If you’ve failed a hearing screening or think you have hearing loss, a complete audiological diagnostic evaluation is in order. This complete screening will determine how your ears are functioning and identify if you have problems with hearing sounds or speech. Grusecki Audiology and Hearing Aid Services uses the latest technology and techniques to expertly evaluate your hearing and the health of your ears.
What to expect during a hearing test appointment
Your hearing test will begin with a review of your medical history and a review of medications and supplements that you are taking. Some medications have ototoxic properties, so it’s important for the audiologist to know what you are taking. The audiologist will then examine your ears using an otoscope. Once these preliminaries are complete, your hearing and ear function will be tested several ways.
- Pure-tone audiometry: During this test, you will be instructed to indicate when you hear a tone. The tones will be delivered one at a time to each ear. This test determines the minimum threshold of your hearing.
- Speech testing: Speech testing is used to test how well you hear speech. A speech reception threshold test quantifies the faintest speech that can be heard half the time. This test is performed with and without background noise, as one of the most common complaints about hearing is the inability to hear conversation in noisy environments.
- Tympanometry: This test is used to evaluate the function of your middle ear. A small bit of air is “puffed” in your ear to determine if you have fluid in the middle ear, a perforated eardrum or excessive wax build-up.
- Acoustic reflex: This test checks the function of a tiny muscle in the ear that reacts to sound. Like the other hearing tests, this gives an idea of how your ears are functioning.
What else do I need to know about hearing tests?
First, hearing tests are completely painless. The entire testing process shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes to an hour.
Dr. Grusecki encourages you to bring a family member or close friend with you to your appointment. Often, people close to you can provide valuable information about situations in which you have trouble hearing (for example a spouse may indicate that you listen to the television at an uncomfortable level). In addition, just the thought of hearing loss may be frightening and having a loved one with you is comforting.
If your hearing tests indicate you need hearing aids, the options will be discussed with you. Because you will receive so much information in such a short amount of time, having a friend or family member also can be reassuring.