A hearing test is actually a series of tests that evaluate different parts of your ear and hearing. Baker Audiology and Hearing Aids offers hearing tests as part of our services, delivered by our qualified and experienced hearing professionals. If you have never had a hearing test before, it can be helpful to know about what's going to happen before you attend your appointment. There's nothing to be scared of and all of the tests are non-invasive and painless. The aim of the session is to check the health of your ears and see if you have any hearing loss, before starting to consider which solutions might be best for you.

Your medical history, lifestyle and concerns

It helps your audiologist if they have a good understanding of your medical history, how much you are exposed to loud noise, your lifestyle and any concerns you might have. If you have made a hearing test for a particular reason, you can mention it to your audiologist. For example, you or someone you know might have some concerns about your hearing in certain situations. Some people like to bring a friend or family member, who can help them to explain any problems, ask questions and take notes. Your audiologist will want to know about any health conditions, as well as any medications that you're currently taking.

Before your appointment, it will help if you gather any necessary information together. You might want to make some notes, including any questions that you might want to ask and find any relevant paperwork.

Hearing tests

You will have a number of tests during your appointment. Each of them is designed to evaluate a different part of your ear and how it functions. They cause no discomfort and can be completed quickly.

  • Physical examination: Before doing any tests involving sounds, your hearing health professional will first take a good look at your ears. They will look into your ear canal using an instrument called an otoscope. You have likely seen one of these before; it allows your audiologist to use a light to take a good look at the inside of your ear. They will check for problems like a buildup of wax or any damage to your ear canal or eardrum. This can help them to spot any visually obvious problems or underlying conditions which could be causing problems with your hearing and might need treatment.
  • Pressure test: When you have a hearing test, the hearing health professional might carry out tympanometry. This test is designed to check for fluid in the middle ear and the functioning of your eardrum. It involves changing the pressure inside your ear to see how it reacts. To do the test, a probe with a flexible rubber tip is placed in your ear. The pressure changes might feel a little strange, but they shouldn't hurt.
  • Pure-tone test: Pure-tone testing is used to see the lowest volumes you can hear different frequencies of sound. Tones will be played into your ears at different pitches and volumes and you will be asked to press a button each time you hear the sound. The results will be charted on a graph that you will review later.
  • Bone conduction test: During a bone conduction test, a small probe is placed behind your ear. It vibrates to test how well sound conducted through the bone is detected by your ear. As with the tone test, you will be asked to press a button (or sometimes raise your hand) when you hear a tone. One of the things this test does is help to pinpoint where any hearing loss might be occurring.
  • Speech test: Being able to understand speech is one of the most important things for people who have hearing loss. It can be difficult to understand people speaking, especially in environments with lots of background noise, even when using hearing aids. A speech recognition test helps to determine how well you can recognize spoken words to pick up on hearing loss and make it easier to find the right solutions.

The results of your tests

After your tests, you will sit down with your audiologist and discuss the results. They will explain to you what they mean, whether you have any hearing loss and what the next steps might be. They might suggest hearing aids or other solutions for hearing loss or to help protect your hearing.

Call Baker Audiology & Hearing Aids at (605) 610-3466 to make your first hearing test appointment.