Should I Get A Hearing Test?
Have you ever walked into a shopping centre and seen the sign for a free 10-minute hearing test? Or have you been on the internet and seen an ad for a free online hearing test and wondered if it is worth your time?
While many people think that the solution after every hearing test is to get hearing aids, it’s not always the case. A hearing test is a great way to see how your hearing is doing; whether it’s declining or is normal.
So, Should You Get A Hearing Test?
Yes and no. It’s worth your time to get a hearing test, but you need to get it done properly. There is a lot more to hearing tests than you may realise, which is why a free 10-minute one in the mall won’t suffice.
A proper hearing test will usually last around 30 minutes. Why does it take so long? At Attune, we’re thorough when it comes to hearing tests as we want you to feel you’ve completely understood what goes on during the test and your results.
Like every other appointment you would’ve been to, your hearing test will begin with a chat to give the Audiologist an idea of your medical history. Your Audiologist will ask if hearing loss is common in your family, whether you’ve had any diseases/infections and any other questions that may be relevant.
There Are Three Parts To Every Hearing Test
The First Part:
Your Audiologist will then look into your ears. If your ear is blocked up with wax, the hearing test can’t take place. It’s not worth your time getting a hearing test done when your ear is full of wax, so we recommend going to the doctor to get them to clear the wax out.
However, if your ear is not blocked up, we can move on to the first step of the hearing test, a Tympanometry. Depending on your Audiologist, this part may be done first or last.
The test involves air pressure in your ear canal to change as you hear low-pitched tones, a similar feeling to when you’re in a plane during takeoff. While the pressure in your ear is changing, the Audiologist will measure the movement of your eardrum. If your eardrum is not moving, it can stop sound from passing through the ear, which may be the reason you have hearing loss.
The results of your test are shown on a Tympanogram. If it shows a mountain shape around 0 daPA, your hearing is within normal limits. However, if it peaks before or after the 0 daPA mark, it shows your eardrum hasn’t moved.
The Second Part:
The second part of the appointment, the hearing test! Most of the time, the hearing test is the longest part of the appointment.
During the hearing test, all you’ll have to do is respond (usually with a buzzer) when you hear a beep. The beeps will get really soft, but you will still need to push the buzzer if you can still hear them.
We use headphones and a bone conductor to play the sound to you. A bone conductor sends sounds through to your skull while the headphones will send them through to your ears.
Both of these devices will tell us whether your hearing loss is permanent or temporary.
The Third Part:
The third and final part of the hearing test is a speech test. You will hear a list of words and all you have to do is repeat them. We will usually play six lists of 10 short words.
You are scored based on the sounds you get right, not the actual words, so all you have to do is say what you hear.
The Test Is Complete: Do I Need Hearing Aids?
If your hearing is normal, you are good to go. However, don’t think that the hearing test was a waste of time as it’s always good to have a baseline to compare future hearing tests with.
However, if there is something of concern, your Audiologist will explain the results of your hearing test to you. If you have temporary hearing loss, we may recommend you speak to an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist. The specialist will check to see if there is anything they can do to improve your hearing.
If you have permanent hearing loss, your Audiologist may recommend hearing aids. However, keep in mind that there are other options available if you are not ready for hearing aids.
No matter if you think you are suffering from hearing loss or not, it’s always a good idea to get your hearing checked. If there is nothing wrong with your hearing, it’s good to have results to compare to later on when you do develop a hearing loss.
If you find that after the hearing test that you do have a hearing loss, the Audiologists at Attune can recommend a range of solutions to help you. Whether you’re looking at getting hearing aids or a cochlear implant, we are here to help you make the decision.