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Commonly Asked Questions About Hearing Tests

hearing specialist diagnosing hearing loss in patient

Getting your hearing tested sometimes awakens an inner fear that is always reserved for other checkups as well, such as going to the dentist or an annual checkup at the doctor. But most fears accompanied by having your hearing tested are entirely unrealistic, and it is actually a very straightforward and painless experience. That said, here are some commonly asked questions about hearing tests and some answers that may shed light on common misperceptions.

Can You Do Anything to Prepare for a Hearing Test?

There isn’t much you can do for the actual test, seeing as your hearing instrument specialist (HIS) will do most of the work for you. But, before the test is conducted, your hearing instrument specialist may want to consult with you and gather more information that assists in their test process and final advice. You can also write down some other helpful information, such as your family history and your own medical history. But, except for that, the only thing left to do is stay calm and allow your hearing specialist to go through the entire process while checking your hearing.

Does Having Your Hearing Tested Hurt?

This is probably the reason why many people are afraid of having their hearing tested. Just as with other checkups, some are a bit more painful while others don’t hurt at all. Fortunately, having your hearing checked falls in the same category as the latter. Having your hearing tested doesn’t hurt one bit, seeing as your hearing instrument specialist will use non-invasive methods to check your hearing levels. 

The instrument your specialist will use is called an otoscope and will also conduct a tympanometry test which will test how well your inner ear is working as well. Lastly, you’ll wear headphones to listen to a few tones ranging from different pitches to identify how well your hearing is. 

Is Hearing Loss Permanent?

In order to determine the degree of your hearing loss, it is categorized into three types of hearing loss: conductive, mixed and sensorineural. Conductive hearing loss happens when there is a blockage or maybe even an infection preventing you from hearing properly. This happens because sounds cannot travel properly to your inner ear, where the sounds should be received and are not of a permanent nature. 

Sensorineural hearing loss indicates nerve damage and is permanent in most cases, while mixed is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Your HIS will be testing your hearing and, should there be a loss of some kind, will determine the degree of hearing loss as well as the cause and categorize your situation accordingly.

How Long Does a Hearing Test Take to Complete?

Many people wonder how long a hearing test will take – when your life is a never-ending rollercoaster of appointments, meetings, work and places to get to, then fitting in a hearing test may feel impossible. However, using your busy schedule as an excuse not to get your hearing tested may not be the wisest thing to do as well, especially if your hearing is holding you back from living a normal life. A hearing test typically doesn’t take long to conclude, taking about an hour at most. Afterward, you’ll give a quick sit-down with your specialist to discuss the results. It would be better to stick around for the results rather than having to make an appointment again to come back later.

What Exactly Will the Results Entail?

When having the sit-down with your specialist after the test has been completed, they’ll show you an audiogram. The audiogram will be a graph that indicates the softest sounds you can hear at the different frequencies and pitches that were given to you. Your hearing instrument specialist will explain the entire chart to you and discuss whether you have hearing loss or not. 

You may also receive a percentage that will indicate your level of speech recognition, which will also give you a clearer indication of the degree of your hearing loss, if there are any. Next, you’re HIS will discuss your options with you and whether you may need a hearing aid moving forward. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have regarding the results, your hearing loss or any other areas that may be of concern – your HIS will be more than happy to answer all of them and set your mind at ease.

Don’t hesitate to contact Stanwood Hearing by calling us at 360-502-4644 today to find out more about hearing tests, scheduling an appointment as well as all additional services!