If you are experiencing problems with your hearing, your GP may make a referral for you to visit an audiologist for a hearing test. If you have never had a hearing test, you may be wondering about what it involves. Below is a brief guide to what you should expect from each part of the process when you attend your hearing test.
Depending on your medical history and the range of symptoms you are displaying, the audiologist may carry out multiple tests in order to establish the cause of your hearing loss. You should know that the testing procedure doesn't take long and is completely painless, so you have no reason to feel anxious about it. It is normally carried out at a health care clinic. The three most common test carried out by audiologist are:
The audiologist will ask you to wear a set of headphones. Through the headphones, you will be played a series of clips of people speaking. You will be asked to repeat what you hear. During the test, the audiologist will make slight adjustments to the volume of the recorded speech. This will allow the audiologist to work out the upper and lower limits of your hearing.
Pure Tone Audiometry
Next, you may be asked to listen to different tones which will again be played to you using headphones. This test is normally carried out on one ear at a time to establish if you are experiencing the level of hearing loss in each. The tones will vary in pitch. You will be asked to either verbally or physically sign whenever you hear a tone. This will allow the audiologist to establish if there are any particular frequencies which you cannot hear.
During this test, your audiologist will insert a small probe into your ear canal. This is not painful. This probe is designed to measure the pressure between your middle and outer ear. It is a useful way of establishing if you have a perforated eardrum or infection of the middle ear.
The results of these test will normally be available on the same day. If the audiologist detects signs of hearing loss, they may recommend that you are fitted with a hearing aid. If you have any questions or concerns about your hearing test you should book an appointment to speak with your doctor or audiologist. They will be able to offer help and advice about your hearing test and any further treatment options.