What Happens During a Hearing Test?
When you visit a licensed hearing healthcare professional, you will receive a hearing examination. This examination is relatively simple. Here are some things the hearing aid professional may do during this visit:
- Evaluate your hearing health, medical history, history of noise exposure, and lifestyle.
- Perform an otoscopic examination (view the inside of your ear canal and eardrum).
- Perform a pure tone test, during which the professional will play sounds at different frequencies and ask you to respond when you can hear them.
- Perform a speech test to determine how well you can interpret the sounds you hear.
Upon completing this and other testing, as warranted, the hearing healthcare provider will be able to determine your level of hearing capability and then offer care options, if needed, or make a referral to a physician if indicated.
Hearing loss can be so gradual that it may be hard to notice at first. Annual hearing testing will help those with hearing loss gain a quicker understanding of their hearing ability and take action before symptoms worsen. It is the position of the International Hearing Society that by age 21, all adults should have undergone a hearing evaluation. Thereafter, a hearing evaluation should occur every 3 years or as needed based upon:
- Decrease in quality of life
- Change in health status
- Onset or change of tinnitus
- Change in hearing
- Change in balance
- Onset of or change in vertigo or dizziness
- Head trauma or related injuries
- Introduction of or change in ototoxic medications
- Professional referral