If you’re one of the 48 million Americans who has hearing loss, you’ve likely had a hearing test at some point in your life. If you haven’t, it may feel overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect. Hearing tests are important in helping you identify your type and degree of hearing loss, but even if you are not hearing impaired, they’re a great tool to help monitor changes to your hearing over time. Here’s what to expect from your first hearing test:
Hearing Health History
Before any testing actually begins, your audiologist will sit you down and take a comprehensive history of your hearing and health issues.
There are many potential causes of hearing loss, so you will have to give a detailed account of your medical history. It may surprise you that even conditions like allergies can contribute to hearing loss. Your medical history can also provide insight as to whether you’re at risk for inherited hearing loss.
Your audiologist will also ask you about your lifestyle to determine if you’ve been exposed to excessive noise levels, as well as discuss your hearing loss symptoms and how they affect your everyday life. It’s a good idea to write down environments that are difficult to hear in as you encounter them and bring a list to your appointment.
The Hearing Test
Hearing tests are painless, non-invasive and usually take less than an hour. They are conducted in quiet, soundproof rooms for maximum accuracy. You will be asked to wear headphones or earplugs for the hearing tests, and you may see speakers in the room as well. The most common tests are:
Pure Tone Audiometry
For this test, tones at various pitches and volumes will be played either over speakers or through your headphones. Your audiologist will have you indicate when you hear one of the tones, even if it is very faint. The purpose of this test is to determine the quietest sound level you can hear at various pitches.
This test is similar in concept to the pure tone audiometry test, except instead of tones, the audiologist will play speech sound recordings. You will be asked to repeat back what you hear.
If you’re ready to schedule your hearing test, call Timpanogos Hearing & Balance today!