A hearing test is the first step toward getting treatment for your condition. While making the appointment was a big step, you’re nervous about the exam itself—and you’re overwhelmed with questions. Will it hurt? How long does it take? And above all: what do the results mean?
What to Expect At Your Upcoming Hearing Exam
At Premier Hearing Center, your free hearing evaluation is a painless procedure that takes about an hour. You will be asked to complete a few forms covering your personal information, medical history, and insurance coverage. A hearing care specialist will discuss the problems you have been having, and move on to diagnostic testing to determine the cause and degree of your hearing condition.
A typical hearing screening will involve the following tests:
- Physical exam. The first step in diagnosing a hearing problem is to look inside the patient’s ears to make sure there are no blockages inside the ear canal. Using an otoscope, your hearing care provider can see any potential causes of hearing damage, including a perforated eardrum, discharge in the middle ear space, or earwax buildup. You may also be examined for signs of vertigo, a condition that causes extreme dizziness and nausea that is caused by problems in the inner ear.
- Audiometrics. The most common test used in hearing screenings is pure tone audiometry (PTA). You will be given headphones and asked to respond to sounds played at various volume levels and pitches. These sounds will be played in each ear to measure the highest and quietest sounds you are able to hear, which are then mapped on a graph called an audiogram.
- Speech testing. A speech perception test will discover how well you are able to hear and understand words without any visual help. You will listen to a series of words, both with and without background noise, and give your responses. This helps to determine if you are having trouble discriminating between consonant sounds, such as T, C, CH, and SH.
- Tympanometry. This test was designed to detect any problems with the eardrum that could be inhibiting hearing. Tympanometry is a painless procedure that involves sealing the ear canal and changing the pressure inside. The responses and movements of the eardrum during this test can indicate fluid behind the eardrum and potential defects in the patient’s Eustachian tube.
After testing is complete, your hearing care provider will discuss the results with you so that you understand the causes and symptoms of your hearing loss. Once you know the type and degree of your condition, your specialist will ask you a few questions to determine the best type of treatment. You can even take a closer look at some of the more popular hearing aid devices to see how they can improve your daily life! To get started on the road to hearing recovery, call the number above or click the appointment button on this page today!