Everything You Wanted to Know About Hearing Tests, But Were Afraid to Ask

Lipreading Mom poses for Show Me Your Ears after her latest hearing test.

Lipreading Mom poses for Show Me Your Ears after her latest hearing test.

By Jamie King / LipreadingMom.com Guest Blogger

For many people, losing hearing or going deaf is a great fear. Losing your ability to hear is no walk in the park. Just imagine not being able to hear birds singing outside your bedroom window in the morning, or being unable to tell that your child is telling you how much he or she loves you.

That is why you should go and get a hearing health check, even if you don’t think you need one. It is especially important to book an appointment with an audiologist if you are actively worrying about the current state of your hearing – if you’ve been turning the volume on the TV up higher lately, or if you’ve had to ask people to speak up more than usual.

A hearing test is really nothing to be scared of or ashamed about: the process is simple, free, and painless. It is as easy as a normal check-up with your GP; you have nothing to lose.

This article will run you through the two types of hearing test appointments; use it to get yourself fully informed before going down to the nearest audiologist.

Hearing Health Check Procedure
Of the two, the health check is the quicker. It should only take up about fifteen minutes, so it is super speedy. To reiterate, it’s completely free, so you don’t have to worry about money. You should book a simple hearing health check if you’ve never had a hearing test before.

The appointment is merely a quick check over the health of both your ears, followed by a basic hearing test. You’ll wear a pair of headphones and have a series of sounds played to you through them; all you have to do is respond when you hear them.

That is pretty much the entire appointment over and done with. You’ll finish up by having a quick chat with the audiologist, where you’ll find out if you need to take a full hearing test or if you’ve got the all clear.

Full Hearing Test Procedure
The full procedure is also a free hearing test, but it will take quite a bit longer than the quick appointment, totaling somewhere around the sixty minute mark. This is because there is more to run through, but it’s still really simple.

You will start off with a simple chat with the audiologist, discussing the state of your hearing and talking about your health, and any parts of your life which may be affecting your hearing, such as loud noises at your place of work. This, as well as the history of any prior problems, will help inform your audiologist about any possible causes.

You’ll then have your ears looked in to, to see if there is an infection or obstruction (such as excessive wax) that could be affecting your hearing, followed by the full hearing test. This is a more in-depth version of the hearing check; you’ll be asked to press a button whenever you hear a sound, and to respond to any verbal communication.

The audiologist will plot your results in an audiogram; this will show your hearing levels. You’ll then have a follow-up chat, where you’ll either be given the all-clear or recommended further action. That’s all there is to it!


Jamie King is a hearing care writer for Boots Hearingcare.

Readers—Have You Had Your Hearing Tested? Share Your Experiences Below.


6 thoughts on “Everything You Wanted to Know About Hearing Tests, But Were Afraid to Ask

  1. I wondered if Boots Hearingcare was from another country. It is from the UK according to their website. Good article – unfortunately, in the US an audiologist charges for a hearing exam the same way an optometrist charges for an eye exam. Average cost is $80. There may be a few places like Miracle Ear where a hearing aid tech will do the test for free, but that’s rare these days and to get the aid you have to have someone official (doctor) sign off on it.

  2. In mentioning Miracle Ear … I’ve learned that any hearing aid place that ADVERTISES, is a rip off. My dad used such a place for years, and each time he went, they tried to sell him the next “new and improved” hearing aid, which he’d often get talked into buying, and none which really helped. A couple of other friends went to Beltone, with similar results. I think that such places are our to make money rather than to help (I know of course that everyone has to make a living). I got my first HAs in 2005, through state voc rehab, so I didn’t pay for the exam nor the aids. I got my next pair, after being tested by an audi at my ENT doctor’s, then through a foundation at a local university’s medical school. I didn’t have to pay for either, and this 2nd pair is ESPECIALLY the best! Good doctors and audiologists do not advertise. (I became high partial legally blind in 2003, which is why I was a client of state voc rehab. I am 69 years old now, in 2013.)

  3. I’ve had many hearing tests! all have been painless and the first few were interesting, now it’s just the same old thing. The only thing that has bothered me is the temperature in the booth, it seems to always be cold or hot in there, never comfortable. But that’s a silly thing to complain about isn’t it?

    I lost my hearing pretty quickly. Over a year i went from hearing aids to needing a CI or not being able to hear anything. I was scared about losing my hearing, but i’m not any longer. Losing my hearing hasn’t been that bad. My husband tells me he loves me using ASL….and shows me many ways. I like that I don’t have to hear obnoxious sounds any longer, but I remember sweetly the sounds I’ve loved. I also love that no sound wakes me up. I can sleep through anything. : )
    Getting tested sooner would not have saved my hearing. I do have a CI now, but I don’t hear very well with it.
    I simply found it ironic that I do not feel that losing my hearing has been as devastating as I thought it would be.

      • I’m glad my story touched you.
        I should have mentioned that I have advanced Meniere’s disease, that is why I lost my hearing, and why getting tested sooner wouldn’t have helped.

        When I first lost my hearing in one ear, I cried leaving the testing booth, now I realize, it’s not that bad. I’m sure it is to some, but for me, I was really surprised to find how much it has simply become a way of life, and I’ve not been deaf that long. As I mentioned, I do have a CI, but I often don’t wear it at home. My husband and I communicate very well. We are learning ASL slowly together.

        have a wonderful day.

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