What to expect during a hearing assessment

Getting a hearing assessment may seem intimidating especially when you are unsure of what to expect. For most people even getting the courage to make an appointment can be too much. Hearing loss may seem intimidating, but knowing what may happen during your hearing assessment can reduce the stress!

Important notes: 

  • First, it is important to know the professional is trying to get an accurate representation of your hearing to make the best treatment plan for you
  • There is no passing or failing an adult full diagnostic hearing assessment! 
  • You cannot cheat on a hearing exam even if you think you can! 

 

The normal protocol for a full diagnostic hearing assessment:

  • Case History
      • This is a get-to-know-you portion of the assessment. A professional may ask you questions or have you fill out a paper form. These questions are designed to understand your concerns and how your history plays into why you are having concerns! 
      • Some examples may include: a history of ear infections, middle ear surgery, family history, occupational noise exposure, etc
  • Otoscopy 
      • During this portion, the hearing care professional will examine the health of your ear, ear canal, and eardrum. They will also be able to tell if you have a significant amount of earwax (cerumen) and the best course of action for it. 
  • Tympanometry 
      • A hearing care professional will place a small tip into your ear canal, you will hear a noise and feel pressure. This portion is assessing the health of the middle ear space as well as how the eardrum moves. During this test, they may also perform another test with the same equipment which assesses your reflex of a muscle attached to your bones within your middle ear. Both of these tests require you to just sit still and remain quiet!
  • Audiometry
      • Typically when a person hears of a hearing test they think of this portion of the assessment. Now a person will go through a battery of tests which will consist of a person listening for the softest level they can hear, as well as repeating back a series of words. Your hearing care professional will instruct you for each portion.
  • Counseling 
    • The professional will go over all the results from the tests and counsel you on the most appropriate steps based on the results

 

A hearing test may seem like a daunting and anxious task but hopefully having an understanding of what the examination entails eases the fear. It is important to seek out a hearing care professional’s opinion as soon as you notice a change in hearing.