infection. A physical exam can help us isolate many hearing problems in the outer and middle ear that can be resolved or relieved with treatment.
Once a physical exam is completed, you’ll be asked to perform listening tests.
Pure Tone Testing
The most prevalent form of testing for hearing loss is the pure tone test. These hearing tests are designed to detect what frequencies and volumes your hearing is able to discern - and which cause problems for your hearing. In a soundproofed room and with headphones, you will listen to tonal sounds played at different volumes. You’ll be asked to indicate every sound you hear by pressing a button. Your responses are recorded and used to map the way you hear in a chart called an audiogram.
Speech testing will ask you to repeat spoken words to test for comprehension accuracy. Spoken phrases will be played at different volumes and you will be asked to repeat what is said. Speech testing gives a more nuanced picture of how your hearing comprehension is functioning.
To better understand your hearing concern, we may use other hearing tests including testing the performance of the middle ear. At Ascent Audiology & Hearing we use the latest audiological equipment to thoroughly understand your hearing issue.
Reviewing Your Audiogram
Once your hearing tests are finished, your audiogram will be immediately available to be reviewed. The audiogram is an easy to read diagram of how well each of your ears hear sound. Your hearing specialist will go over the results with you to help you better understand how you hear and where challenges to your hearing are present.
With the results of your hearing tests and physical exam, we will be able to assess how to address any hearing issues present. If you have significant hearing loss, we can help you understand what treatment is available and how it can benefit your life and hearing.
While permanent hearing loss cannot be reversed, it can be effectively managed with the use of hearing aids and assistive devices. If significant hearing loss is found in your hearing testing, the next step will be going over your treatment options.
Ascent Audiology & Hearing carries exceptional hearing solutions and we specialize in custom fitting and programming for hearing aids. Advanced technology and device programming adjusted to your precise hearing needs can rehabilitate your hearing and relieve the stress and frustration of hearing loss. Our solutions for hearing loss and tinnitus take into account your lifestyle and needs to connect you with hearing options as unique as you are.