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.
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.
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.
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.