Your hearing hasn’t seemed as sharp as usual. So you’ve booked yourself in for a hearing test.

But now you’re having second thoughts? Pre-test jitters? Relax. Take a deep breath and let me reassure you that you’ve made the right move.

Your first hearing test will give us a baseline to start from and make it easy to track any future changes. If you do have a hearing loss, we’ll be able to tell you if it’s mild or severe, what type you have, and the best treatment options.

In this article, I’ll walk you through what will happen at your hearing test, so you don’t have to worry.

Getting to know you

Before we can get started, we’ll ask about your hearing health, your medical history, and your current concerns. Hearing loss can be genetic, so we’ll ask if any other family members have a hearing loss.  Simple medical conditions can also contribute to it, such as impacted earwax, allergies, and colds, as well as more serious factors, such as head trauma, which could damage the delicate inner workings of the ear.

We’ll discuss your lifestyle and the hearing problems you’re experiencing. Are you struggling in social situations? Are work meetings difficult to follow? Have you found it difficult to enjoy your favorite hobby?

Once we complete your medical history and understand what makes you YOU, then we can move on to the hearing test.

The hearing test

The test will take place in a sound-treated room to ensure that no other outside noises can interfere with your test. The test is painless – you’ll just be asked to wear some headphones, which are connected to an audiometer. This machine registers the different pitches or frequencies that you can hear.

There are two components to the test – pure tone audiometry and speech audiometry.

For the pure tone audiometry part, you’ll listen to a series of different pitches and volumes. Every time you hear a sound, you’ll click a button. This will determine the softest level of sound that you can hear at each frequency.

Speech audiometry focuses on how well you can understand speech rather than tones. We’ll read to you a list of words in each ear at different volumes. You’ll be asked to repeat them. From this, we’ll determine your speech reception threshold (SRT) or the lowest volume at which you can hear and recognize speech.

Your word recognition ability will also be tested. We’ll say a series of words, and you’ll be asked to repeat them. This test measures your ability to understand speech at a comfortable listening level.

Occasionally, a third test might be done. Known as tympanometry, this tests your acoustic reflexes. We’ll place a soft plug onto your ear. It will create pressure changes and generate sounds. We’ll find out how well your eardrum is moving. It also tests the reflexive responses of the middle ear muscles.

Time for the results

Afterward, we’ll sit down and discuss your results – so there’s no anxious waiting. I’ll show you a graph, called an audiogram, which charts the softest sounds you’re able to hear at different pitches or frequencies. You’ll see two lines – one for each ear. From this, we can determine your degree of hearing loss – and if you even have one at all.

We will thoroughly explain your results. If hearing aids are a suitable option, we’ll recommend the best hearing device for you. While it is inevitably up to you whether you decide to purchase hearing aids, we’ll also discuss the consequences of not following through on your hearing requirements. Nevertheless, you can be certain you’ll be provided with everything you need to make your ultimate decision.

With 14 locations with the Lexington and Boston vicinity, our team is committed to doing whatever it takes to help restore your hearing.