If you’re considering taking a hearing test from your audiologist, it’s only natural that you might have some questions. There are plenty that they’re used to hearing, too. Here are just some of the most common, and the answers that you might be seeking.

When should I have a hearing test?

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss, including muffled noises, difficulty understanding speech, struggling to hear in noisy environments, you should arrange one for a professional hearing test soon as you can. Otherwise, it’s recommended that you have a hearing test as part of your annual physical after you’re 65, and at least once before then.

What are the different kinds of hearing loss, and what do they mean?

Simply put, the different types are different levels or severities of hearing loss. In order of ascending severity, they are mild, moderate, severe, and profound. Mild hearing loss is usually only noticed in specific situations and may not require you to wear a hearing aid outside of certain environments. On the other end of the scale, profound hearing loss cannot be managed without powerful hearing instruments.

How can I prepare?

It’s good to ensure you have all your medical records and history on hand, as well as jotting down any symptoms you have felt recently and what medication you are taking. You should also take note of the kind of environment you work, live and spend time in, especially if they expose you to loud noises. You may also want to consider bringing someone with you if you have difficulty communicating or if the hearing test is in any way making you nervous.

What’s involved in a hearing test?

To begin with, you will be asked questions about your general health, hearing health, and lifestyle. Following that, the audiologist will perform a visual exam of the outer ear using a device called an otoscope. After that, you will undergo tests that involve listening to tones or speech at different pitches, volumes, and levels of background noise. How you respond to these tests will help the audiologist determine a comprehensive summary of your hearing health.

How long does the hearing test take?

In most cases, it takes around up to an hour. However, you will want to set aside more time than this. At the audiologist’s discretion and your permission, they may recommend additional tests such as those that test the reflexes of your eardrum, if they have reason to suspect there might be an issue.

What comes next if I have hearing loss?

If you are diagnosed with hearing loss, then your audiologist is the best person to help you deal with it. They may arrange a follow-up appointment to help you choose from hearing aid devices that can help you correct your hearing and ensure the highest quality of life.

If you have any questions that aren’t answered above, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your audiologist. They will ensure your hearing health is protected, and that includes helping you feel informed and comfortable with their treatment.