Hearing loss is the second most common health condition experienced by Australians. A hearing test can help identify and treat any hearing issues early.
Why Have a Hearing Test?
Hearing loss is more prevalent than asthma, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes – and it can have wide-ranging effects on your general health and wellbeing.
Hearing loss can affect anyone regardless of age and as the loss is often gradual, you may not even notice you have an issue until you start to experience symptoms. So undertaking a baseline hearing test and annual follow-up hearing tests can help you identify and treat any hearing issues early.
Purpose of a hearing test
The purpose of a hearing test is to determine not only if you have a hearing loss, but how mild or severe it is. A thorough hearing test can also help define the type of hearing loss you have (i.e., conductive, sensorineural or mixed) and whether it will respond best to medical treatment i.e., a Cochlear implant or hearing aids.
Ear & Hearing Australia offers a comprehensive range of hearing tests for adults and children over 5 years of age. Our dedicated team of qualified audiologists has amassed years of experience, guaranteeing a professional, friendly and dependable service you can trust.
Step 1: Hearing Health History and
Hearing Needs Assessment
When you visit Ear & Hearing Australia, the first step will be for you to undertake a diagnostic audiological assessment with one of our trained audiologists.
This assessment aims to give your audiologist an understanding of your hearing health, establish what is concerning you about your hearing, and ascertain the extent to which your hearing loss symptoms are affecting your everyday life.
Your audiologist will ask you a series of questions about your family medical history, your personal medical history (including whether you suffer from allergies, regular ear infections, etc), your work environment (to determine if you are at risk of noise-induced hearing loss).
The audiologist will also ask if you’ve experienced any recent head and/or ear trauma, as injury to the cranial area can sometimes result in temporary or permanent hearing damage.
It’s essential for us to gain this detailed picture of your overall hearing health to understand not only your hearing loss but also your lifestyle and your specific hearing needs, in order to offer appropriate advice on how to manage your hearing loss and tailor a hearing solution specific to your individual needs.
Step 2: Physical Ear Examination
The next step is to examine your ears with an otoscope to see if there is any wax blockage or other physical obstruction in your ears causing your hearing issues. We may even do a video otoscopy to have a closer look at your ear canals and eardrums.
All our main hearing clinics in Melbourne are also equipped with surgical microscopes and Micro-suction equipment for wax removal and ear cleaning. Sometimes a professional ear wax removal is required before reliable hearing test results can be obtained.
Step 3: Hearing Tests
The final step is a series of painless and non-invasive diagnostic hearing tests, normally undertaken in a soundproof room, encompassing both sound and speech discrimination testing.
Pure Tone Audiometry
Is a hearing test that determines the degree, shape and type of hearing loss present in each ear. It uses a series of pure tones to identify the softest level you can hear across a range of frequencies in each ear.
Is a hearing test used to indicate speech understanding at various volumes and with and without the presence of background noise. You will be asked to repeat a series of words in each ear under headphones. These words are often presented at a normal conversational level and then with amplification, to help the audiologist assess if a hearing aid would be of benefit to you.
This test is is to assess your middle ear function (i.e., how well your eardrum is moving and the reflexive responses of the middle ear muscles). This quick and painless test can identify if there is a perforation in the eardrum, middle ear fluid, patent grommet, Eustachian tube dysfunction, or other medical conditions.
Otoacoustic Emission Testing*
This type of hearing test measures an acoustic response produced by the inner ear in response to a sound stimulus. The test is performed by placing a small probe into your ear. Sounds are generated in the probe and responses that come back from the inner ear are recorded. The test is used in a number of different ways to test your hearing.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Audiometry
This is an objective neurologic test of auditory brainstem function in response to auditory (click) stimuli. This test gives information about the inner ear and brain pathways for hearing. The test can be used with children or difficult to test patients. The test is also indicated for patients with signs or symptoms suggesting a type of hearing loss that involves brain pathways. The test is performed by attaching electrodes on the head and recording brain wave activity in response to acoustic signals. No responses are necessary; the patient being tested rests quietly or sleeps while the test is performed.
Audiologists at Ear & Hearing Australia can also perform hearing tests for different purposes:
- Free comprehensive hearing tests for eligible Pensioners & Veterans. Eligible clients can receive free or subsidised services including hearing aids if needed.
- Free hearing tests for WorkCover clients with an established hearing loss claim. This can be followed by free hearing aid fitting if required.
- Police hearing test: This is to determine your baseline hearing levels for entrance into the Victorian Police Force.
- Automatic, remote control and volume control hearing aids
- TAC hearing tests: If your hearing has been damaged in an accident, you may be eligible for TAC funded audiologist services, including hearing tests and hearing aids.
- Aviation (CASA) hearing assessments – pilot hearing test.
- Pre-employment hearing tests: Some employers may ask you to provide a recent hearing test if you are applying for a new job.
- Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) hearing assessments.
Hearing Test Results
Once you have completed the series of hearing tests your audiologist will present you with a thorough explanation of your test results.
If we have identified a hearing loss, we will discuss your options, including whether you require any medical or surgical treatments, and make some hearing aid recommendations suitable to your individual circumstances.
Online Hearing Tests
May help you to make a simple evaluation of your hearing health and determine if you need to have a formal hearing assessment with an audiologist. Online hearing tests are by no means a replacement for a thorough diagnostic hearing evaluation, but they can be a good starting point if you are unsure whether you need to make an appointment.
Hearing Clinics in Melbourne
Ear & Hearing Australia employ only university qualified audiologists able to perform comprehensive hearing tests and audiological assessments for both children (aged 5+) and adults, including tailored hearing rehabilitation programs for hearing impaired adults.