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Hearing tests: What happens at a hearing test appointment

Hearing Tests

What happens at a hearing test appointment

What are hearing tests?

Hearing tests check how well you can hear. There are different types of hearing tests. If you or your doctor thinks you might have hearing loss, you can refer yourself or be referred to an audiologist (hearing specialist) to do a hearing test.

Why are these tests done?

You may have a hearing test because you think you have hearing loss or experience ringing (tinnitus) in your ears. You or your doctor might want to find out how much hearing loss you have and learn what treatment options might help.

What will happen at the hearing test appointment?

Before the test

Before starting the hearing test, your audiologist will ask questions about your hearing history. You may be asked to complete a form about hearing loss or dizziness.


The audiologist will look in your ears to check for earwax or obstructions. If you wear hearing aids, you will be asked to remove them.

Tympanometry and otoacoustic emissions

The audiologist will place soft plastic tips into your ears to measure how your middle ear (eardrum) and inner ear work. You may hear some sounds. You need to sit quietly for these measurements.

Speech audiometry and pure tone audiometry

You will sit inside a small booth wearing earphones. The audiologist will do 2 tests while you are in the booth. One test involves listening to words and sentences and repeating what you hear. In another test, you will listen to a series of beeps and tones that change in pitch and volume. You will let the audiologist know each time you hear the sound by pressing a button or raising your hand.

When will I get the test results?

Your audiologist will give you the results at the end of your appointment. The audiologist will answer any questions and make recommendations to help you hear. They might recommend:

  • helpful communication tips
  • hearing aids or other devices
  • a referral to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist

How long does the hearing appointment take?

  • The appointment usually takes about 1 hour.

What happens after the appointment?

  • You will get a copy of your results.
  • Depending on your results, the audiologist may refer you to other professionals.

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Current as of: November 4, 2022

Author: Provincial Audiology Professional Practice, Alberta Health Services

This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.