The hearing test is one of the most common reasons that patients visit an audiologist. None are better qualified to examine your ears and diagnose any issues regarding hearing and balance. However, if you have never had a hearing test before, you may some questions about it. To help you feel more comfortable and know what to expect, here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the test.

What happens during a hearing test?

The hearing test is carried out in a few different stages. First, you will be asked questions about your lifestyle and medical history that can illuminate any potential issues with your hearing. After that, an otoscope will be used to carry out a visual examination to make sure there is no earwax build-up, infections or visible damage. A pressure test using a safe, small probe can see how your ear responds to pressure. Finally, tone and voice tests will help the audiologist better understand your range of hearing.

Can I prepare in advance for my hearing test?

As mentioned, you will be asked questions about your history, medically and lifestyle-wise. It’s a good idea to obtain records of your medical history in advance and to think about what kind of environments you spend your time in. This includes any recent instances of excessive noise. Bring the details of any medical insurance policy you are expecting to cover your costs with, too. If you suspect you suffer from moderate to severe hearing loss and you are concerned that you won’t be able to understand what your audiologist is saying or you could simply use someone to help you absorb the information provided, you are more than welcome to bring a close friend or family member.

How often should I have one and how long will it be?

Just as you should have regular dental and medical check-ups, you should make hearing tests a part of your health routine, too. An annual test is recommended, even if you have already been diagnosed with hearing loss. As for the duration of the test, they tend to take at least one hour. If you need to make time in your schedule, you will want to set aside more than this, however.

What happens if I have hearing loss?

Should a hearing exam show that you do suffer from hearing loss, you will be given the results immediately. Hearing tests don’t usually require any delay. Following your diagnosis, you may be given a range of treatment options, including fitting a hearing aid. These treatments will be carried out in further appointments down the line. You may also be given ear protection or advice on how to prevent your hearing loss from getting any worse in the meantime.

If you are concerned that you might be suffering from hearing loss, tinnitus or some other issue, you should arrange a hearing test with your audiologist as soon as possible. The sooner we can find the problem, the better we can treat it and prevent any further trouble.