First things first — hearing tests can't damage your ears or hearing. Below we'll explain why that's the case and answer other questions you may have about hearing tests!
Hearing tests typically begin with an examination of your outer ear, meaning the pinna, ear canal, and a portion of the eardrum, followed by an examination of your middle ear.
Your healthcare provider will likely use an otoscope and tympanometer during the exam. The latter allows them to test the function of your eardrum, while the former helps check for swelling and excessive wax. If earwax buildup is a concern, the healthcare provider may ask to perform an earwax removal.
If they're able to proceed, they'll begin the actual hearing test. This usually involves entering a sound-treated booth, where you'll be asked to wear headphones so that a pure-tone test can be conducted. This test helps determine the quietest sound you're able to hear at various frequencies and pitches.
The examination of the outer ear and middle ear are painless. Obviously, it's not super comfortable having your earwax removed, but this isn't very common.
Of course, you might be more concerned at the idea of having to listen to loud and/or high-pitched tones through headphones. Rest assured, This doesn't damage your hearing, and it doesn't hurt. The tones vary quite a bit and escalate as the test goes on, but it's perfectly safe.
The tones played during the test are between 500Hz and 8kHz. You hear these frequencies daily, whether it be through the music you listen to or the friends and family you chat with. Some of the lower and quieter sounds are lower than what you'd hear daily, which unsurprisingly don't damage your hearing.
If you're experiencing hearing loss, the last thing you want to do is add tinnitus or vertigo on top of that. Thankfully, there's no reason to be concerned.
Hearing tests can't cause tinnitus or make tinnitus worse. The only way tinnitus will influence your test is that it may make it harder for you to identify some pitches. If you suffer from tinnitus, just make sure to notify your healthcare professional before the examination begins.
People have the same worries about vertigo, but this is another myth. Hearing tests don't cause or worsen vertigo, which is a symptom rather than a condition. Vertigo sometimes accompanies hearing loss, but this is an indicator of a problem with your inner ear like Ménière’s disease.
Now that you know hearing tests are totally safe and painless, it's time to make an appointment with one of Connect Hearing's 130+ clinics across Australia! If you'd like to schedule a hearing test or have any questions, please contact us