Preparing for Your First Hearing Test: What You Need to Know

Your hearing is precious – and it should be treated as such. The sooner any auditory issues are picked up, the sooner you can work with your audiologist to correct the situation. Sometimes, a problem is reversible, if it’s caught in time. Sometimes, it’s about getting the best support you need before your hearing loss affects your quality of life.

If you’ve never been for an assessment, it may seem intimidating. This is one of the reasons why it’s a good idea to go for a hearing test even when you don’t suspect any problems. Not only does it give your audiologist a baseline for comparison in the future, but it also gives you the opportunity to engage with the process in a calmer frame of mind. In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know so that you can stay prepared.

Tips for Preparing for Your Appointment

Getting ready for a comprehensive hearing test is like preparing for any appointment with a medical specialist. We recommend you refresh your memory of your medical history, particularly anything relating to the ears. Take notes or bring past medical records if you need to.

If you can, keep your environment quiet before the test. This will help your audiologist get an accurate baseline. If you work in a noisy environment or are otherwise unable to control the noise level of your environment before your appointment, it’s not a problem. Just let them know before your tests.

What to Expect: The Consultation & Testing Process

Your appointment will begin with a short consultation. This is the time to discuss your current health and medical history and bring up any specific concerns you may have. 

Next, the audiologist will check your ear canal. Something as simple as a buildup of earwax might be causing your problems. If necessary, they can remove this for you. It’s important to have clear earways for your hearing loss test and take note of any visible structural issues.

When it’s time to test your hearing, your audiologist will guide you through the process. Three tests are the foundation of any evaluation: a diagnostic audiological evaluation, a speech reception threshold test, and tympanometry. Your specialist will also check your acoustic reflex thresholds or how your inner ear muscles respond to loud noises.

Diagnostic Audiologic Evaluation

This part of the evaluation is known as the Pure-Tone Testing. You’ll get a set of headphones that will play a series of sounds. You’ll be given a button to press or asked to raise your hand every time you hear a noise. This simple test gives your audiologist a clear understanding of the pitches and tones you can hear and the softest volume audible to you. The sounds may be presented in both ears or one at a time to check each ear separately. 

If your audiologist believes there is a blockage or obstruction in your ear, they may also perform a Bone Conduction Test. They will place a small device on your forehead or behind your ear. Sometimes, it is attached to a headband for comfort. This device sends vibrations through your skull to your inner ear. Sounds can be carried directly into the ear, bypassing the outer and middle ear. Your specialist may repeat the Pure-Tone Testing in this way to determine where an auditory impairment is located.

Speech Reception Threshold

Tympanometry

Invest in Your Hearing Wellness With New York Hearing Associates

Remember that there are no “right” answers to these tests – just respond as accurately and honestly as you can. This will give your audiologist the information they need to complete a thorough assessment. If hearing loss is detected, they will guide you through your options. Thanks to modern hearing aids, your hearing health need not adversely affect your lifestyle.

At New York Hearing Associates, we’ve created a warm and welcoming environment for every patient. Whether you are following up on a concern or just getting an annual checkup, our qualified hearing specialists will take you through every step of the process. Contact us to schedule a comprehensive hearing test at one of our locations today.