How a Hearing Test Works

Why Do a Hearing Test?

Not sure whether hearing aids could help you hear better? A hearing test is the sure way to determine whether your hearing could use some help. The Better Hearing Institute, a non-profit organization, recommends getting a hearing test once every 10 years until age 50, and once every three years after that. Hearing tests are important for keeping track of your hearing health throughout life, and they are the only way to know for certain whether it’s time for hearing aids.

Usually the first sign that we have hearing loss is– someone else tells us we do! This can be hard to swallow, but it’s important to remember that our hearing doesn’t get blurry, like our vision does. We usually don’t realize we are having trouble hearing because we simply can’t hear what we’re missing!

It may take a long time for our hearing to get so bad that we have to acknowledge it, but it is important to start wearing hearing aids before that happens in order to maintain our best overall health and well-being. A hearing test lets us know for sure whether we have hearing loss, how much hearing loss we have, and whether it’s time to start wearing hearing aids. At Silver Audition, we offer free hearing tests so you can keep track of your hearing health and know for sure whether it’s time for hearing aids.

women doing a hearing test

What Happens In a Hearing Test?

In our shop in Morges, we have a sound-proof room with state-of-the-art equipment to get the most accurate results. We’ll ask you to sit in this room and wear a set of headphones, while a technician plays tones at different pitches. The technician will ask you to respond to each tone you hear. The test is completely painless and only takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Many people have some hearing loss, and a little bit of hearing loss doesn’t mean you need hearing aids, though we might recommend some lifestyle changes that could help you prevent further hearing loss down the line. The hearing test is free regardless of the results, and even if we do recommend hearing aids you are under no obligation to buy or even try them.

How to Read the Results of a Hearing Test

The audiogram is the way the results of a hearing test are displayed. It is an x-y graph with the frequency (pitch) on the x-axis, and volume (loudness) on the y-axis. The horizontal line at zero on the y-axis is defined as the “reference hearing line.” This line represents the average lowest-volume that a young person with perfect hearing can hear at each frequency. In other words, this line represents more or less perfect hearing.

On this graph, there will be two curves, one for each of your ears.  The right ear is usually marked in red and the left ear is marked in blue.  If you receive a black and white copy of your audiogram, then the line with the circles represents the right ear and the line with the x represents the left ear.

If one or both of your curves is located below the zero reference line for any frequency, this means that you hear less well than the average young person at that frequency.  In other words, the lower down the curves are with respect to the zero line, the more hearing loss you have.

With age, it is normal to have more hearing loss in the high frequencies than in the low frequencies.  This is called "presbycusis", also referred to as "age-related high frequency hearing loss".