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Hearing Tests for Hearing Aids

Woman with Model Ear

While hearing aids are the most widely recommended form of treatment for hearing loss, it’s not advised that you purchase one without discussing your options with an audiologist. Instead, you need to undergo the proper hearing tests to determine your type of hearing loss. An audiologist can carry these out for you and you’ll learn precisely what's wrong with you and what hearing aids will help.

If you’ve never had a hearing test, then here’s what you can expect – and how it will help decide the ideal hearing aids for you:

What is hearing testing?

Simply put; a hearing test is an extensive examination carried out by your audiologist. They take a close look at your ears and conduct numerous tests that target specific aspects of your hearing. It’s not a very rigorous test and most of your time is spent listening to different things. Typically, a full examination takes around an hour long.

What happens during a hearing test?

Generally speaking, all hearing tests begin with your audiologist asking various questions. They want to know your age, medical history, lifestyle and the problems with your hearing that you’re experiencing. These questions seem boring, but they determine which tests will be carried out.

Speaking of which, these are the tests that you will typically experience:

  • Pure-tone testing: This test is designed to help figure out how well you hear tones. You’ll wear a headset and get played different sounds at various pitch frequencies. You have to say if you can hear the tone and the aim is to figure out the quietest tone you can hear.
  • Bone conduction testing: Very similar to pure-tone testing in that you’re played tones and asked to say when you hear them. The difference is that a different type of headset is used and placed behind the ear against your mastoid bone. The aim is to help figure out the kind of hearing loss you have.
  • Speech testing: This is used after a pure-tone test to see how clearly you hear words. You’re played conversations through a headset and are asked to repeat what you hear. The more accurate you are, the better your speech reception is.
  • Tympanometry: With this test, your audiologist will be looking at the health of your middle ear and eardrum. It typically involves blowing air pressure into your ear and measuring how your eardrum responds to this.
  • Otoscopy: In some cases, you will have an otoscopy as well. Here, your audiologist inspects your outer ear and ear canal to assess the overall health. A small camera is often used to look inside the ear, but it won’t cause any pain, so don’t worry.

When all the tests are completed, your audiologist will have a complication of results that will tell them exactly where your hearing loss comes from, which helps you with the next steps.

How do hearing tests factor into choosing hearing aids?

The whole purpose of hearing testing is to find out the extent and origin of your hearing loss. In general, there are two types of hearing loss:

  • Sensorineural: The most common type and permanent in nature, this happens when you have damage to your inner ear.
  • Conductive: Slightly less common, but caused by problems with your outer or middle hear. It can be both temporary or permanent.

It is possible to have a mixture of both types of hearing loss, but most people have one or the other. By carrying out your tests, you’ll know which one you have, which plays a critical role in your treatment.

If you have the first type, then the only way to treat this is via hearing aids. Now, your audiologist can look at your results and help to discuss the kind of hearing aid that works best for your specific hearing loss. This will be based on how severe it is and what things you have particular trouble with. If your speech reception is terrible, then it makes sense to select a device with features that target that specific issue.

With the second type of hearing loss, you may only need something like earwax removal to solve the problem. If not, then there are hearing aids specific for this type of hearing loss that can help you out.

The bottom line is that you’ll only know all of this if you have a hearing test. So, if you want to find the best hearing aids for your needs, then we highly recommend contacting Hearing Health Care today. We can book you in for an evaluation where our audiologists will test your hearing and recommend the best course of action. Call one of our two locations today to book your hearing test or learn more about our services: