First of all, congratulations for looking after your hearing health and researching what’s entailed. In this article, we’ll lay out exactly what happens so that when you come in, you’ll know what to expect.

It can be a natural assumption that a hearing assessment will take a long time or that it’s something to be nervous about, but today’s hearing assessments are short and non-invasive.

Having a hearing assessment at our Menlo Park or Los Altos location is as simple as a visit to the dentist, optometrist, or doctor.

We have been helping patients, both in the Bay Area and abroad, hear better for more than 40 years.

Our reputation for treating our patients with the utmost skill, understanding, and integrity is well earned, and our hearing assessments are part of that.


The 5-Step Testing Process At Pacific Hearing Service

Before your hearing test, we’ll review any paperwork you’ve filled out about your personal and family medical history to see if you are at risk of hearing loss.

Certain health conditions, recent illnesses, or head trauma can help us with your hearing diagnosis.

Your hearing assessment will consist of five parts.

#1 – Otoscopic Inspection

We look inside your ear canal and at your eardrum with an otoscope for any type of obstruction such as earwax or inflammation.

If we see anything that requires a physician’s care, we will refer you to a specialist to take care of it.

If you have a lot of wax buildup, we might need to remove that before the inspection. You can read more about this here.

The next four steps take place in our quiet sound booth.

#2 – Immittance

We check the nerves in your middle ear and your eardrum by putting a tiny probe into your ear canal that can send sounds, tones, and a small amount of pressure toward your eardrum to see how your middle ear and eardrum respond.

This pressure is not uncomfortable.

#3 – Otoacoustic Emissions

During initial evaluations, we put a tiny microphone into your ear canal to measure the healthiness of the hair cells in your inner ear. Both #3 and #4 tell us what type of hearing loss you might have: conductive, sensorineural, or both.

#4 – Pure-tone Audiometry

We send a series of tones and sounds through your headphones to see how many you hear and how clearly you hear them.

We’ll also put a small item behind your ear that will vibrate sound to test your middle ear’s ability to conduct sound vibrations.

#5 – Speech Testing

We’ll ask you to repeat words to see which ones you can hear clearly. We’ll then add in different types of background noise to see how your hearing functions in noisy environments.

Hearing Test Results

As soon as your hearing test is over, we will sit with you and share the results in an understandable way.

We’ll also share our insight on how to maintain your hearing health and prevent any future damage.

Our recommendations for a treatment plan will be based on the type and level of hearing loss we find, if any. Sometimes the solution is as simple as removing a bug that got stuck in your ear!

We’ll answer all your questions and ask you about your day-to-day lifestyle so we can find a solution that best fits your life, hearing needs, and budget. We’ll also address any of your hearing concerns.

At Pacific Hearing Services, we focus on favorable options and positive outcomes, and our goal is to have your hearing treatment restore much of what you have lost.

Book Your Hearing Assessment

We offer the convenience of two offices in the Bay Area. We would be delighted to have the chance to answer any of your questions or concerns about your hearing or hearing challenges with no obligation to come see us.

To schedule your hearing assessment, simply complete the form on this page or call our friendly team at 650-854-1980 (Menlo Park) or (650) 941-0664 (Los Altos).

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Rachel Appleton, Au.D.

I grew up in Portsmouth, Ohio. I was an undergrad at the College of Wooster in Ohio and graduate at Northwestern University near Chicago. I did my externship at the VA outside of Chicago. I have always enjoyed volunteering throughout my life. As a teen, I volunteered a lot at a local retirement community, and I loved spending time with the residents there. While in graduate school, I was able to travel to Peru to educate others about hearing healthcare. Pacific Hearing Service was a great fit for me because of the practice’s focus on humanitarian outreach both locally and abroad.