A hearing screening often includes a number of different tests to determine if a person’s hearing is normal.

The Hearing Aid Acoustician will first ask you questions about your hearing. Do you have difficulty hearing and under what circumstances, do you work in a noisy environment, have you ever been exposed to loud noise, is there a history of hearing problems in your family, have you had ear surgery? He or she will also ask other questions about your general health. This questionnaire, called an anamnesis, is necessary to better identify the possible sources of hearing problems.

Next, the Hearing Aid Acoustician will examine your ears with a lighted instrument called an otoscope. This allows him or her to see the external ear canal, the eardrum and sometimes even part of the malleus middle ear bone which is attached to the back of the eardrum. He will see if your ear canal is normal, will look at its shape and check if it is obstructed by earwax, dry skin or a foreign body.

You will then be brought to a soundproof cabin in order to carry out the hearing test. Using over the ear or in the ear headphones, your Hearing Aid Acoustician will determine from your responses to instructions if you hear sounds of medium, high and low tones at different intensities.

The hearing threshold is defined by the perception of the weakest sound that a person hears 50<>percentage<> of the time, at the frequencies tested. The results obtained are measured in decibels.

The other test is to have words said to you, so as to determine how you perceive and understand speech, at an intensity that you feel is comfortable. You will be placed turned to the side, or facing away, as to not see the Hearing Aid Acoustician. This will make it impossible to read their lips, therefore ensuring the validity of the test. The result of successfully repeated words is calculated as a percentage.

Generally, a screening test ends with these two tests, the pure-tone test and the speech test.

This includes the bone conduction pure-tone test which allows to see the type of hearing loss; either of the auditory nerve or of the middle ear.

Another test can be performed. This is the tympanogram, used to verify if the middle ear is functioning normally.

A hearing screening lasts about 30 minutes and is painless. From the age of 50 years old, it is highly recommended to have a hearing screening done by a Hearing Aid Acoustician, who will then be able to counsel you and make the proper recommendations, if necessary.