What to Expect at a Hearing Test

If you or a loved one suspects that you cannot hear as well as you used to, you may be long overdue for a hearing test. Hearing, like eyesight, can change over time. Sometimes quickly. And sometimes so gradually that you may not even notice it. Your loved ones, however, are likely aware of changes in your hearing because they have had to repeat themselves more often, the television is turned up louder than usual, or they noticed a change in how you participate in conversations with background noise.

People over 60 and workers in high-noise jobs such as construction or restaurants are at a higher risk of hearing loss. If you fit into either of these categories – or you and your loved ones have noticed any changes in your hearing – it’s time to contact us.

Hearing tests are crucial diagnostic tools that allow your hearing practitioner to examine your hearing and, if necessary, determine the best treatment for any hearing loss you may be experiencing. Hearing tests are a painless procedure that provide you and your hearing professional with detailed information about the state of your hearing health.

If you have already been diagnosed with hearing loss through testing, talk to your hearing care practitioner about how frequently you should book a hearing test.

For those starting out in your hearing health journey, you may be curious about what to expect if you’ve never had a hearing test. We understand that visiting any health care professional can be overwhelming, but we are here to help guide you through the hearing test process.


What happens during your hearing test appointment?


Complete Hearing Health History: 

The first stage in your hearing test is to provide a complete hearing health history. Your hearing practitioner will review it with you, including changes you have noticed in your hearing, your concerns, and any previous experiences with hearing aids.

Your hearing practitioner will ask about hearing challenges (e.g., communicating, confidence, how you feel about your hearing) and whether additional problems exist that may be linked to hearing loss. We may ask you about any scenario where you find it difficult to hear well, such as in noisy places, in a group of people, or during phone conversations.


Complete Medical History:

Your hearing practitioner will ask for your medical history and to fill out a form regarding information about your health, such as any head or neck traumas you have experienced plus any current medications. It is essential to list all medications and supplements since some are ototoxic and can harm your hearing.


Ear Canal Inspection:

Your hearing practitioner may use a video otoscope to check inside your ear canal. This instrument helps identify typical problems such as excessive wax buildup, eardrum damage, or other conditions that may make it difficult to hear.


Pure-Tone Audiometry: 

This hearing test includes listening to tones at various pitches and loudness. Your hearing practitioner will perform this step in a sound-proofed room and communicate with you, providing instructions through headphones. While concentrating and listening carefully, you’ll be asked to respond even if you hear the slightest tone. This test determines the softest noises audible at each frequency tested.


Speech In Noise Tests:

Patients often express difficulty hearing in noisy situations. The Connected Speech Test (CST), the Speech Perception in Noise test (SPIN), the Speech in Noise test (SIN or Quick SIN), and the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) are the tests used to assess this hearing skill. We may perform one or more of these tests during your appointment.


During these tests, you will listen to a speaker state words and sentences while a soundtrack plays louder sounds increasingly. These are excellent for evaluating “real-world” hearing abilities, simulating busy restaurants or grocery stores.


Speech Audiometry:

Speech audiometry, which includes recorded or live speech instead of pure tones in a calm situation, is another component of most hearing exams. The speech component of the test assesses your ability to hear and understand the quietest spoken sounds (threshold).


Your hearing practitioner will ask you to repeat words provided at a level well above the threshold to determine how well you understand them. Some hearing practitioners may also use speech sounds to establish your most comfortable listening level and your maximum limits of listening comfort.



Your hearing practitioner may perform tympanometry and assess your acoustic reflexes if necessary. Tympanometry can assess the correct functioning of the middle ear. The eardrum, also known as the tympanic membrane, is located behind the middle ear.


This test determines the state and movement of the tympanic membrane as it responds to pressure variations and assists clinicians in identifying and monitoring any middle ear disorders. The results are recorded in a tympanogram, a graphical representation of the eardrum’s response to variations in air pressure within the ear canal. Adults often receive this test as part of a regular hearing exam to rule out any middle ear disorders.


Follow-Up Advice And Guidance:

The results of each portion of the hearing test will then be explained to you by your hearing practitioner. If the tests show that you do not have hearing loss, the audiologist will tell you when to book another test and give you some suggestions for hearing care. If you are diagnosed with hearing loss, your audiologist will usually schedule a follow-up session for additional testing or to explore hearing aid choices.


Since Covid-19 restrictions have eased, Expert Hearing Solutions in Thunder Bay now welcomes and encourages you to bring a family member or friend to your hearing test appointment. It is helpful to have someone with you to discuss your hearing and medical history. The second set of ears during your visit can also be beneficial as a lot of information may be provided.

If you are considering booking a hearing test, the hearing professionals at Expert Hearing Solutions look forward to seeing you soon. 




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July 26, 2022 Uncategorized
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