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4 Things to Expect at Your Hearing Test

Ear Exam

Having a hearing test can be a daunting prospect, especially when you suspect that you do suffer from hearing loss. But the audiologist is there to treat any conditions and prevent those problems from disrupting your daily life. For that reason alone, it’s imperative that you stop delaying the process.

Besides, the hearing test process is entirely painless and your visit to the audiologist is likely to last no longer than an hour or so. In truth, the sense of uncertainty is probably the most significant source of fear. By knowing what to expect, you’ll likely have a more enjoyable and successful appointment. Here are common procedures likely to occur during a hearing test.

Getting to know you

Before even looking at your ears, the audiologist will want to ask a few questions relating to your background. This can cover a range of subjects including hearing loss in the family, your individual medical history and current lifestyle.

This information will give the audiologist a far better idea as to whether you are statistically likely to encounter hearing loss. The flow of conversation can be a telling factor too.

Visual inspections

The audiologist will start the examination with a physical inspection of the ear. This will include looking for abnormalities with the ear development as well as signs of earwax buildups, infections or blockages in the canal.

An otoscope will be used to check the condition and flexibility of the eardrums too. Issues here can explain the hearing loss that may be detected during the next stages.

A full hearing test

The actual hearing test involves several short exams, with each being designed to check a different aspect of the overall hearing health. During your visit, you will encounter the following items;

Pitch test: A pure-tone test will see you sit in a booth. A number of tones will be played so that the audiologist can learn the range of tones that you are capable of hearing.

Speech test: The audiologist will check your ability to follow conversations in both quiet and noisy surroundings.

Tympanometry: This is a test to check for fluid in the middle ear. The audiologist can detect this by applying a small amount of pressure to the ear.

OAEs: By placing a tiny probe and microphone/speaker system, the audiologist can test the otoacoustic emissions to identify issues related to vibrations of the hair cells inside your ear.

Other tests, such as an auditory brainstem response may be used to check how the sound waves travel from the ears to your brain, used depending on the findings of the exams mentioned above.

Discuss the next steps

Depending on the type and severity of hearing loss, the next steps will be crucial. This could range from getting fitted for hearing aids to arranging sound therapy treatments. Either way, the audiologist will ensure that you gain the support needed to treat those conditions. Alternatively, if every aspect of your hearing is deemed healthy, you’ll merely be advised on when to book in your next periodic appointment.

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