What to Expect at a Hearing Test

A hearing test should be a regular part of maintaining your best health and well-being. The Better Hearing Institute, a non-profit organization, recommends getting a hearing test once every decade until age 50 and once every three years thereafter. Those in high-risk professions or with a medical history indicating a higher risk of hearing loss should be tested even more frequently.

The hearing test allows you to keep track of your hearing health over time. If you have minor hearing loss at certain frequencies, it can be an indication that your hearing protection needs improvement. If you have mild hearing loss, it is time to start wearing hearing aids. If you have hearing loss that progresses faster than normal—noticed over the course of two or more hearing tests—it can be an indication of an underlying cardiovascular condition that may require medical intervention.

Hearing Test

When You Arrive

When you arrive at our office for your hearing test, we’ll ask you to fill out a short questionnaire. This form will cover your medical history, family medical history, any medications you’re taking, any hearing issues you’re noticing, and aspects of your lifestyle and employment. We need to get to know you so we can understand the potential causes of any hearing loss we find, and how to recommend the hearing protection or hearing aids that are most likely to be the most successful for your particular situation. We will also use this time to get a deeper understanding of what might be going on with your hearing health.

The Hearing Test

Now it’s time for your hearing test. The whole process is painless and only takes about a half-hour to complete.
1. Physical Examination
We will inspect your ear canals with an otoscope, the same devices your primary care provider uses to check your ears. We need to make sure there are no blockages in your canals or perforations in your eardrums that could be contributing to hearing loss, as these are correctable conditions.
2. Audiometry
For the audiometry portion of your hearing test, you’ll be asked to sit in a soundproof booth and wear a set of headphones. We will play sounds through the headphones and you’ll be asked to respond to what you hear. The booth is important to remove any outside sounds that can interfere with your ability to hear the sounds in the tests.
  • Pure-Tone Audiometry

    “Pure tones” are sounds that only exist at one particular frequency, like the sound from a tuning fork. You’ll hear tones at various pitches in one or both ears, and at varying volume levels. This test gives us the most accurate picture of your ears’ raw ability to hear sounds across the frequency spectrum (low tones to high tones).

  • Speech Audiometry

    This test is conducted the same way as the pure-tone test but uses speech sounds instead of tones. This lets us see how well you can interpret speech, specifically, which is usually the main focus of hearing loss treatment.

  • Speech-In-Noise Audiometry

    Same as the speech test, but with background noise present. Background noise significantly complicates the sonic environment, making it much more difficult to interpret speech. This test gives us a sense of how much background sound can be present for you to still hear speech comfortably.

3. Tympanometry
This test may be administered after your audiometry tests. We use a small electronic device with a disposable silicone tip, which is inserted into your ear canal. The device alters the pressure in your ear canal in order to ensure that your middle ear is working properly. While this test may be slightly uncomfortable, it is still painless. The sensation is similar to taking off or landing in an airplane.
Hearing Test

After the Test

The results of your pure-tone test will be displayed on an audiogram. This is a graph, where the frequency spectrum is represented on the x-axis and dBHL (decibels hearing level) is displayed on the y axis. There will be one horizontal line representing normal hearing, and two additional lines representing your hearing ability in each ear. We will review your audiogram with you and explain the results. We may recommend hearing protection or hearing aids at this time.

Regular hearing tests are the best way to ensure that your hearing health is in the best possible shape. If you do have hearing loss, it is important to start wearing hearing aids so there is no gap in your hearing ability. Whether you suspect you have hearing loss or are simply due for a hearing test, we look forward to seeing you soon!

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MaryAnne Barfield
MaryAnne Barfield
First time wearing hearing aids for me Shannon & her staff made the whole experience so easy and professional took all the anxiety & fear out of getting hearing aids I highly recommend them also very affordable
Judy Noah
Judy Noah
Focus Hearing is a wonderful place for hearing needs ! I was there in March 2022 For my first appt and was treated very well and took care of my needs in a timely manner! The staff is extremely pleasant and efficient ! You won’t be disappointed !!
Anne Dale
Anne Dale
I’m still in my Trial Phase in my Hearing Aids, but I am so pleased with them already! Until Shannon Schneller fitted them after my hearing test, I had no idea how relaxing it was to HEAR so easily and clearly! I didn’t realize how long I had been struggling to make out words and meaning from conversations! Hearing sound was not the issue, but clarity was. Now I am more confident and comfortable around people; I’m not afraid of embarrassing myself by misunderstanding speech. Recently I attended an excellent high school production of the Disney Musical “Frozen”. What a delight to use the Universal setting on my Horizon APP that focused the sound in front and on both sides! This is an amazing set of comfortable hearing aids! I wear glasses to see better—why did I wait so long to HEAR better?!
Richard Pinsonneault
Richard Pinsonneault
In the last thirty days, I've purchased hearing aids, and have also had a follow up appointment with this company. Their professionalism is unsurpassed. They've introduced me to a whole new life. I can now easily hear the beautiful voices of my wife, daughters, and granddaughter, without having to ask, "what," 2-3 times. Life is good. Thank you, Shannon!
Karen Snyder
Karen Snyder
Problem solved thanks to Annie. Ken Snyder
Lisa Lauver
Lisa Lauver
The doctors are great. They made my Mom feel comfortable and explained insurance coverage up front so no surprises