The Free Hearing Test - What's involved?
Would you benefit from a hearing test?
Whilst it is true that a decline in hearing is natural as we age, it is also true that hearing is a vitally important sense that helps us stay connected to other people and the world. Loss of hearing not only isolates us but can affect our ability to work and socialise.For most people, finding it a bit harder to hear is just normal wear and tear and one more fact of life. One in five Irish people over the age of 50 have some difficulty hearing and that figure rises to almost one in two of those over 70.
- Do you often turn up the TV volume?
- Do you ask people to repeat what they said?
- Do you have problems understanding speech when there is background noise?
- Do people seem to be mumbling when they talk to you?
- Do you often have difficulty following conversations?
- Do you find it hard to tell where sounds are coming from?
- Do you avoid some social activities because you’re worried you’ll find it hard to hear what’s going on?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, a free hearing check-up could be your first step towards better hearing.
Before the Hearing Test
The first step is to book your free hearing test. You can do this by calling 1800 818 808 to make a reservation with one with of our 75 local clinics situated around the country, or you can fill in our online request form, and somebody will get in touch to help you find a suitable date and time with a clinic in your area.
Patients are advised that consultations are occasionally peer-reviewed using a listening monitor, but not recorded. This is for training and quality purposes, but any patient unwilling to have their consultation with the audiologist reviewed can be omitted from the quality assessment scheme.
During the Hearing Test
At your appointment, your audiologist will ask you a few simple questions about your lifestyle, family history and whether you have difficulty hearing in any particular situations such as noisy public spaces.
The audiologist will then take a look inside your ears using an instrument called an otoscope, which involves minimal discomfort and is designed to ascertain whether you have any obstructions or ear infections that might be temporarily affecting your ability to hear properly.
After that, you will be asked to listen to a number of sounds, usually a series of beeps, set at different frequencies, to ascertain if you have trouble hearing certain types of sounds. This part of the test is known as 'audiometry.' You may then be presented with a list of words, which will be read out to you and which you will then be asked to repeat.
Finally, you will undergo what is known as 'Sandfield Testing' – a technique pioneered by Hidden Hearing that is designed to assess how well you can hear in both quiet and noisy situations.
When the Test is Over
Afterwards, the results from your check-up will be shared with you. Based on these, your audiologist may make a number of recommendations. If hearing aids are advised, you will get a chance to have a look at the different types available to see if any meet your needs.
Once you have decided how you'd like to proceed, a separate appointment will then be booked to fit your hearing aids and help you get to grips with how they work.