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4 FAQs About Hearing Tests

Man Getting Ear Exam

Hearing loss is a condition that affects more than 25 million Americans. Many people, therefore, have questions about hearing tests – procedures carried out by hearing professionals to determine the causes of hearing loss and offer treatment.

How long does a hearing test last?

The length of a hearing test depends on a number of factors, including the hearing practitioner, the thoroughness of the examination and whether it’s your first visit or you’re just going for a checkup. Usually, tests are shorter when the causes of hearing loss are well understood already. Tests, however, can last as long as an hour, especially when hearing specialists do not know ahead of time the reasons for hearing loss.

What happens during the hearing test?

During the hearing test, the hearing health professional will perform a range of tasks.

  • Conducting tests: Hearing professionals need to be able to diagnose your particular type of hearing loss (if any). To do so, they will perform a range of tests. Some tests involve peering into the ear with special cameras or equipment and checking the area around the ear for injury. Other tests require that you put on headphones, listen to sounds and provide feedback to the hearing professional conducting the analysis. All tests are painless.
  • Asking questions: Hearing professionals want to know as much about your medical history as possible, as this might be linked to your hearing loss. During a comprehensive hearing test, you’ll be asked to provide information about past hearing loss episodes, as well as any medication you may be taking, as some medicines can impact upon your ability to hear.

What happens if you have hearing loss?

It’s common to worry that hearing loss issues will be found during a hearing health test, but identifying them early is always the best strategy. Hearing loss, when discovered quickly, can be addressed and managed, helping to avoid further deterioration and social isolation.

If the health professional conducting the hearing test finds evidence of hearing loss, then they may offer a range of solutions, including wearing hearing aids. If you do require hearing aids, you’ll be guided through the various types of devices on offer and receive help calibration settings for maximum usefulness.

You may also be referred for treatment elsewhere if the hearing professional discovers that your hearing loss is the result of infection, wax buildup or injury.

How often should I get a hearing test?

How often you get a hearing test depends on a variety of factors. In general, the older you are, the more often you should have your hearing checked. Hearing loss can start slow and then accelerate as a person ages. Most professionals recommend annual hearing tests to track changes in your hearing over time and give peace of mind.