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Hearing Tests

Understanding your hearing health begins with a comprehensive hearing evaluation.

Read More About The Treatment
"I was a bit nervous to have my hearing and balance tested. However, the doctors and staff made me feel comfortable. It was a comprehensive analysis of my hearing and balance. I am very grateful for the care that the doctors took in addressing all of my hearing and balance issues."
James E.


Hearing is an important aspect of our everyday life, aiding us in communication, entertainment, and even safety. However, hearing loss is not uncommon, especially with age. In fact, approximately 14% of people between the ages of 45-64 experience some degree of hearing loss, a number that increases to over 30% for those above 65 years old. Hence, regular hearing tests, especially for adults, are instrumental in maintaining good hearing health.

Why Get a Hearing Test?

It's a common misconception that hearing tests are only necessary when you notice a problem. However, hearing loss often occurs gradually, and you might not realize the extent of the issue. Regular hearing tests can therefore help in early detection and treatment, mitigating potential social and psychological impacts of untreated hearing loss.

When to Get Tested

Experts recommend adults have their hearing tested every ten years until the age of 50, and then every three years thereafter. However, if you notice any sudden changes in your hearing or have a history of exposure to loud noises, it's recommended to get tested immediately.

The Test Process

The hearing test process is usually swift, taking about 30 minutes, and painless. It typically involves wearing earphones and listening to short tones of different volumes and pitches in each ear separately. The ability to hear each sound indicates the extent and type of hearing loss.

Types of Hearing Tests

There are various types of hearing tests, each designed to evaluate different aspects of your hearing. Let's look at a few:

  1. Pure-tone audiometry: This test helps determine the softest level of sounds you can barely hear at different frequency ranges.
  2. Speech recognition test: This test assesses your ability to understand speech without visual or social cues.
  3. Bone conduction test: This test measures how well your inner ear picks up sounds that travel through your bones.
  4. Tympanometry: This test evaluates various outer and middle ear conditions.
  5. Speech-in-noise (SIN) testing: This test evaluates your ability to understand speech in background noise.

Interpreting the Results

Hearing test results are usually available immediately after the test. The results can indicate if you have hearing loss in one or both ears and how significant it is. A hearing loss of up to 25 decibels is considered normal, while anything above this range is classified as mild to profound hearing loss.

After the Test

Depending on the results, your doctor might refer you to an audiologist – a specialist in hearing. If there's evidence of hearing loss, various treatment options, including hearing aids and devices to amplify sounds, can be explored.

Protecting Your Hearing

Prevention is better than cure. Protect your ears when you're exposed to loud noises, like mowing the lawn or attending concerts. This can help prevent further hearing loss.

The Role of the Audiologist

Audiologists are experts in performing detailed hearing evaluations. The comprehensive hearing evaluation at Southwest Balance, for example, takes about 120 minutes and includes a detailed discussion of your medical history, a physical examination of your ears, and audiometric testing.

The Hearing Evaluation Process

During the hearing evaluation process, the audiologist will perform a variety of specialized tests to identify the cause of your hearing loss and determine the best treatment plan. The results will be discussed in detail, ensuring you understand your specific type of hearing loss and the available treatment options.

What to Expect at Your First Hearing Test

Your first hearing test shouldn't be a nerve-wracking experience. You'll be treated with respect and care, and the process will be explained to you in detail. During the test, the audiologist will conduct a visual examination of your ears and perform various hearing tests based on your specific concerns and medical history.


Hearing tests are an essential part of maintaining your overall health. By understanding the process, you can approach your next hearing test with confidence. Remember, early detection is key to preventing further hearing loss and improving your quality of life.

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Get in Touch

Conveniently located near the intersection of 7th Street and Indian School Road.

Southwest Balance, Dizziness & Ear Institute (formerly Arizona Balance & Hearing Aids)

4004 N 7th St.Phoenix, AZ 85014