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Our hearing test

As we age, our hearing gradually deteriorates. This is generally through a very slow process. this age-related natural deterioration is known as presbycusis. As it is such a slow process, it may be difficult to recognise at first. Some tell-tale signs are difficulty hearing in crowded or group settings, hearing that someone is speaking but being unable to accurately distinguish what that person is saying, hearing them “muffled”, turning the television up louder, but still not making out the words and struggling with accents.

We’ll have a chat

This will cover your previous medical history, when you first noticed hearing loss & any exposure to loud sounds or environments.

Conduct a hearing test

Our Audiologists will perform a physical examination of the ears followed by a pure tone hearing test.

Discuss your Audiogram

Our Audiologists will explain the results of your Audiogram and explain if hearing loss is present.

Due to the nature of the make-up of the cochlea or inner ear (our organ of hearing), as we age, we generally begin to lose our high-frequency hearing first. Regarding speech, consonants make-up the overall clarity and as a result, the general context of speech. Consonants however are high-frequency in nature. Losing our ability to hear these consonant sounds, results in a deficiency in our ability to discriminate between those consonants, therefore a loss in the ability to precisely understand the context of a word.

During a hearing test, our Audiologists will ask a variety of questions ranging from medical, to current lifestyle, previous exposure to excessive noise levels and areas of difficulty. Following this, we will look into your ears using an otoscope, this allows us to inspect for obstruction either through foreign body or wax and ensure the ear drums are looking as we would expect.

How our hearing test works

Headphones are placed over each ear, and a button given to you to press. Through the headphones you will be presented with a series of tones varying in pitch and volume. Each time a tone is heard, you press the button to indicate you have heard it. In general, pure-tone audiometry is used to ascertain your level of hearing or “thresholds”. Sometimes however with tinnitus sufferers, pure-tone audiometry is not an accurate test as pure tones can often match the pitch of tinnitus, in which case a different type of sound called a warble tone is presented.

The results whether using pure or warble tone will be the same, the warble just makes it much easier for certain tinnitus sufferers to be confident they are correctly responding and not responding to their tinnitus. The initial test using the headphones is known as air conduction testing and tests if there is a hearing loss there by testing the entire ear (outer, middle and inner) working together as one unit.

If a hearing loss is detected, we then need to establish if it is outer, middle or inner ear hearing loss. Using a headband which sits on the mastoid bone behind one of your ears (usually the worse of the two), we by-pass the outer and middle ear and isolate and test the function of the inner ear by itself, this is done through a process known as bone conduction. Should your air conduction and bone conduction match, this is known as sensorineural hearing loss or presbycusis.

If there is a discrepancy between the two, I.E a gap between the readings, we need to do further testing known as masking which essentially distracts one ear allowing us to obtain true readings for the other and vice versa.

If there is a hearing loss in the outer or middle ear and the inner function is normal, this is known as a conductive hearing loss. If there is a combination of either outer or middle and inner ear hearing loss, this is known as a mixed hearing loss.

Understanding your audiogram

Our Audiologists explain the results of the test, in graph form, called an audiogram. An audiogram shows the quietest sounds heard at a variety of frequencies and is broken up into levels of loss from no loss, mild, moderate, severe and profound. Your hearing loss will be explained to you in terms of severity and also which of the three types of loss you have.

Most of the time, the loss we find is normal, general, wear and tear hearing loss. Sometimes however we may need to refer onward to a GP or ENT consultant for further investigation. Combining the results of the test along with the persons areas of difficulty, lifestyle, medical history and sometimes size and shape of canals, we can choose the best hearing aid that suits your lifestyle.

As hearing is a very subjective sense, two people may have the exact same hearing loss but due to totally different lifestyles, have completely differing perceptions to their loss.

We realise everyone is different, only by ensuring we ask these questions during the consultation can we be confident we will make a decision that is right and tailored for you and your needs.

Find a clinic near you

Book your free hearing test with our fully Qualified Audiologists.

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  • Ballincollig

    Tesco Superstore Ballincollig

    Tesco Superstore,
    Ballincollig Shopping Centre,
    Ballincollig,
    Co. Cork
    P31 F652

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  • Churchtown

    Blackberry Hearing Churchtown

    1st Floor,
    3, Landscape Road,
    Churchtown,
    Dublin 14,
    D14 WC65

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  • Mallow

    Blackberry Hearing Mallow

    Blackberry Hearing Mallow,
    Fairgreen,
    Co. Cork
    P51 Y72Y


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  • Two Mile House

    Blackberry Hearing HQ

    The Village Centre,
    Two Mile House,
    Naas,
    Co. Kildare
    W91 E377

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  • Book a home visit

    Our Audiologist can come to your home if you are unable to attend a clinic. This service is available free of charge.

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Ashbourne

Ashbourne Clinic, Centric Health, Killegland Street, s Street, Killegland, Ashbourne, County Meath, Ireland

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Athlone

Athlone Opticians, Ballymahon Road, Athlone, Westmeath, N37 R9W4, Ireland

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Ballina

15 Cathedral Rd, Abbeyhalfquarter, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland

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Ballincollig

Tesco Superstore, Ballincollig, County Cork, Ireland

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Ballindine

Ballindine Hub Primary Healthcare, Ballindine East, County Mayo, Ireland

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Birr

Smith & O'Mahony Eyecare, Main Street, Townparks, Birr, County Offaly, Ireland

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Cahir

Durkan Opticians, The Square, Townparks, Cahir, County Tipperary, Ireland

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Carlow

McCauley Pharmacy Carlow, Barrack Street, Carlow, Ireland

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Carrick On-Shannon

Castlecara Road, Attifinlay, Carrick-On-Shannon, County Leitrim, Ireland

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Castlebar

Mayo Podiatry Foot and Ankle Clinic, Upper Chapel Street, Garryduff, Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland

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Cavan

Cavan Physiotherapy Clinic, Loreto Rd, Carrickane, Co. Cavan, H12 RY65, Ireland

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Charleville

Specs Of Charleville, Rathgoggan Middle, Charleville, Cork, Ireland

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Churchtown

Fiacla Dental Clinic, Landscape Road, Newtown Little, Dublin 14, Ireland

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Clifden

Clifden Opticians, Bridge Street, Clifden, County Galway, Ireland

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Clonmel

Ashleigh Milne Podiatry (AMP Climics Ltd), Market Street, Oldbridge, Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland

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Cong

Lynn Medical Centre, Nymphsfield, Cong, County Mayo, Ireland

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Douglas

McCauley Pharmacy, Douglas, Douglas, Cork, Ireland

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Enfield

Enfield Opticians, Johnstown, Enfield, Meath, Ireland

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Ennis

River Walk Medical Centre, Parnell Street, Clonroad Beg, Ennis, County Clare, Ireland

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Galway

Harris House, IDA Small Business Centre, Tuam Road, Galway, H91 RK5Y

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Galway

Helen Walsh Opticians - Independent opticians, Galway, Helen Walsh Opticians, Middle Street Court, 4 Middle St, Galway, H91 ET8R, Ireland

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Gorey

Physio Solutions, Fort Road, Gorey corporation lands, Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland

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Gort

Gort Medical Centre, Bridge Street, Gort, County Galway, Ireland

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Greystones

Greystones Eye Centre, Church Road, Rathdown Lower, Greystones, County Wicklow, Ireland

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Kilkenny

Infocus Opticians Kilkenny, 41 Saint Kieran's Street, Gardens, Kilkenny, Ireland

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Killarney

Urban Optics, Scotts Street, Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland

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Lahardaun

Nephin Medical Centre, Lahardaun, Co. Mayo, F26 R9K5, Ireland

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Letterkenny

Louis Walsh Opticians, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland

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Limerick

Ashdown Centre, South Circular Road, Ashbourne Avenue, Limerick, Ireland

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Listowel

Listowel Physiotherapy Clinic, Church Street Church St, Listowel, Co. Kerry, V31 TP83, Ireland

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Longford

Camlin Medical Practice, 1 College Park, Templemichael Glebe, Longford, Co. Longford, N39 Y6C9, Ireland

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Mallow

Blackberry Hearing Mallow, Fairgreen, Mallow, County Cork, Ireland

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Maynooth

Tesco Extra, Dublin Road, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland

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Midleton

A O'Connor Opticians Midleton, Main Street, Midleton, County Cork, Ireland

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Moycullen

Moycullen primary care, Ballycuirke West, County Galway, Ireland

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Mullingar

Whelehans Pharmacy, Pearse St, Commons, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, N91 H566, Ireland

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Naas

Tesco Extra, Monread Road, Monread North, Naas, County Kildare, Ireland

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Navan

McCauley Pharmacy Kennedy Road, Navan, Kennedy Road, Dillonsland, Navan, County Meath, Ireland

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Nenagh

Mount Carmel, Tyone, Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland

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Northwood

The Menopause Hub - Santry, Blackwood Court, Northwood Avenue, Santry, Dublin 9, Ireland

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Portlaoise

Infocus Opticians Portlaoise, Main Street, Maryborough, Portlaoise, County Laois, Ireland

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Raheny

Raheny Optics, Howth Road, Clontarf East, Raheny, County Dublin, Ireland

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Roscommon

Rosmed Pharmacy, Golf Links Road, Ballypheasan, Roscommon, Ireland

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Roscommon

Kearney's Chemist, Castlereagh, Castlerea, County Roscommon, Ireland

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Shankill

Rathmichael Clinic, Shanganagh, Dublin, Ireland

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Sligo

Shell House, Wine Street, Abbeyquarter North, Sligo, Ireland

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Tipperary

Eyesight Opticians, Main Street, Town Lot, Tipperary, Ireland

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Tralee

Tralee Medical Centre,, St Brendan's Park, Monavally, Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland

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Tullamore

Physio Tullamore, Church View, Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland

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Two Mile House

Blackberry Hearing, Stephenstown South, Naas, County Kildare, Ireland

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Waterford

Waterford Medical Centre, Tramore Road, Waterford, Ireland

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Westport

Eye World Opticians, Market Lane, Street, Westport, County Mayo, Ireland

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Wexford

Whitemill Medical Centre, Neighbourhood, White Mill Road, Whitemill South, Wexford, Ireland

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