What Exactly is a Hearing Test?

A hearing test is not to be confused with a hearing screening. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a hearing screening is a preliminary process that weeds out those patients who have signs of possible hearing problems, specifically those who may need further evaluation by a qualified audiologist.

A hearing test evaluates a person’s ability to hear by measuring how well sound reaches his brain. A hearing test can determine the nature and degree of hearing loss, if any, as well as the most effective treatment option.

Who Should Have a Hearing Test?

Anyone who has noticed some hearing loss in one or both ears should get their hearing tested. A hearing test is also performed on:

Types of Hearing Tests

An audiologist conducts several types of hearing tests to evaluate a patient’s hearing ability. Some hearing tests require the patient to respond to a series of tones or words, but other hearing tests do not. Hearing tests normally do not cause any pain. You should let the audiologist know if you feel any discomfort.

A hearing test may involve:

The audiologist will then review each test result to evaluate the patient’s hearing abilities and needs and to see if more testing is necessary.

Considering a Hearing Test?

If you have noticed a difference in your ability to hear and think a hearing test is warranted, talk to your doctor. You should tell your doctor if you have been exposed to loud noise over a long period of time, if you have or are taking antibiotics known to damage hearing, or have recently had a cold or ear infection. Be honest with your doctor; relay all of your concerns and questions about hearing tests and any potential risks involved.

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