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Hearing Test

Have you been asking others to repeat themselves more often?  Does it seems like EVERYONE mumbles?  Have family members commented on how you turn up the TV volume more than usual? If so...

It might be time for a hearing test!

What happens during a hearing test?

This is one of the most common questions we get from new patients, especially from those who have never experienced a hearing test in their life. The main goal of a hearing test is for an audiologist to check the human auditory pathways which include the inner, outer and middle ear.

Why would I need a hearing test?

As mentioned above, you would need a hearing test if you yourself have been noticing changes in your hearing. More serious cases that may entail a hearing test include a suspected blockage or brain damage.

What happens after a hearing test?

The results of a hearing test will determine the next steps of an audiologist and the intervention to be given, including the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants. 

Where is a hearing test performed?

A hearing test is usually performed in a soundproof room or sound enclosure to ensure that the ears will be masked from external noise. A patient will be asked to push buttons whenever they hear certain sounds.  If anyone feels claustrophobic a hearing test can be completed outside the sound booth with a special set of headphones.

Is it important to have a hearing test?

There’s no such thing as equal hearing - even a pair of identical twins will have different hearing levels! There are also different types of hearing loss: some may hear better with low or high pitches, some may experience "tone deafness" while some may still hear well but have difficulty hearing certain tones or frequencies. All those “could be’s” and unknowns can be settled with a hearing test.  Because hearing loss is relative and lies on a wide spectrum of levels, a comprehensive hearing exam is the way to establish an accurate hearing loss diagnosis.  The patient may sit inside the sound booth for 10-15 minutes for the hearing testing while an audio sampling and assessment is performed to determine if and where there are sound voids.

The mechanical function of the eardrum is checked through a tuning fork test where the sounds are introduced directly through the ear, skull or cranium. Sounds can be heard through vibration and this type of hearing can give an audiologist information about that certain part of the ear.  

A tympanometer is another machine used during a hearing test. With a tympanometer, the movement of the mechanisms in the ears is measured as pressures are presented. We would want to ensure that the middle ear is healthy and working the way it should be mechanically.

Now, let’s discuss more about how a hearing test is done on different parts of the ears.

Hearing Test: Outer Ear

The most exposed part of the ear is the outer ear.  We want to ensure this area is clean and clear from any debris. In this test, the health of the eardrum is also checked - ensuring it is intact with no visible obstruction to block sounds from going where it needs to go.

Hearing Test: Outer Ear

The middle ear begins with the eardrum, which has a mechanical function in the hearing process. Think of the eardrum as a sail of a sailboat; there are bones attached to the eardrum and the bones are moving along with the eardrum.

I have been a client of Hear Care for over 10 years and could not ask for a better experience. Not only are Ken and Patrick professional and expert in meeting my hearing needs, but they make each visit a welcoming experience. The staff goes beyond all expectations to make everyone feel like family. It is a pleasure to come in for my appointments.

Louise Hamm