What Is Involved in a Hearing Test?

This blog post has been reviewed and approved by a hearing care professional.

Have you ever wondered what is involved in a hearing test? It is an easy and painless way of evaluating your hearing. The process from start to finish normally takes an hour to complete. It will determine what level of hearing loss, if any, you may have. The hearing test is performed by a licensed hearing healthcare professional using up to date technology. They will guide you through the test and explain the results to you. Based on your level of hearing loss, they will recommend the next steps that you should take.

If you want more detailed information about what happens during a hearing test, we wrote this quick guide to explain.

What Happens During The Hearing Test
While there are different types of hearing tests, you will typically go through four steps in your appointment.
Step One: Your Hearing Health History
Your hearing healthcare professional will ask you questions about your medical history that may be relevant to your hearing. This includes your medication use, history of hearing loss in your family, prior noise exposure, symptoms of tinnitus, and so on. You will also be asked if you have experienced any ear-related conditions such as allergies, head colds, ear infections or impacted earwax.
Step Two: Physical Hearing Examination
After your hearing healthcare professional has finished learning about your hearing health history, they will examine your ears. They will be looking for any earwax, protrusions, or foreign objects that could be blocking your ear canals. They will also look for damage to your eardrum and any other abnormalities that could be a factor in your hearing loss. It is important to know what the root cause of your hearing loss could be in order to provide the best recommendation to address it. If your hearing loss is only temporary and caused by excessive earwax blocking your canal, a simple ear cleaning may be all that is needed.
Step Three: Hearing Assessment

When you have your hearing tested, there are a few different kinds of tests you can have done. The tests that will be administered will depend on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • The age of the person being tested

  • The equipment available at the hearing center

  • The specific hearing health issue that needs to be tested

However, the most common hearing tests involve wearing earphones and sitting in a soundproof booth. You then listen to various sounds that are played at different volumes and pitches in one ear at a time, and respond when you can hear the sound. This is meant to test each ear individually in order to assess the severity of your hearing loss. You can learn more about the types of hearing tests here.

Step Four: Results Are Plotted To An Audiogram
Your hearing test is evaluated using an audiogram. This shows your ability to hear in each ear on a scale. It provides information on the hearing threshold level in decibels. A hearing test isn’t a pass-or-fail exam. The results can show whether you have hearing loss in one or both ears, and the extent of hearing loss. Your hearing healthcare professional will go over the results of your audiogram with you to explain what the results mean, and answer any questions you may have.
In Depth Look At An Audiogram
The pitch is charted on the x-axis by frequencies, measured in hertz (Hz), from low to high, and the volume is charted on the y-axis, measured in decibels Hearing Level (dB HL). At the top left of the audiogram are the lower pitch sounds and at the top right are higher pitch sounds. For someone who has high-frequency hearing loss, for example, you would see a dip on their chart to the right side of the audiogram.
TIP: Bring A Friend or Family Member With You To The Test

We recommend that you bring along a close family member or friend with you to the first appointment. They can provide a friendly face and calming voice for you if you are nervous during the appointment. Your loved one can also help you during the appointment as they may have a better understanding of the challenges involved with your hearing loss and can bring up some of the challenges you may face that you may not be aware of.


Not only can they help calm you during the appointment if you are nervous, but it can let the hearing healthcare professional see how well you understand spoken words from a family member or friend in everyday life.

Ready to take the next step in your hearing healthcare journey? Our team of hearing care professionals are standing by and ready to answer any other questions you may have. 

A hearing assessment is simple, easy, and painless. Best of all, at HearCANADA, it's completely FREE*. Book yours today at one of our local hearing centres.

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