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What To Expect At A Hearing Evaluation

Ear examining with an otoscope, isolated background

A hearing test is an essential part of your health, especially if you suspect you’re suffering from hearing loss. Though the thought of the process may bring some anxiety, especially if you do not know what to expect, the process is completely painless and consists of five simple parts.

Here’s what to expect at a hearing evaluation.

First of all, be prepared to answer several intake questions. The questions may appear rudimentary but are an essential part of evaluating your hearing. A typical question asked could be,  “What ear do you use when listening on the phone?”

But that question helps the Audiologist decipher your dominant ear. Further questions may probe into your medical histories such as your family history of hearing loss, past noise exposure, and questions regarding your medications.

Try to answer the questions as honestly as possible to help your provider gain a clear understanding of how your hearing works.

Next, you’ll have an Otoscopy exam that checks your ears and eardrum looking inside of them to check for blockages, scarring, infections, excessive earwax, or anything else that could hinder your hearing.

Next, you’ll receive a Tympanometry test that exams the flexibility of your eardrum- a probe will be placed in your ears, creating a tight feeling around the canal with the probe. A graph will then measure the pressure changes; a single peak in pressure means that your eardrum is in good condition, an eardrum with no peaks means that it is possibly infected or there is fluid behind the eardrum.

The next step in the evaluation will consist of an air conduction test which will examine your hearing in two parts- for one you will listen with headphones to a series of beeps at different levels and press a button when you hear the tones.

The second portion will include a headband attached to your head with a plastic piece that will examine the sound directly into your hearing nerve (don’t worry; it’s painless!).

Following this, you will complete a couple of speech tests in a sound booth where you will wear headphones and repeat words that you hear.

The evaluator will test the softest level of your hearing and then in the second part your ability to understand speech will be assessed.  Following the evaluation, our professionals will review all of the test results with you so that you fully understand everything pertaining to your results, and we will discuss the next steps together as to how we can improve your communication ability with others.

Be sure to visit Lifetime Hearing Services for all your hearing needs.