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What Are the Features Of A Modern Hearing Test?

an audiologist is reviewing a patient's audiogram

Hearing tests are assessments that are carried out to determine how well you can hear. A hearing test will pick up signs of hearing loss and provide information about the degree of hearing loss, differences between the two ears, the ability to hear different pitches, tones and frequencies. If you have a hearing test booked, or you’re thinking of arranging an appointment, you might be wondering what an assessment entails. This guide will provide all the information you need to prepare for a modern hearing test.

What are the features of a modern hearing test?

Technology and research have contributed to major changes in medical treatment and the way health experts diagnose and manage conditions. In the world of hearing, there have been incredible advances in treatments and in diagnostic methods. Today, hearing tests are very different from those that were carried out 50 years ago.

If you have a hearing test booked, it’s natural to be curious about what is going to happen. When you first arrive at your appointment, you will be asked some questions about your medical history and your hearing. You might also be asked about any family history of health problems.

Before your test, you’ll be informed about what is going to happen in the next hour or so and you can ask as many questions as you like. In most cases, the assessment will involve a series of tests, and you’ll be encouraged to respond to the noises and sounds you hear. Hearing tests are not painful or scary, and there is no right or wrong answer. All you need to do is follow the instructions and relax. 

There are various tests that can be used as part of a modern hearing assessment, including:

  • Air conduction test: This is a test that helps to determine how well you can hear tones at high and low frequencies.
  • Bone conduction test: This assessment is designed to identify where your hearing loss comes from. The aim is to see whether hearing loss originates in the inner ear or the middle or outer ear. 
  • Speech test: This part of the assessment measures how well you can hear speech and words.
  • Distortion product otoacoustic emissions testing (DPOAE): This investigation evaluates the function of the cochlea, also known as the inner ear.
  • Auditory brainstem response testing (ABR): This assessment monitors the response of the auditory nerve to sound.
  • Tympanometry: This test, which may also be referred to as acoustic emittance testing, evaluates the function of the eardrum and the middle ear.

As well as undergoing hearing tests, you will also be asked about your symptoms and any specific problems you’ve been having related to your hearing. If you’ve been struggling to keep up in conversations at work, or you find it hard to focus and listen when there’s background noise you should share this information. You will also be asked if you have any additional symptoms, like tinnitus or problems with your balance.

What happens after a hearing test?

Hearing tests provide a huge amount of information about your hearing, and the findings will be used to determine whether or not you have hearing loss, how profound your hearing loss is and what kinds of treatments would be most beneficial for you. The results of your tests will be explained to you, and you’ll be able to ask questions or raise queries.

If you do have hearing loss and you’re thinking about using hearing aids, a hearing instrument specialist will be able to talk to you about how hearing aids work, which styles are available and what happens when you have a hearing aid fitting. You can take your time to decide what to do after you get the results of your tests. There is no rush to make a decision, and you can contact your hearing instrument specialist at any time if you do have questions or concerns. 

If you decide to have hearing aids, the next step is to make appointments to decide which device to go for and to fit your new hearing aids. 

Do I need to do anything before a hearing test?

You don’t need to do anything to prepare for a hearing test, but if you have questions, it’s a good idea to note them down so that you don’t forget to ask them when you arrive for your appointment. 

If you’d like to find out more about hearing tests, don’t hesitate to contact Palmetto Hearing Healthcare Center call at Summerville 843-571-0744 or Charleston 866-571-0744.

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