Hearing Tests

If you think you or a loved one might have hearing loss, the first step is to have a hearing test at a hearing clinic to get a better understanding of your hearing health. Our hearing care professionals are equipped with the necessary training, experience and technology to perform the hearing test you need.

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Professional Hearing Tests
Do you have difficulty hearing in most situations? Do you turn up the TV or radio to loud levels? Do you ask people to repeat themselves? These are all common signs of hearing loss. If you believe you might be experiencing hearing loss, our hearing tests provide a full assessment of the state of your hearing. 
It is recommended to get your hearing evaluated on a yearly basis beginning at the age of 60 to make sure that hearing loss isn’t developing or getting worse over time. Hearing can change slowly over time making it difficult to notice when your hearing decreases. It is often people around you who notice first. 

There are other reasons why you may want to take a hearing test, even if your hearing seems fine. People who have diabetes or who work in loud environments are more likely than normal to develop hearing loss. So whether you want a hearing test because you are showing signs of hearing loss, or because you are required to take a test for your job, our HearCANADA centres are ready to provide the help you need.

Hearing Assessments

At our HearCANADA clinics, a hearing test appointment begins with your clinician asking you about your background, medical history, employment and sound environments.

We will also ask if you think your hearing is deteriorating, and if you are exposed to loud noises at your work.
    The hearing test will begin with a physical exam of the ear, and will then move to testing in a sound booth. You will be asked to wear headphones, and the clinician outside of the booth will play different sounds at different volumes and pitches to one ear at a time. You give an indication if you can hear the sound or not, and what the sound might be.

    Our hearing care professionals use the success rate of your responses to determine the severity of hearing loss in both of your ears.

    Free Online Hearing Test

    If you think you have hearing loss, but you aren’t sure if you want to request an appointment at a hearing clinic, you can always try a free online hearing test.

    Taking an online hearing test is a great way to give you a better idea if you have hearing loss. Online hearing tests only require a few minutes of your time, and a pair of headphones connected to your computer. 

    It is not as accurate as a full hearing test, but it will be able to tell you if you show clear signs of hearing loss. Taking this online test for free at your home is a good way to give you your first indication that you should see a hearing care specialist.

    If the test says you show signs of hearing loss, we recommend that you visit the clinic for a full assessment of your hearing health. The hearing care professional can guide you on what to do after taking the test.

    Occupational Hearing Tests

    Police Testing
    A hearing test is one of the requirements for the pre-hire testing service for police applicants across the province of Ontario and many other provinces. The RCMP also requires the audiologist performing the hearing test to declare whether the individual meets the hearing standards of the organization. 

    Industrial Hearing Test
    Some employers will sometimes require a hearing test to ensure their employee either has sufficient hearing to safely perform the tasks of their job, or to obtain a baseline measure of hearing as the employee works in a noisy environment. 
    Our centres can perform hearing tests at our locations for employees and their employers. We also offer custom ear plugs to protect your hearing at work.

    How To Prepare for a Hearing Test

    Many people are very anxious at the thought of a hearing test, though it isn’t a stressful process. Here are some tips to help prepare for your hearing test:

    • Bring your health card
    • Feel free to bring a friend or family member along to your appointment for support
    • Give yourself plenty of time and try to arrive at the hearing test in a relaxed frame of mind
    • Breathe steadily and sit comfortably
    • Prepare a list of symptoms and key medical information, including your work history, military service, and any hobbies or instances where you were exposed to high noise levels

    Types of Hearing Tests

    When you have your hearing tested, there are a few different kinds of tests you can have done. Which one you take will depend on the equipment available at a centre, and what the test needs to assess.

    Here are the four main types that we use in our clinics:
    Standardized Speech Test
    Our hearing healthcare professional will say words to you through earphones and ask you to repeat them. They will complete a few tests including Most Comfortable Level, Speech Reception Thresholds, and Word Recognition testing.
    Pure Tone Hearing Tests
    Pure Tone Testing is also called Air Conduction Testing since it goes through the outer and middle ear. You will sit in a sound booth and listen to sounds through earphones and indicate to the audiologist if you hear the sound. It measures the softest sound that the person can hear. 
    Tympanometry is used to test the condition of the middle ear and the mobility of the eardrum. The test can help determine if you have fluid in the ear, a middle ear infection, a tear in the eardrum, or eustachian tube dysfunction.
    Acoustic Reflex Test
    The Acoustic Reflex Test monitors the reflex that occurs in response to loud sounds. The test can help check for particular types of hearing loss related to how well your acoustic reflex still responds to these types of sound.

    Hearing Test Results: Audiograms

    Your hearing test is evaluated using an audiogram. This shows test sounds on a scale and provides information on the hearing threshold level in decibels. A hearing test isn’t a pass-fail exam, but the results can show whether you have hearing loss in one or both ears and how much hearing is gone.  Here's how it works:

    • It indicates how loud different sounds must be before they are first heard. 
    • If you have hearing loss, our hearing care professional will explain the result of the audiogram to you. 
    • It is a reflection of your hearing ability, so it shows how far your hearing ability deviates from normal hearing ability for each ear.
    If your hearing test shows you have a hearing loss, our clinicians will explain the next steps. Our full assessment also includes things like visually inspecting your ears to see if you have impacted earwax or other visual signs of blockages or damage to your ear. In some cases, such as earwax blockages, we can offer a direct solution that can restore your hearing to your normal levels. We may also refer you to your family doctor or an ENT specialist for a service they can provide to help.

    But for most people, the best solution is to try hearing aids. In this case, our hearing care professional will explain your options, how they work, how much they can cost, and so on. 

    Hearing Tests for Children

    Some of our clinics can perform hearing tests on children, though it will depend on their age. During the hearing test, the hearing care professional will ask young children to do a simple activity such as placing a ring on a peg when they hear a specific sound.

    Older children may have to press a button or raise a hand when they hear the sound until the child no longer reacts. If you want to know which of our HearCANADA centres are able to offer pediatric hearing tests and services for your child, please contact us.