Finding an audiologist is usually the first step of the process. Usually, your general practitioner can recommend one for you. As you look for a specialist, do remember that if there is an issue with your hearing, this is someone you will work closely with not only for the hearing test, but also in the coming years. Finding someone you feel comfortable with is very important. Also be sure to check for any insurance issues, pricing, or discounts that may make it more affordable for you. Finding an audiologist that you can work with and that fits your budget is so beneficial.
There are actually a variety of different tests that you will undergo, but none of them are painful or invasive. Typically, these are performed in an office and do not take very much time at all. These tests will help you to find out what your ability to not only hear different sounds, but how you differentiate them at a variety of frequencies. The specialist will be able to figure out the lowest frequency at which you can hear and also, your ability to assess any given noise or sound.
The hearing test you'll likely get is an audible range test. This can usually be done by someone who is an approved hearing aid fitter or the audiologist himself. Doctors can also do them, but typically refer patients to specialists for that purpose. Another type of exam commonly seen is called Tympanometry test. This will test different reactions to movement as it relates to your eardrums.
Next, you will usually be given more than one hearing test inside a soundproof room. Headphones will be used to either have sounds played to you or the person giving you the tests will speak to you. This usually involves several different types of examinations. A word recognition test to help see how you hear, a speech reception threshold test, a pure tone test, an uncomfortable loudness level test, and a most comfortable listening level test will be administrated.
After that, you may have a bone conduction test that will be used to stimulate the inner ear. As this goes on, you will be asked a series of questions relating to volume level of the stimulus. After these are all completed, you will then typically have a consultation that will discuss the different test results. At this point, asking in-depth questions can not only help you to better understand what you were tested on, but also what your treatment options may be. It is important to ask as many questions as you can so that you are sure you know exactly where you stand with your hearing.
Getting this kind of examination done early is very important. Most issues of this type can be treated early on and either taken care of completely or a proper course of action can be taken to assure quality of life.