How Does an Audiologist Conduct a Hearing Test?

a hearing examination in progress

If you’re beginning to experience hearing loss, then it’s important that you’re taking steps to improve things. The recommended course of action is to book an appointment; they’ll have the experience and know-how that’ll tell you the current standard of your hearing, and the treatment options available to you. The first step is to conduct a hearing test. The audiologist will do this to ascertain your current level of hearing. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at the steps that the audiologist will take. While the specific process will vary from one audiologist to the next, in general, they’ll perform the same tasks. 

Background matters

An audiologist won’t just look at your ears to determine if there’s an issue. They’ll also ask you questions about any health issues you have, your lifestyle and whether you’ve been subjected to any loud noises. None of these questions will be difficult to answer, and they won’t be overly personal. It’s just that the audiologist needs to know more about the patient in order to create a picture of potential problems. It could be that there are no health or lifestyle matters that are affecting your hearing, but it’s best to let the audiologist figure out what’s important and what isn’t. 

Searching for physical problems

The main part of the hearing test will be, well, the actual test – we’ll discuss that process in the next section. But before you get to that stage, the audiologist will perform a physical examination of your ear. This will involve looking at the outer part of your ear and the canal to see if there are any problems that could influence the level of your hearing. It could be that they spot an injury to your ear that you didn’t know about, or an infection or a buildup of earwax. All these things could impact your hearing. 

What they’ll test

If you’re worried about your hearing test, don’t be! They are not intensive, and they’re completely painless. There are a few different methods for testing a person’s hearing.

There’s the pure-tone audiometry test. This is a test that’ll measure how well you can hear tones at different pitches and volumes. All you’ll need to do is to concentrate on the sound that’s being played. Your audiologist will ask you whether you can hear a sound or night. There’ll be a point when you cannot hear the sound – the test is to see what the softest sound you can hear is. There’s also a test section that deals with speech, to determine how well you can hear conversation. There may also be a component that measures how well you can focus on speech while there’s background noise; this simulates real-world experiences of hearing. 

Offering solutions

Once the audiologist has performed the test and they’ve got an idea of your level of hearing, they’ll be able to discuss potential solutions. That is, of course, if your hearing isn’t at the level that it should be. There are several different solutions available. It could be that you must have your earwax removed. If there’s an injury, then your hearing might be back to normal once it has had time to heal. For most hearing loss cases, a hearing aid will be the recommended course of action. There are several different types of hearing aid available; the most common are behind the ear (BTE), in the canal (ITC) and in the ear (ITE). The one that’s correct for you will depend on the severity of your hearing loss and your personal preference. Your audiologist will work with you to ensure you get the right one, and that it’s fitted properly. 

If you’re experiencing some hearing loss or have other concerns, then be sure to get in touch with us here at Albuquerque Hearing and Balance. Our friendly and talented team will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you arrive, you’ll be seen by an experienced audiologist who will walk you through the entire process. It’s not just about testing the current level of your hearing; it’s about ensuring that you feel comfortable from the first moment to the last. If you’re ready to schedule an appointment, then you can give us a call at (505) 750-9569, or you can fill out the form on the schedule appointment page, and we’ll be in touch.