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Hearing Tests for Hearing Aids

Woman with Hearing Aid

A hearing test gives you an accurate picture of your hearing health and uncovers any degree of hearing loss that you might have. Whether you’re concerned you may need a hearing aid or simply need to update yours, a hearing test ensures you have all of the information necessary to make the right choice. You need to know how much hearing loss you have and the specifics of it not just so that you can choose the most appropriate hearing aids, but also so that your audiologist can adjust the settings to suit your needs.

Why should you get a hearing test?

Hearing tests aren't just for older people. Although it's more common to lose some of your hearing when you get older, anyone can experience hearing loss. If you do experience hearing loss, it can affect the part of your brain that processes auditory input if you leave it too long. Having regular tests and picking up on hearing loss as soon as possible will mean that you can get hearing aids as soon as you need them, and make sure that you benefit from them straight away. Hearing aids can't usually slow or stop hearing loss, but they can make sure that you have the best quality of life.

Physical examination and ear function

As part of a hearing test, an audiologist can take a look at the physical appearance of your ears and the functioning of your middle and inner ear. They can look inside your ear to check for any damage or abnormalities and the health of your ear canal and eardrum. They can also take a look at how the light reflects off your eardrum to see if it's healthy. Your audiologist might also perform tests to see how your eardrum responds to pressure and how the stapedius muscle responds to sound to protect your ears.

Testing sound recognition

Pure-tone testing is a type of test that tests the sounds that you can hear. It involves playing sounds into your ear, and you will be asked to indicate if you can hear them. The sounds are played at different volumes and pitches and the results of the softest sounds that you can hear at different frequencies are plotted on a graph called an audiogram. The sounds are usually played into your ear using headphones, and the pure tones will be played one by one to see what you can hear.

Speech comprehension testing

Another important thing that your audiologist can test is how well you can understand speech. They can test how well you can hear speech in a quiet environment, as well as how well you can hear it when there is more background noise. You will be asked to repeat words and phrases so that the audiologist can tell if you have understood what is being played to you. Speech testing uses either a speaker or headphones to play you recordings of speech to help identify which sounds you might be missing out on.

Hearing test results

After your hearing test, your audiologist will take a look at the results with you. They can explain what the results mean and tell you if you have any hearing loss. If they do, they will say whether they think that hearing aids might be useful for you. They can also make other recommendations on how to address your hearing loss, such as lifestyle changes that might be useful for you. You can ask for a copy of your results to take home with you and keep for your records.

How hearing tests help you choose hearing aids

Having a hearing test is important if you need to get new hearing aids. The results of your hearing test are like a prescription for glasses and provide the necessary information to help you choose the right hearing aids. When you have your results, your audiologist can recommend which styles of hearing aid might be best and which features would be useful for you. When you choose a pair of hearing aids, your audiologist will also be able to use the results of your hearing test to adjust the hearings aids to fit you. They can demonstrate some different hearing aids for you to help you find the right make and model to suit your lifestyle.

Find out more about hearing aids and hearing tests from The Center for Audiology. Call one of our two offices to make an appointment or learn more!