All Ears: Do hearing tests hurt?

This might be the shortest blog ever. Why? Because the answer is no, a hearing test will not hurt.

But… since I’m guessing you asked because you want to have your hearing tested, and since I’m at my computer anyway, let me explain what a hearing test should entail and why it won’t hurt. 

What you can expect during a hearing test

(First thing I should note is that you’ll often notice hearing tests referred to as “hearing evaluations.” That’s because the actual test is only a part of a comprehensive process.)

Your hearing professional will start off by taking a case history. They will ask you questions regarding your hearing, as well as your health. This information is crucial for them to properly assess your hearing loss. This Q&A definitely won’t hurt.

Once they finish the case history, your hearing professional will look into your ears with an otoscope. This will allow them to check the health of your ear canals and eardrum. In addition, they will make sure that there is no debris that may affect the hearing test results. If you do have excessive wax or foreign debris, they may remove it from your ear or refer you to a medical professional who will. 

Removing excess wax might be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t hurt.

Getting a hearing test GIF

All steps of a hearing test are painless

Finally, it will be time to begin the hearing test. You will be seated in a sound-treated test booth or a quiet room. The professional will put a set of earphones or ear inserts into your ears. During the hearing test, a series of tones of different frequencies (also known as pitches) will be presented to each ear separately. You will respond to test signals either by a hand raise or pushing a button. This is called a Pure Tone test. 

Next, is the speech testing, where you will be asked to repeat the words you hear spoken into your earphones. Neither of these two tests will hurt. 

After the hearing test, your hearing professional may conduct further testing, such as tympanometry. During tympanometry, an insert is placed in your ear. There will be a puff of air released from the insert which will measure movement of your eardrum. This will allow the hearing professional to assess your middle ear health. This test can help determine if there is fluid behind your eardrum and or any other issues. It does not hurt.

Once all the testing is complete, the hearing professional will review the results of the tests with you. They will also discuss any next steps and provide recommendations for your hearing health. Provided they don’t squeeze your hand too hard when they shake it hello and goodbye, the entire hearing test should be pain free. 

If your hearing has changed and you want to get it tested (which you should), call 1-888-908-1845 or click here to find a hearing professional near you.


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By Starkey Hearing