What Is a Hearing Test?

A hearing test is a non-invasive, relatively fast procedure during which a hearing care specialist determines the general state of your hearing. This process is the easiest way to determine if you have any hearing problem or hearing loss that you need to address. Not only can it assess whether or not you’re experiencing hearing loss, but it also precisely determines the severity of it.

What Happens at a Hearing Test?

First off, you may be asked some questions about yourself, your medical background, and your lifestyle. There are several common causes of hearing loss, and knowing your history can help a specialist pinpoint why you might be experiencing hearing problems. Past trauma to the head and prolonged exposure to loud noises are two of the most common sources of hearing problems.

After your hearing professional has gotten all of the necessary background information from you, the test can begin. These tests are typically administered in a quiet environment that is free of any background noise that might skew the results of your screening. You will also have to wear headphones or earplugs that are connected to a hearing measuring device called an audiometer.

One significant segment of the test is called pure tone audiometry, and it’s designed to gauge the softest volume at which you can hear different frequencies. It requires a great deal of concentration, as the sound at specific frequencies may be faint and almost undetectable, depending on your hearing.

The other standard part of a hearing screening is speech audiometry. This determines the volume at which you can understand speech and distinguish what someone is saying. It can use either recorded speech or live speech, depending on the testing facility.