If you know what to expect from your hearing test, you can feel much more comfortable about going to your appointment. Hearing tests are an important part of maintaining your health, especially for older adults who are more likely to experience hearing loss. An annual hearing test can help to pick up on not just potential hearing problems but other related issues too. While every hearing test provider might provide a slightly different experience, most hearing tests will follow the same pattern. Here's what you can expect from your hearing test with an audiologist.

Before your test

Before you have your test, you will often need to go through an intake process, as well as have a discussion with your audiologist. You will be asked to fill out some forms to give some information on your medical history, insurance details, any medications you take and any symptoms or concerns you might have related to your ears or hearing. You will have a short talk with your audiologist about the information you have given, and they can tell you a bit about the tests that they will perform. It's a good time to ask any questions you might still have about your hearing test.

Visual inspection

Your audiologist will carry out a physical inspection of your ears before they do any hearing tests. They will use an instrument called an otoscope to take a look at the insides of your ears and see if there are any abnormalities or medical problems. They will also check to see if you have a buildup of earwax, which can be a simple and easily treatable cause for hearing problems.

Hearing tests

Your hearing test itself will actually feature a few different tests. Each test is designed to measure the functioning of a part of your ear or your general hearing ability. The tests might check how well your eardrum and middle ear are functioning, how well the muscle in your ear protects it from loud sounds, how well you can hear tones at different pitches and volumes, and how well you can understand speech.

None of the tests that are carried out are invasive or painful. You might be asked to wear headphones for some of them, while others will use instruments that emit vibrations or blow air into your ear. If you have a speech test, you might be asked to repeat words and phrases that you hear.

Discussing the results

After having your hearing tests, it's time to discuss the results. You can expect to be able to look at your results right away. There's no need to go away and come back on another day. You will discuss what your results say with the audiologist and whether there is any indication that you could benefit from hearing aids or that there are any other issues that need to be addressed. If you do require hearing aids, you can discuss how they might be able to help you by improving your hearing and lifestyle.