If you need a hearing test because you are having trouble comprehending what people are trying to say to you, it may make the experience easier if you know what to expect. Any sort of problem with your ears needs to be checked out as soon as possible, because there is a very high likelihood that it will get worse the longer it goes unattended. You'll be checked for a variety of conditions including a blockage in your ear canal, an infection, a hole in your eardrum, and several others.

Here is a look at some hearing test methods that are commonly administrated:

Tympanometry
This is the first step in the typical hearing test. It evaluates the movement of your eardrum in response to sounds. First, the professional administration of the evaluation will place a pressure probe in your ear. This tool produces a tone and also changes the air pressure in the ear canal. It can also check for an infection, any blockages that may be present in your Eustachian tube, and accumulation of fluids or any other problems.

Audiogram
This is an evaluation that usually takes place in a soundproof room. The auditory professional will provide you with headphones through which he or she will speak or play sounds. You may then be given other examinations, such as the word recognition evaluation, uncomfortable loudness level evaluation, the most comfortable listening level assessment, a speech reception threshold evaluation, and a pure-tone evaluation. You will be tested on the softest level that you can comprehend sound.

BERA – Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry
In this evaluation, advanced technological equipment plays sounds in your ear. Electrodes placed on your head record your ear's responses to these sounds.

Weber Evaluation
This is a basic hearing test that involves the use of a tuning fork to check for different types of loss.

Evaluations for Children
Children are often given evaluations that are designed to seem more like play. These are known as visual reinforcement audiometry, or VRA, and conditioned play audiometry, or CPA.

The VRA evaluation is typically used for children aged between 6 months and 2 years. The child looks toward the source of a sound, and a visual reinforcement is provided as a type of reward when the child correctly looks at the source of the sound when it is presented. For example, the child may be given a toy or a treat when the proper response is given. The CPA evaluation is used on children between 2 and 5 years old. The child is asked to perform an activity, such as placing a peg in a hole, putting a ring on a cone, or putting a block in a box when a sound is heard.

Whether you or your child needs a hearing test, the more informed you are before the fact, the more comfortable you will be.