If you have never experienced a hearing test before, it might sound intimidating, but the truth is that they are painless and an essential step in diagnosing any hearing loss you might have. Your audiologist is the best partner to perform the test and lay out the treatments for any potential issues you might have, and here’s what you can expect when you arrange an appointment with them.

Your audiologist will ask you some questions

All hearing tests begin by reviewing the information you provide before you enter the audiologist’s office. This will include personal details as well as your medical history. To supplement it, the audiologist might ask a range of general questions about your hobbies, occupation, and the kind of environments you spend time in, as well as if you have noticed any particular issues with your hearing. All this information helps them understand the different risk factors that might be affecting your hearing.

A range of tests will be performed

There are a variety of different hearing tests, and your medical history or symptoms might determine which ones the audiologist utilizes. Most tests begin with a visual examination using a small device called an otoscope. This allows the audiologist to look into the ear and see if there are any obvious issues like earwax blockages. Pure-tone testing and speech testing involves wearing headphones as the audiologist plays different pitches or speech at varying volumes. There are other tests like middle ear tests that might involve looking deeper or using air pressure to see how the muscles inside the middle ear responds. Your audiologist will explain any tests carried out to make sure you’re comfortable and nothing unexpected happens.

The audiologist will go over the results with you

The results of the pure-tone and speech tests will be recorded on a form called an audiogram. This measures things like the type and severity of the hearing loss you might have, and your audiologist will explain what the results indicate. If a middle ear test shows results like your auditory reflex not working effectively, they will explain what that means to you, too. By going over your results, the audiologist can help you understand whether you have hearing loss, what type it is and what might be causing it.

You will start to explore different treatment options

If your results indicate you do have hearing loss, the audiologist will go over your treatment options. Hearing aids are the most common form of treatment and you might schedule another appointment to help you choose the device that best fits your needs. Additionally, the audiologist might recommend steps you can take to stop any hearing loss from progressing further, such as wearing hearing protection in the workplace. If you suspect you have hearing loss, it’s recommended you make an appointment with the audiologist as soon as possible. You might have no cause for concern, but if you do have hearing loss, it’s best to start protecting your hearing and treating it sooner rather than later.