Once you decide to seek hearing help, a hearing test will be your first step. Don’t get overly worked up about this, just familiarize yourself with the process so that you can relax a little. Usually, an intake form and insurance information are required. In most cases, similar testing is done.

• An otoscopic assessment will be conducted. With this apparatus, the hearing specialist will be able to see deep into your ear canal.

• Periodically, the specialist will perform a tympanometry test. This particular test is used to rule out any middle ear problems such as fluid behind the eardrum or infections.

• You might be asked to participate in a pure-tone test. This is a test that uses earphones. You will listen to different pitches and indicate when you hear sounds.

These are the most common types of hearing tests. If your hearing specialist decides there is more to your problem, other tests may need to be done. If the first round of tests gives the information needed, the conversation about your hearing help options can begin. Most people can be helped with a hearing instrument. So don’t hesitate to seek out your own hearing help.