Old man having hearing test performed in Echuca

What to expect during your initial hearing test

Hearing tests can be a `quick screening of your hearing’ which normally takes about 15 minutes. These are often advertised as `free’ and will give you a brief summary of your hearing suggesting your hearing is ‘normal’ or ‘requires further testing or investigation.’  Remember FREE hearing tests are often a sales pitch to get you in the door and generally do not give you any answers to your hearing issues.

To fully understand what is going on with your hearing takes a full 60 minute consultation. This should include a full comprehensive history investigating where and when you have difficulty hearing, whether you have noises in your ears (tinnitus), when your hearing loss was first noticed and how your hearing impacts your day to day life.  Included in the history should be questions about your family history, medical history, noise exposure, ear infections, previous ear surgery and previous hearing tests.

Your audiologist should then look in your ears to assess the health of your outer ear. Sometimes there may be wax impaction. To completely assess your outer ear and ear drum (tympanic membrane) wax may need to be removed to see all aspects of your ear. This can be arranged at Echuca Moama Hearing by your qualified audiologist Tina. 

If all is clear, a middle ear test (tympanometry), will be performed. This is a painless test that checks the movement of your middle ear.  This test can assess whether you have middle ear fluid, Eustachian Tube dysfunction or other pathologies of the middle ear, some of which can be treated medically.

We then move on to the first hearing test where you will sit in a sound proof booth with headphones on.  Sometimes this is referred to as a beep test. This test tells your audiologist what the softest sounds you can hear in a quiet environment are and gives a gauge on how you may perform in different environments.

Finally you will have a speech discrimination test. This gives an indication of how clearly you hear speech at different volumes and in different situations.  This is a vital part of your hearing test as it can help determine whether a hearing aid may be of benefit to you.  There are different types of speech tests that can be performed.  You will normally have a speech test in quiet first however knowing how you perform in background noise is very important as this is often the first indication people have that something is not quite right.

The most important aspect of your hearing test is the explanation you receive at the end of the testing.  Be aware of sales tactics recommending expensive hearing aids before a full history or comprehensive hearing test has been taken.  It is vital that your audiologist understands your lifestyle and your hearing needs as well as your budget.  Sometimes hearing aids are not the answer. You may require further medical investigation by your GP or Ear Nose and Throat Specialist.  Some ear conditions can be corrected medically.  All hearing aid fittings should be on a trial basis where you can give them back within a certain time period if they are not doing the job you want. At Echuca Moama Hearing a 6 week trial period is offered with full refund of your device price if you are not satisfied.

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