What happens during a free hearing test?

Learn what happens during our hearing tests, step by step

The First Step To Better Hearing

The first step is to book your free hearing test at your local National Hearing Care clinic. When you arrive for your appointment, one of our trained staff members will take you to a quiet screening room where you'll be played a series of sounds through a set of headphones. The test will run for 20 minutes, and all you have to do is press a button each time you hear a sound. 

Based on the outcome of your test, it will be determined if you have hearing loss or not. If you do, you will be recommended to return for a comprehensive hearing test with an audiologist or audiometrist. It's as simple as that.

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During your hearing test with the audiologist, well ask about your medical history and then perform some simple tests:

Otoscopy

Our audiologist or audiometrist will look into your ears with an instrument that you've seen at your doctors to examine your ear canal and eardrum. We will look for ear wax blockages or any other obstructions that might affect your hearing test.

Audiometry

We will play a series of sounds through a set of headphones to assess your overall level of hearing.

Speech testing

We will test your ability to hear words to assess your functional hearing. This test mimics real-life situations and assesses the potential to improve your hearing with the use of hearing aids.

Tympanometry

 We will test the middle ear system for any signs of fluid or other ear diseases and symptoms to determine if you require further medical examination.

If the tests confirm a hearing loss that could benefit from a hearing aid, your audiologist or audiometrist will discuss suitable technology and style options with you.

What to know before you go

Have a feeling your hearing isn't what it used to be? Booking a free hearing test can help you determine just where the problem lies and what can be done about it. What you might not know is that a hearing test can actually comprise of a number of different examinations.

 

When taken together, the results can provide a thorough evaluation of your level of hearing.To help make the process a little less daunting, heres a rundown of exactly what to expect when you get your hearing checked.

 

The initial test

Your first step in seeking treatment for hearing loss is to book a free hearing test at your local National Hearing Care clinic. Upon arriving for your appointment, the process is simple and only takes about 15 minutes.

Getting to know you

Your ears are your ears. That’s why a trained staff member will kick things off with questions related to your hearing. Have you noticed any changes in your hearing? Is there a history of hearing loss in your family? Are there certain situations where hearing is especially hard? The answers to these questions help to ensure you receive the best possible care.

The hearing test

You’ll be set up in a quiet screening room for your hearing test. You'll be played a series of sounds through a pair of headphones at four different frequencies. You simply have to press a button or raise your hand each time you hear a sound. The outcome of this initial test will determine whether you have hearing loss or not. If you do, a more comprehensive test with an audiologist or audiometrist will be recommended.

The comprehensive evaluation

While the initial hearing test can tell you whether or not you are losing your hearing, a comprehensive hearing test with an audiologist or audiometrist will provide insight into why. The process is once again very straightforward and will take approximately one hour.

Medical history

Before getting started with the comprehensive hearing test, a trained staff member will take your medical history and discuss any changes you’ve noticed in your hearing and any concerns you may have.

Ear examination

Before testing your hearing, an audiologist or audiometrist will use an illuminated instrument, known as an otoscope, to examine the ears themselves. They will check for airflow through the ear and identify any problems in the ear canal or with the eardrum itself.

A look inside the ear canal

Your ear canal will be checked for common problems, such as a build up of wax, damage to the eardrum, or any other condition that makes it difficult for you to hear clearly.

Hearing evaluation

You'll then move into a quiet, sound-treated room or booth to check your hearing. You'll put on a pair of headphones to undergo a pure tone test where a machine called an audiometer emits beeps and whistles (pure tones) at a greater range of volumes and frequencies than experienced during your initial test. Again, you'll be asked to press a button or raise your hand when you can hear the sounds. This test measures the softest tone you can hear at each frequency.

Bone conduction test

In some instances, you'll also undergo a bone conduction test. A bone conductor is a vibrator held against the mastoid bone (located behind the ear) to reveal any problems in the middle ear cavity.

Speech test

A speech test, or speech audiometry, is used to measure how well you hear and understand ordinary conversation. It's similar to the pure tone test, except you'll listen to recorded words spoken at different volumes and then be asked to repeat what you hear. This test establishes the softest speech sounds you can hear and understand.

Tympanometry

If tympanometry is required, a probe with a flexible rubber tip will be placed in your ear. The probe acts as a soft plug, creating pressure changes to determine how well your eardrum moves.

Audiogram

The results of your hearing tests will be charted on a graph called an audiogram. Each ear is plotted separately, displaying the softest sounds you can hear at different frequencies. The audiogram will show the degree of your hearing loss and provide the hearing healthcare professional with clues to its origin.

If the results of your comprehensive hearing test confirm hearing loss that could benefit from a hearing aid, your audiologist or audiometrist will discuss suitable technology and style options with you.

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