Hearing Test: Purpose, Procedure and Results

a hearing test in progress

There are many reasons why a person may seek a hearing test, for example, someone may notice a loss in hearing over time or a sudden loss of hearing that they would like some reassurance about. Others may require reassurance over time due to various medical conditions that may cause hearing loss.

Keeping ahead of the game and one step ahead when it comes to hearing loss can help gain quicker and more effective hearing loss treatments. The main purpose of a hearing test is to first establish if there is a hearing loss to start with. This gives the audiologist something to work with, and information on the next steps to take for a patient. Being able to gain a clear picture of the patients overall hearing levels means that the audiologist is able to get a clear understanding and understand exactly what the patient needs.

Knowledge is power when it comes to treating hearing loss, so an audiologist will gain a clear picture of what is going on from a hearing test and will be able to provide the best treatment for their patient over time. There are various treatments for hearing loss and hearing aids, wax removal and tinnitus therapies can all be very effective, so knowing which route to take from information gathered at the hearing test can be used by the audiologist. 

The testing process

If your audiologist requires you to take a hearing test there is nothing to be concerned about. The test is relatively short, usually taking no longer than 30-45 minutes at a time, sometimes it may take a little longer than 30 minutes just because the results need to be accurate and this can be difficult in certain circumstances. There is no discomfort other than the sensation of a pair of headphones.

The audiologist can walk you through every step of applying the headphones if this is something that is unfamiliar. Your audiologist will make sure you are comfortable and well prepared ahead of time, and you can ask any questions that you like before the procedure begins.

The hearing test itself is often taken in a soundproof room which can be a little unusual but you will quickly adjust. At other times it is important that there is background noise, it all depends on the reason for the test. Once you have the headphones on you will be given a button to press. The test is conducted by a series of short beeps or other sounds played at random points, these noises are played at different pitches and levels to establish where gaps in your hearing may be experienced.

It’s important to be as accurate as possible with the hearing test, as it will be in your best interests. It isn’t possible to guess when the sounds are played and it’s important that you let the audiologist know if you make a mistake or mishear something, audiologists know exactly what to do in these scenarios and can easily rectify any problems for you.

Once your hearing test has been successfully completed the audiologist will go over the ways in which your results will be shared with you. Every office is different but it’s important to note that an appointment will be made at a later date to tell you what the next steps in the treatment plan might be. 

Results

The results of your hearing test take as long as it takes for someone to evaluate them, depending on the level of work your audiologist currently has to do will depend on how long the test results take to get to you. Once the results have been discovered and evaluated you will be asked to come back to the audiologist’s office.

Once there, the audiologist will explain everything to you. If they discovered you do have hearing loss then the level of hearing loss is usually the first piece of information received. A mild hearing loss is anywhere between 26-40 decibels, moderate is 41-55 decibels loss, moderate to severe is 56-70 decibels loss, and severe is 71-90 decibels, a profound hearing loss is considered 91-100 decibels.

The level of hearing loss on the result will dictate what type of treatment plan can be worked on, and it’s always a good starting point in helping a patient gain help for their hearing loss overall. The results may be unexpected but your audiologist can talk you through the next steps.

Learn more about Peninsula Hearing call today at Poulsbo: 360-697-3061, Port Townsend: 360-379-5458