If you suspect that you have hearing loss, the most common solution is to get in touch with an audiologist for a hearing test. A hearing test will reveal more information about your current level of hearing, but many people are worried about the accuracy of hearing tests and what they say about your ability.

One question that is brought to our attention regularly is, can you pass a hearing test but still have problems hearing?

To answer this, we need to understand how hearing tests are carried out, the differences between an experienced audiologist and an inexperienced one, and how hearing tests might not tell the whole story.

How are hearing tests carried out?

Each audiologist has their own procedures to carry out a hearing test. The most common set of procedures includes pure-tone and speech testing. Speech testing involves using live or recorded speech to evaluate the softest speech sounds you can hear and understand. You’ll be asked to repeat the words to record how well you can understand them. Some audiologists will also use speech sounds to determine your comfortable listening limits.

Pure-tone testing involves listening to tones at different volumes and pitches. This is often carried out in a soundproof room, and your audiologist will communicate instructions through a pair of headphones. You must focus and listen to the instructions and respond to the tones even if you’re unable to hear them clearly. This will measure the softest sounds you can hear at each frequency.

How do hearing tests fail?

Hearing tests aren’t necessarily a pass or fail exam. Hearing tests are designed to test your hearing and the frequencies in which you can or can’t hear. If the audiologist determines that your current level of hearing is below a certain threshold, they’ll suggest that you use hearing aids to be able to hear those frequencies. However, even if your hearing isn't perfect, then you may still be able to walk away without having to use hearing aids.

The other problem comes with the accuracy of hearing tests. Since they rely on a patient’s input, they aren’t necessarily 100% accurate. This can be improved by an experienced audiologist that will run tests several times to get an accurate result that represents your level of hearing. If they aren’t satisfied with the accuracy or find that your results fluctuate too much, then they’ll likely ask you to repeat a section of the test for improved accuracy.

Other factors, such as your health on the day, may also affect the results of a hearing test. Because of this, your audiologist may recommend a battery of different hearing tests to get a complete picture of what is occurring with your hearing health and ability. This can provide a more well-rounded view of what you struggle to hear.

When seeking out an audiologist to perform your hearing test, it’s important that you speak to one that is experienced and reputable in your area. This guarantees accurate results, and if it's discovered you do have hearing loss, you will likely be recommended hearing aids, the most common solution.

Other reasons for hearing problems

There may be cases where your hearing test results are satisfactory, and your audiologist doesn’t feel the need to offer you a pair of hearing aids. In cases like this, your hearing may be perfectly fine, but there are other factors that may affect your hearing.

For example, if your hearing loss is caused by impacted earwax or an infection, then you may experience hearing loss that comes and goes. Your condition may improve or worsen depending on different factors, thus leading to problems with your hearing. In addition, your hearing loss may worsen if you attend a loud concert or work in an environment that exposes you to loud sounds on a regular basis.

Since there are many circumstances that could lead to hearing loss, it’s important to take extra care of your hearing health even after a hearing test to ensure that it doesn’t worsen.

Contact a professional audiologist today

Hearing health is incredibly important, hence why it’s important to contact a professional audiologist and have them perform your hearing test for you. Consider speaking Arkansas Professional Hearing Care by calling us at (501) 588-0177 to book your hearing test or to ask us any questions related to your hearing health. We’d be more than happy to assist you and ensure that you get accurate hearing test results that you can act on.