What is a hearing test?

A hearing test is performed by a qualified audiologist to evaluate the health of your ear and whether hearing loss is evident. A hearing test is a pain free procedure and is carried out using an audiometer. A hearing test will not take longer than 1 hour.

Do I need a hearing test?
What to expect at your hearing test
How to prepare for your hearing test
What if I have a hearing loss

Do I need a hearing test?

We regularly have our eyes and teeth checked, and having a hearing test is just as important. Around 33% of people over 65 years of age have significant hearing loss. While it is true that a decline in hearing is natural as we age, it is also true that hearing is a vitally important sense that helps us stay connected to other people and the world. Loss of hearing not only isolates us but can affect our ability to work and socialize. For most people, finding it difficult to hear is just normal wear and tear and one more fact of life. Around 466 million people worldwide are affected by hearing loss.

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What are the signs of having hearing loss? 

If you are concerned about your hearing, it might be time to think about having a hearing test. If you answer yes to any of these questions, a free hearing test could be your first step towards better hearing.

Learn more about the signs of hearing loss

  • Do you often turn up the TV volume?
  • Do you ask people to repeat what they said?
  • Do you have problems understanding speech when there is background noise?
  • Do people seem to be mumbling when they talk to you?
  • Do you often have difficulty following conversations?
  • Do you find it hard to tell where sounds are coming from?
  • Do you avoid some social activities because you’re worried you’ll find it hard to hear?

What to expect at a hearing test 

If you have never visited a hearing care expert, you probably don’t know what to expect. At insert local clinic (Audika/HearlingLife/HiddenHearing) you are in for a pleasant experience that is interesting, informative and may be your first step to better hearing. You will have the opportunity to understand your hearing needs better and explore any possible improvements.


Before the hearing test 

At insert local clinic (Audika/HearlingLife/HiddenHearing) we take the time to get to know each client. At the beginning of your hearing test your audiologist will ask you a few simple questions about your lifestyle, family history and whether you have difficulty hearing in any situations such as noisy public spaces. Hearing loss is different for each person, so your audiologist will need to understand your lifestyle to ensure the best solution for your hearing loss. It is helpful to be aware of the various types of hearing loss. You can read more about the different types of hearing loss here 


During the hearing test 

The audiologist will then look inside your ears using an instrument called an otoscope, which involves minimal discomfort and is pain free. It is designed to ascertain whether you have any obstructions or ear infections that might be temporarily affecting your ability to hear properly. In many cases, the issue will not be hearing loss related, but simply a build-up of too much earwax. 

After that, you will be asked to listen to several sounds, usually a series of beeps, set at different frequencies, to determine if you have trouble hearing certain types of sounds. This part of the hearing test is known as 'audiometry’.

You may then be presented with a list of words, which will be read out to you and which you will then be asked to repeat. This part of the hearing test is known as the ‘Familiar Voice Test’ and this is when we will ask your friend or family member to take part in the testing, so we can assess how well you understand a familiar voice


After the hearing test 

Your results from your hearing test will be shared with you and recorded on an audiogram. These hearing test results will help indicate if you have an audible hearing loss or not. Based on these, your audiologist may make several recommendations. If hearing aids are advised, you will get a chance to have a look and demonstrate different types of hearing aids, depending on your hearing loss and lifestyle needs. 

Once you have decided how you'd like to proceed, a separate appointment will then be booked to fit your hearing aids and help you get used to how they work.

How to prepare for your hearing test

Before you come for your hearing test, it might be helpful to think about the following:

  • Think about what situations you find especially difficult; the audiologist will want to get more information about your personal hearing needs.

  • Think about the family member or friend you are going to bring along for support, as they will help in contributing important information at your hearing test. A familiar voice is part of the hearing test, and it provides a chance for an audiologist to see how well an individual understands words spoken by someone close to them. With familiar voice testing, it is easier for the individual to understand speech from a voice they are familiar with. 

  • Your visit may also include a listening experience with hearing devices, to see what kinds of sounds you can hear.

  • After your hearing test, don’t be afraid to go back for additional follow-up visits.

Read our guide to preparing for your hearing test

What if I have hearing loss?

We often see patients who have been struggling with hearing loss for many years, not seeking help because they are worried about the stigma of wearing hearing aids. Untreated hearing loss can lead to further health complications such as depression and dementia. Having a hearing test is the first, and often the hardest, step for many people. If you have hearing loss, your audiologist will talk through the next steps with you, including the solutions available to you. Read more about hearing loss here


What is an online hearing test?

Do you suspect you have hearing loss? Our online hearing test will give you a clear indication of how well you are hearing, using background noise, tone tests and self-evaluation questions.

Take our quick and simple online hearing test