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How Does an Audiologist Conduct a Hearing Test?

a hearing examination in progress

It is normal to feel a little unsure about what is going to happen when you are going for your first appointment with an audiologist. A lot of people will visit an audiologist because they have been referred to there by a doctor or another specialist, because of hearing problems or suspected hearing loss. It is important to note that when you see an audiologist, it is not the same as seeing a doctor.

What does an audiologist do?

Audiologists are highly trained in what they do, and they specialize in testing, assessing, evaluating, diagnosing and treating any issues that are related to hearing problems, hearing loss, tinnitus testing and other issues that can be connected to balance. 

All audiologists are highly trained and educated in what they do, and they will all have a master’s degree. In fact, many audiologists will be a Doctor of Audiology, which is the equivalent to having a PhD. The audiologist that you see will use a range of tests and different procedures that can help to assess the current hearing ability, as well as diagnosing any balance issues. You might find that some audiologists can also fit hearing aids and other hearing devices when they are needed. 

Your first hearing test appointment with an audiologist

When you have your first appointment, it is normal to expect that your audiologist will go through your medical history with you, particularly as it pertains to your hearing. They will look at relevant medical history, as well as dealing with recent symptoms that you have been having and other considerations when it comes to your current hearing. 

It can be worth noting that some audiologists recommend having a close family member or a close friend go to the appointment with you. This can be that some tests can work well when you can hear the voice of someone you know and are familiar with, so it can be a useful part of the process. 

If you are really struggling with hearing problems, then someone else at the appointment could write things down for you, as well as help to communicate with the audiologist. 

Your audiologist will then go on to run a variety of tests for your hearing. There are a few tests that they will perform and they may do one or all of them. The first one that they could test is on otoscopy. 

This is where the audiologist will look at your ear canal with what is called an otoscope. They will use a magnifying pen light, and the test will show what your earwax looks like and check if there are any blockages in the ear or if there are any other problems in your ear canal or problems with your eardrum.

The other kind of test that could be performed is a tympanometry. This is a test that will look into the function of your middle ear. The audiologist will then look to see how well your ear deals with and responds with a little light pressure. This test can help to detect anything with your ears that could stop the motion and vibrations of the eardrum, such as looking for fluid, infection or any other kind of dysfunction.

The third test that could be performed is audiometry. This is a test that is made up of two smaller tests, as the air conduction is tested, as well as bone conduction. Your audiologist will have a soundproof room that they will use, and you will go in there and be asked to put your hand up or to push a particular button if and when you hear certain sounds. 

The reason that these are tested is that air conduction helps to determine the softest sound that you are capable of hearing through some earphones, at different pitches. Bone conduction is tested as that helps to determine what the softest sound is that you can hear, and it does it through activating the inner ear by vibrating the bone. 

None of these tests are going to be uncomfortable and they won’t be painful at all; there is nothing to worry about with your first audiologist appointment. Once the tests have been completed, your audiologist can look at and recommend the best course of action for you, depending on your results. 

At Arkansas Professional Hearing Care, we are experts in what we do. If you want to know more about a hearing test with us, and find out more about what is involved, then get in touch with us today. One of our team would be happy to help. Give us a call today at 501-614-7904 to see how we can help.