Having a hearing test can be quite daunting. However, the main reason for this is that most patients are unsure of what to expect. In reality, visiting the audiologist needn’t fill you with fear or apprehension. Instead, it should be seen as a crucial first step to keeping your ears in excellent health.

The easiest way to remove that sense of uncertainty is to ask the most pertinent questions before going for your test. Here are four that will give you a far greater idea of what to expect from your next visit, which should help put your nerves at ease.

How often should I get tested?

Most people under the age of 60 can be happy with seeing their audiologist once every 3 to 5 years. Hearing loss and related problems are likely to accelerate once you reach 60, though, which is why senior citizens should get tested on an annual basis.

However, those suggested time frames only apply to those with healthy hearing. If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, suspect that it may be fading, or experience signs of tinnitus, you should call the audiologist at the earliest stage possible.

What preparations do I need to make?

While you do not need to study for the hearing test or take any materials with you. Nonetheless, the audiologist will ask a series of questions about your medical background, family history, and lifestyle. Therefore, you should equip yourself with the answers to those questions.

It’s not a necessity, but you may wish to avoid wearing headphones with loud music or encountering other activities that could cause a temporary change to your hearing. This could influence the results of your hearing test in a significant fashion, leading to an inaccurate diagnosis.

What happens during the hearing test?

A professional hearing test will see the audiologist conduct a number of exams to test all aspects of your hearing. This will start with conversations and speech tests and will additionally include a physical inspection of your ears, including the middle ear and canal.

To test your hearing, the audiologist will use a series of tools to check for pitch recognition, speech recognition, and the ability to distinguish sounds in noisy surroundings. None of the tests will hurt, however, and the entire process is likely to take roughly an hour to 90 minutes. Of course, you may be requested to book another appointment soon after.

Are hearing aids the only treatment?

Hearing loss is the main thing that an audiologist will look for. If an issue is detected, it’s likely that hearing aids will be the preferred source of treatment. With so many products on the market, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a comfortable device that delivers restored hearing.

Hearing aids may also be used to treat tinnitus and other conditions. However, there are various other potential treatments out there ranging from sound therapy and behavioral therapy to ear defense systems. The audiologist is the best person to find what’s right for your specific needs.