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Hearing Tests

What To Expect At a Hearing Test

Have you been struggling to understand your loved ones? Having difficulty hearing conversations in restaurants or noisy places? Or are you suffering from the ringing in the ears that often accompanies hearing damage? Improving your hearing will not only help you to communicate but will also improve your overall well-being–and the first step is a comprehensive hearing test. Our tests are fast, free, and painless. They go through a series of stages as outlined below:

1. Initial Consultation with Hearing Instrument Specialist

Conducting a thorough case history is the initial step, and you will be asked about your family and personal medical history. This will help us to determine the causes of any hearing loss and the part of the ear that is likely to be damaged. In order to further build a picture of your overall hearing health and current issues, we will ask you about situations where you have struggled with your hearing.

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2. Otoscopic Exam

Your initial consultation will be followed by an otoscopic exam, a non-invasive procedure in which we use a device with a beam of light to see into your ear canal and eardrum.

This procedure allows us to determine if there is an earwax blockage, or rupture or swelling of the eardrum, that could be contributing to your hearing issues. We will also gently pull your ear in a few directions to locate any potential problems.

The otoscopic exam will reveal if there are any physical problems that might be source of earache, ear infections or hearing loss.

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3. The Hearing Test

The next step is to test your ability to hear speech, tones, and frequencies at different volumes. There are two tests which will help us to determine the exact nature of your hearing loss.

Pure-tone Audiogram

The first test, a pure-tone assessment is the most common type of hearing test and takes about 20 minutes. The aim is to establish the quietest sounds you are able to hear at different frequencies or pitches.

In a soundproof booth with headphones, you will listen to a series of tones at high, middle and low frequencies. You then give a signal when you are able to hear the tone. The specialist will lower the volume of the tones until you are unable to hear them.  Finally, the results of your hearing ability at different frequencies will be plotted onto a graph called an audiogram.

Speech Recognition Test

The next test is a speech recognition test. This is a simple test in which you will listen to excerpts of speech and be asked to repeat them. Excerpts of speech will be delivered at descending volumes until you are unable to identify the sentences. This is called your speech recognition threshold (SRT).

4. Review Audiogram Results

Next, you will look over the results of your audiogram with your hearing instrument specialist. The audiogram will give you a picture of how each ear is performing on each frequency level by showing you the frequency sounds, which are measured in hertz (Hz), and the volume at which you can hear them, in decibels (dB). Results from the speech recognition test will be recorded as a percentage. This information will be used to determine the most suitable help for your individual hearing needs.

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5. Discuss Treatment Options

When your hearing tests are complete and we have gone over the results, the final step is to begin considering different hearing aid options available to you. We’ll inquire about your lifestyle and help you choose the best device to suit your needs.

Ready to hear what you've been missing?

Schedule an appointment today!

If you or a loved one feel you may have a hearing loss, we invite you to schedule a free hearing test at Hearing Centers of Arizona. Testing is painless and will provide you the answers you need immediately.

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