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What happens during hearing assessments?

A hearing assessment is more detailed than a hearing test

If you have any concerns about your hearing, a free hearing test is a usually a good place to start to get peace of mind and clarity about the health of your ears. This initial test is simple and straightforward - it will detect if any hearing loss is present. 

The next step if some loss is detected from the hearing test, is to attend a Hearing Assessment. Although sometimes a hearing assessment is recommended as the first step depending on an individual'ss situation, bypassing the hearing test.

The more advanced hearing assessment is made up of a number of different examinations. The results of these “examinations" are combined to form a thorough evaluation on your hearing levels.  

From here, it can be determined what actions can be taken - such as prescribing hearing aids - to improve your hearing and, hence, overall quality of life. To help make the process a little less daunting, here's a rundown of exactly what to expect when getting your Hearing Assessment.

What types of tests can happen in a Hearing Assessment?

The comprehensive evaluation

While the initial hearing test can tell you whether or not you are experiencing some form of hearing loss, a comprehensive hearing assessment with an audiologist or audiometrist will provide insight into why. The process is once again very straightforward - but this time will take approximately one hour.

Medical history

Before getting started with the comprehensive hearing test, a trained staff member will take your medical history and discuss any changes you’ve noticed in your hearing and any concerns you may have.

Ear examination

Before testing your hearing, an audiologist or audiometrist will use an illuminated instrument, known as an otoscope, to examine the ears themselves. They will check for airflow through the ear and identify any problems in the ear canal or with the eardrum itself.

Your ear canal will be checked for common problems, such as a build up of wax, damage to the eardrum, or any other condition that makes it difficult for you to hear clearly.

Hearing evaluation

You'll then move into a quiet, sound-treated room or booth to check your hearing. You'll put on a pair of headphones to undergo a pure tone test where a machine called an audiometer emits beeps and whistles (pure tones) at a greater range of frequencies than experienced during your initial test. 

Again, you'll be asked to press a button or raise your hand when you can hear the sounds. This test measures the softest tone you can hear at each frequency.

Bone conduction test

Bone conduction testing is an integral part of the assessment. A bone conductor is a small vibrator placed against the Mastoid bone located behind the ear. This test will reveal any problems in the inner ear.

Speech test

A speech test, or speech audiometry, is used to measure how well you hear and understand ordinary conversation. It's similar to the pure tone test, except you'll listen to recorded words spoken at different volumes and then be asked to repeat what you hear. This test establishes the softest speech sounds you can hear and understand


If tympanometry is required, a probe with a flexible rubber tip will be placed in your ear. The probe acts as a soft plug, creating pressure changes to determine how well your eardrum moves.


The results of your hearing tests will be charted on a graph called an audiogram

Each ear is plotted separately, displaying the softest sounds you can hear at different frequencies. The audiogram will show the degree of your hearing loss and provide the audiologist with an indication of the cause of hearing loss and where it is being experienced in the ear.

If the results of your comprehensive hearing test confirm hearing loss that could benefit from a hearing aid, your audiologist or audiometrist will discuss suitable technology and style options with you.

Have any more questions about your hearing assessment? Contact your local clinic

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