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The Importance of Regular Testing for Hearing Loss: What You Need to Know

Posted On: May 16, 2024

Regular tests to monitor for hearing loss are a crucial component of maintaining optimal hearing health and overall well-being. While hearing loss is commonly associated with ageing, it can affect individuals of all ages due to various factors such as exposure to loud noise, genetics, and certain medical conditions. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore why regular testing for hearing loss is essential, what hearing tests involve, and how they can positively impact your life.

Why Does Regular Testing Matter for Hearing Loss?

Early Detection Saves Hearing

One of the primary reasons for regular hearing tests is early detection. By identifying hearing loss in its early stages, interventions such as medical attention, hearing aids, or assistive devices can be implemented promptly, preventing further deterioration of hearing abilities.

Prevention of Cognitive Decline

Research has shown a strong correlation between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline, including conditions like dementia (Alzheimer’s disease). Regular hearing tests allow for the timely identification and management of hearing loss, potentially reducing the risk of cognitive impairment.

Enhanced Communication

Hearing loss can significantly impact an individual’s ability to communicate effectively, leading to feelings of social isolation and frustration. Regular tests ensure that any changes in hearing abilities are detected early, allowing for appropriate interventions to improve communication skills and maintain social connections, which is a very important part of healthy ageing.

Safety Concerns

Individuals with untreated hearing loss may be at a higher risk of falls, accidents, and injuries due to reduced awareness of their surroundings, reduced feedback of feet placement and terrain, and reduced response times. Regular hearing tests can help address any hearing-related safety concerns and improve overall safety and quality of life.

Improved Quality of Life

Addressing hearing loss through regular testing and appropriate interventions can greatly enhance an individual’s quality of life. Improved communication, increased social engagement, and better overall well-being are among the many benefits associated with managing hearing loss effectively.

What to Expect During a Hearing Test?

A hearing test, also known as audiometry, is a simple and painless procedure that measures your ability to hear sounds. It is typically performed by an audiologist or a hearing care professional. If you’ve never had a hearing test before, here’s what you can expect during the process:

  • Pre-Test Discussion: Before the test begins, the audiologist will discuss your medical history, any symptoms you may be experiencing, and your exposure to loud noise or other factors that could affect your hearing.
  • Physical Examination: The audiologist will examine your ears using an otoscope to check for any blockages or abnormalities in and around your ear and check the health of your ear drum.
  • Pure-Tone Audiometry: This test involves wearing headphones and listening to sounds at different frequencies (pitches) and volumes. You will be asked to indicate when you hear a sound by pressing a button or raising your hand.
  • Bone Conduction Testing: Bone conduction testing using a headband will be used to determine if any hearing loss is caused by a problem in the inner ear or the middle ear. You will be presented with the same sounds as Pure-Tone Audiometry and asked to continue to indicate when you can hear them.
  • Speech Audiometry: This test evaluates your ability to hear and understand speech. You will listen to words or sentences at different volumes and repeat them back to the audiologist.
  • Tympanometry: This test measures the movement of your eardrum in response to changes in air pressure. It helps assess the health and function of the middle ear.
  • Results Discussion: Once the tests are complete, the audiologist will discuss the results with you. They will explain your hearing abilities in terms of frequency and volume and discuss any recommendations for further evaluation or treatment.

FAQs About Hearing Tests

Q: Are hearing tests covered by Medicare?

A: You may be eligible for a partial Medicare rebate for your hearing test if you attend with a referral from your GP or ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) Specialist. Please check with one of our receptionists when booking your appointment.

Q: Are hearing tests covered by Private Health Insurance?

A: Many Private Health Insurance plans cover hearing tests, especially if they are deemed medically necessary. It’s best to check with your provider for specific coverage details. Please note that patients cannot claim both a Medicare rebate and a Private Health Insurance rebate.

Q: What are the signs that I may need a hearing test?

A: Signs include difficulty hearing conversations, especially in the presence of background noise, frequently asking others to repeat themselves, turning up the volume on electronic devices, and experiencing ringing in the ears (tinnitus). If you have had no history of hearing or ear health issues, a good guide is to have a hearing test at age 65 as this is when age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) tends to begin.

Q: Can hearing tests be done online?

A: While some online hearing tests exist, they are not as comprehensive as in-person tests conducted by a qualified audiologist using calibrated equipment. Online hearing tests at best serve as a screening indication that there may be hearing loss present. It’s best to consult with a professional for an accurate assessment.

Q: How can I prepare for a hearing test?

A: There is no special preparation required for a hearing test. However, it’s helpful to be well-rested and inform the audiologist of any medications or medical conditions you have. You are welcome to bring a copy of your most recent previous hearing test if it was performed elsewhere.

Q: What happens if my hearing test indicates a problem?

A: If your test indicates hearing loss, the audiologist will discuss the results with you and recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include medical referrals, hearing aids, or other interventions.

Q: Are hearing tests different for children?

A: Yes, hearing tests for children may involve different techniques and assessments tailored to their age and developmental stage.


Regular hearing tests are vital for maintaining your hearing health and overall well-being. At Helix Hearing, we understand the importance of early detection and intervention when it comes to hearing loss. Our team of experienced audiologists are here to provide comprehensive hearing evaluations and personalised solutions to meet your needs. Don’t wait until your hearing loss becomes a bigger issue—schedule your hearing test with Helix Hearing today and take the first step toward better hearing health.