What Happens During A Hearing Test?

by | Jun 14, 2021 | Hearing Loss

Taking action is the first step to better hearing

We’re always thrilled when a person makes the decision to take control of their hearing health. In a way, that’s the first, most important step — deciding that it’s time to do something about the way that you’ve been feeling, the way that your friends, family, or colleagues have noticed is different.

Taking action is crucial, and it’s worthy of celebration. But…then what? Well, that’s where we step in. At Colorado Ear Care, our testing and diagnostics are what set us apart from other hearing care organizations. Our focus is on you: Understanding your experience, asking the questions that hone in on how you feel, how others have noticed your perception of sound changing, as well as where you’d like to see your hearing ultimately be. 

Our commitment to thorough testing, and to you!

Then, once we’ve had the opportunity to speak with you, understand you better, and answer any preliminary questions you may have, we’ll begin the testing process in order to have a clear understanding of what’s happening with you medically. 

Again, this is where we aim to stand apart from the others. We test everyone in our care as thoroughly, comprehensively, and as comfortably as we can, so that when it’s time for us to make treatment recommendations, those recommendations are based on the most relevant data possible: your numerous test results, your lifestyle considerations, and even your budgetary guidelines, should you need treatment that requires an investment, such as hearing technology. 

So, what does the hearing testing process look like? Allow us to break it down for you.

The Colorado Ear Care hearing testing process

It’s not always clear to know what to expect when it comes to getting your hearing tested. These “mysteries” are the sorts of things that can prevent a person from seeking and receiving care. That’s why we try to make the whole process as clear as possible. The better you understand it, the more questions you might have. The more opportunities we might have to answer your questions, the more confident you will ultimately be in making decisions about your care. It’s what you deserve, so it’s what we provide. Every time. 

Your initial hearing consultation: A simple three-step process

When you meet with one of Colorado Ear Care’s audiologists, your initial consultation will include three specific steps: discussing your case history, comprehensive testing, and, lastly, treatment recommendations. 

How long will my hearing test appointment last?

Typically, the hearing test process takes about an hour, though sometimes it’s a little longer. Our goal is to be as thorough as possible in understanding you and your hearing. We’ll never cut corners or go through the motions to make an appointment go more quickly. This appointment is for you — we’re here to help you understand your hearing situation so that you can understand your condition, your options, and how to take advantage of them. 

What does the Case History portion of the appointment look like?

This is a crucial part of your hearing test appointment. You’ll be asked a series of questions about your hearing health, your perception of your hearing, as well as other factors that will give us a better sense of your experience.

These questions will include:

  • How long have you struggled with hearing loss?
  • Which situations are most difficult for you?
  • Do you have a history of noise exposure?
  • Do you have ringing in your ears?
  • Do your ears hurt or feel full?
  • Do you also struggle with dizziness?

We’ll cover a series of additional questions, as well, to give us a better understanding of your hearing. In many cases, if we can, we also like to hear from a loved one, so that we can get multiple perspectives about your hearing. These discussions are very informative for all involved, including the patient, because it requires them to articulate things that aren’t often expressed out loud. 

What does the Testing phase of the appointment look like?

The testing phase of the appointment is also broken down into three distinct parts: Looking for a “mechanical problem;” measuring the sensitivity of your hearing; and testing to determine how well you are hearing and understanding speech sounds. 

Checking for a mechanical problem

The possibility does exist that you don’t have a hearing problem, or that you have a hearing problem that can be treated more simply. Our providers will carefully examine your ears to make certain the hearing loss you’re perceiving isn’t being caused by earwax, buildup, or other debris. In the instance that we do find blockage, we can carefully remove the obstruction to see if that alleviates your problem. After removal, we use what is called a tympanometer. A tympanometer painlessly measures your eardrum and middle ear bones to confirm that they’re working as they should. 

Hearing sensitivity measurement

This is probably the most widely understood part of the hearing evaluation process. During this phase, you’ll be seated inside of a soundproof booth to ensure that your hearing will be focused only on the information that we’re testing for. While you wear a pair of professional-grade headphones, your provider will play a series of tones at different levels of volume. This test illustrates your ability to hear (or not hear) specific frequencies at specific volumes, and begins to create a clearer picture of your hearing condition. 

Understanding speech sounds

In this phase, we’re testing you to see what specific speech sounds you might be having trouble hearing, and at what volumes you need the most help, especially in noisy environments, which we also replicate and assess. This is crucial information in our being able to make recommendations for treatment, such as hearing aids, as it tells us what types of devices and what power of devices might be most appropriate for you. 

What does the Treatment Recommendation phase of testing look like?

After we’ve gone through the Case History and Testing phases, and we’ve been able to assess your hearing abilities, we’ll sit down with you to explain your results, make recommendations, and discuss next steps. 

In some instances, a simple removal of earwax or debris can alleviate your perception of hearing loss. 

In others, the hearing loss that we’re detecting may require medical treatment, such as surgery. In those cases, we’ll refer you back to your primary care doctor for next steps, or we will refer you to an Otolaryngologist who can assess and treat your needs. 

If we find that you have a treatable hearing loss that cannot be treated through medical intervention, we will cover hearing aid recommendations with you. 

If the hearing loss is not medically treatable, we will discuss hearing aid options with you including the best devices for your specific type of hearing loss, hearing aid size, price considerations, and potential insurance coverage. 

We always want people to feel comfortable wearing their technology should they choose to move forward with wearing hearing aids, so in most cases we set up week-long hearing aid demos, designed to give you the experience of wearing this technology in the real-world in environments where you’ll enjoy it the most. 

Ready to finally take control of your hearing health? You deserve the best treatment, service, and care in Colorado! Contact Colorado Ear Care today for your hearing test!

Talk with one of our friendly hearing and balance professionals today.