Raise your hand if you’re a fan of the word test. Going once... Going twice... Yeah, neither are we.
Test. You almost feel sorry for the word itself. Just four letters but enough to shorten our breaths as our minds race to press that internal “postpone” button as fast as we can. Especially when it comes to medical tests — famous for the poking, prodding, and unfortunately for some of us, pain.
Unless you’re talking about the hearing test — the one test that allows that dreaded word to redeem itself once and for all.
Hearing tests are simple and pain-free — so much so, that they are often called hearing evaluations. (Joking aside, it’s because the actual hearing test is just one part of a comprehensive process.)
To quote a friend who recently had their first hearing test:
“It was so easy, I honestly don’t know what all the worry was about . . . and no, it didn’t hurt.”
Read on to learn what you can expect during a typical hearing “test” from a licensed hearing care professional:
Your painless hearing evaluation
- Health and hearing chat
To begin, your hearing care professional will conduct a case history. They will ask you questions about your hearing and overall health to help accurately assess your hearing loss. (Ouch-less? Check.)
- Ear meet-and-greet
Your professional will look inside your ears using an otoscope. While checking the health of your ear canals and eardrums, they will ensure there is no debris that may affect your hearing test results. If your ear(s) have excess earwax or other debris, they may remove it or refer you to a physician who will. (Heads up — removing earwax may be uncomfortable but shouldn’t hurt.)
- Pain-free hearing test (aka “Moment of Truth”)
You will be seated in a sound-treated test booth or quiet room. Here, your professional will either place earphones on your ears or inserts into your ears.
They will first examine how well you hear tones. Your professional will play a series of them at different frequencies (or “pitches”) in each ear, separately. Your job is to simply respond to the tones you hear by raising your hand or pushing a button.
Next, your professional will look at your ability to hear speech. They will ask you to repeat words spoken into your earphones or ear inserts.
- Further pain-free testing (if needed)
Depending on how things go, your professional may need to conduct further testing, like tympanometry. This examines your middle ear health by placing an insert into your ear. The insert then releases a puff of air to measure the movement of your eardrum. From this test, your professional can determine if there is fluid behind your eardrum and/or other issues.
- Results. Recommendations. Relief
After all testing is complete, your professional will walk you through your test results, discuss any next steps, and provide recommendations for your hearing health. That’s it. (Still not even a grimace.)
All humor aside, hearing tests don’t hurt. And remember, it never hurts to get that peace of mind in knowing where your hearing health is at.
Wondering where you can get a hearing test or evaluation? Simply type your zip code in here to find a list of local hearing care professionals who can test, errr, evaluate your hearing today.
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