What Happens During a Hearing Test?

a woman receiving a hearing examination

Having your ears checked when experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss should be a top priority as part of your general wellbeing. There are several benefits to having your hearing tested, even if you feel you’re only exhibiting mild symptoms, including:

  • t allows for the discovery of other underlying medical conditions such as diabetes 
  • Enables early onset for treatment, thus preventing permanent hearing loss.
  • Prevents risk of dementia.

So, when should you get the hearing test done? This is a question that continues to linger on many people's minds. Though not specified, you must visit an audiologist immediately if you are straining to hear or experiencing pain in your ears.

Case history

A hearing test procedure begins with the audiologist taking your history to determine your medical and hearing history. Naturally, hearing loss can arise from genetic inheritance or one's environment. The audiologist will also want to know the symptoms you are having at this stage.

The testing room

The testing can take place in differently designed rooms depending on your situation. Generally, the rooms need to be quiet and enclosed to keep away any noise that may affect your hearing exam scores. 

An audiologist will conduct the test through an instrument known as an audiometer. If you need your child to take the test, it will take place in a room composed of specially placed speakers. 

The procedure

It starts with wearing soft earplugs or headphones with wires connected to the audiometer. The process will take roughly 30 minutes. Depending on the diagnosis, your audiologist may suggest any of the following tests.

Pure-tone test

Here you will be tested by listening to tones at different pitches and volumes. In a sound-treated room, the audiologist will communicate and give you instructions through your headphones. This type of test aims to measure the very softest sound you can hear.

Speech audiometry test

This type of testing uses recorded or live speech to test your hearing ability. It takes place in a quiet area. This type of test aims to determine the softest speech sounds you can hear and understand.

Tympanometry

The test entails placing a soft plug that generates sounds into the ear. The purpose of this is to determine the eardrum's movement and measure the reflexive responses of the middle ear muscles.
Hearing test results

After the testing procedure, your audiologist will interpret your results for you. Decibels measure the hearing test results. They may fall anywhere between zero to 25dB for normal hearing, mild hearing loss ranging between 26-40dB, moderate hearing loss that falls between 41-70dB, severe hearing loss falling between 71-90dB, and profound hearing loss which is above 91dB.

Your auditory system is one of the most essential parts of the body. It controls hearing functions and contributes to your general health and self-esteem. Therefore, you must take care of your hearing by having regular hearing tests to rule out any potential problems down the road.