Commonly Asked Questions About Hearing Tests

ear specialist examining canal of patient

When experiencing hearing loss, it’s not uncommon for many questions to float around your mind. You’re experiencing a new way to interface with the world, and a large part of this may involve visiting a hearing instrument specialist (HIS) and understanding the hearing aid devices available to you.

Yet before any of that takes place is the necessity of taking a hearing test. This is true even if you find that your hearing loss is nothing to worry about and just a simple sign of ageing.

You’d be forgiven, of course, for wanting to know more before beginning or at least feel as if you know what to expect before going in. If you’re concerned about your hearing, we would advise that you book that hearing test as soon as you can. 

But of course, you deserve to know what to expect. Attending an eye appointment, for example, may feel a little bit unnerving if you’re not at all sure what all of the optician’s odd instruments are for when going in. Let’s put your mind at ease and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about hearing tests:

How Regularly Should Someone Have Their Hearing Tested?

For the most part, people aged 18-40 are advised to have their hearing tested once every three to five years. Of course, if you notice hearing loss or wish to have this more frequently, then you’re more than welcome to book an appointment with a hearing instrument specialist. 

For those over the age of 60 years old, annual hearing tests are advised. Of course, the frequency to which you have your hearing tested, and the degree to which these tests take place will be defined by your hearing experience and just what recuperative measures are needed to help you alleviate hearing loss. 

Are Hearing Tests Invasive?

Not at all. Neither will they hurt, which is sometimes a worry that people have that makes them hesitant to book a test. This false impression is born of the fact that of course, an ear canal is easier to intrude upon than an eye for vision tests and the seemingly pointy tools hearing specialists use to gauge hearing acuity can give a false impression.

Your ear is examined physically using an otoscope and a tympanometry, the latter of which is used to check your inner ear health. Furthermore, you may be asked to wear headphones to gauge how well you can hear certain tones and beeps.

How Long Do Hearing Tests Last on Average?

This will depend on the purpose of the hearing test, for instance, those who have notable hearing loss may undergo more stringent testing processes. For most people, however, a hearing test will usually last around thirty minutes or less, and so it can be good to ensure you have an hour or two free to attend your appointment and move through the provider’s administration protocols.

What Comprises a Hearing Test?

This is perhaps the most essential question. Hearing tests usually begin with a conversation. Your HIS will ask you about your experience and sometimes your medical history so they can come to a more informed understanding and measure your progress.

Most individuals will be asked to wear a pair of headphones in a soundproofed room and listen to a range of short tones played at a range of different volumes and pitches. Usually, this goes ear-by-ear. This may involve listening to speech and repeating the words you hear. 

In some cases, the hearing specialist will physically examine your ear in order to make sure it’s functioning effectively and hasn’t encountered damage. From there, they will come to an assessment and may show you your audiogram then or at a later date. This will help you get the clearest picture regarding the health of your hearing.

Will I Require a Hearing Aid If Hearing Loss Is Detected?

Possibly. If this is required, you will be thoroughly informed as to why a hearing aid may help, the style you may need to wear and what else you may need to do.

This is where it’s fantastic to have a great service and the watchful eye of a HIS by your side. The Beltone Hearing Center has distinguished itself as a resource for all of your hearing instrument needs. Call us today at 403-942-4327.