An audiometric test, more commonly known as a hearing test, is simple and painless. A ‘Baseline’ audiometric test for work purposes can take as little as 10 minutes and simply requires your attention and responses to tones. However you might not get that far if you don’t do a couple of things in preparation for your hearing test. Here’s a few tips on how to be at your best for a hearing test…
Quiet time before an audiometric test
As an audiometric test aims to find your “threshold” of hearing across a number of frequencies (tones), to get a true indication of your hearing ability you need to be ‘at your best’ for the test. It is commonly understood that exposure to loud noise over long periods of time can permanently decrease your hearing capacity but less known is that exposure to loud noise can also have a short term effect, temporarily decreasing your hearing for up to 16 hours.
In fact, usually, it is these repetitive short term hearing losses caused by noise that leads to permanent noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). Therefore it is recommended that you avoid loud noise for 16 hours prior to audiometric testing.
Ear wax and your audiometric test
It is commonly known that ears produce a waxy substance. Less commonly known is that for some people this wax can build up and block the ear canal reducing sound reaching the eardrum and therefore decreasing your hearing capacity. For most people wax is directed from the ears naturally or can be washed from the ears in the shower. More stubborn wax can be broken down by simple-to-use “drops” purchased from your chemist.
Sometimes, the wax is so compacted that a doctor is required to “syringe” the wax from the ears. Importantly, making sure sure your ears are clear will make sure you are at your best for your audiometric test.
Cold and flu at time of an audiometric test
As your hearing mechanism includes a series of bones and a tympanic membrane (ear drum) that vibrate when exposed to noise, the ear canal and the middle ear need to be clear. Illness that causes mucus build-up in the middle ear, such as is experienced with a “head-cold”, can reduce the normal vibration of the ear drum and bones temporarily reducing hearing capacity. Therefore, if you have a cold or flu-like illness at the time of audiometric testing you may need to call to reschedule.
Best preparation for an audiometric test
So in preparation for audiometric testing, also known as a hearing testing, remember to:
- Have your ears cleared of wax at last 2 days before your hearing test
- For 16 hours before your hearing test avoid exposure to loud noise (eg. anything louder than a domestic vacuum cleaner) of more than a few minutes.
- Try to be free of illness that includes mucus build-up in the middle ear (eg. A head cold or flu)
We also conduct Worksafe Noise Surveys so you can measure the noise exposure in your workplace.