Initial Assessment Hearing Tests

Helping patients to prepare for hearing tests

Before the appointment, it is vital that the patient has their ears checked for any wax problems at their GP surgery. If their ears are blocked with wax when they arrive for their hearing test then the appointment may be cancelled and they will be referred back to their GP. This is because wax may prevent us from performing a proper examination of their ears and will adversely affect the hearing test results.

During a hearing specialist test

The hearing specialist will ask the patient for a brief history of their hearing problem. We will also ask about how their hearing problems are causing them difficulties. We will examine their ears before testing their hearing.

During the test, the patient will wear headphones and listen to a variety of pure tones of different frequencies. They will be asked to indicate when they hear each sound, usually by pressing a button. It’s very important that they respond to the quietest sound they can hear even if they are not sure, as some of them are very faint. We are measuring the quietest sound they can hear.

We may also need to carry out a middle ear pressure test. This only takes a few minutes, does not hurt and can give us information about the patient’s middle ear status.

Hearing test results

Once the test is finished, the Audiologist will explain the results to patient. There are three possible outcomes:

  • Their hearing is normal
  • They require onward referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat Consultant
  • They would benefit from a hearing aid

If a hearing aid is required then the patient may choose whether they would like this fitted. The Audiologist will take the appropriate action depending on your decision.