Can You Pass A Hearing Test But Still Have Problems Hearing?

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hand to an ear trying to listen

People take hearing tests for a variety of different reasons; your school may test their students or your job might want to make sure that you can hear things around you for the purposes of safety. It can be easy to be nervous about a test like this, with a lot of people worrying that their hearing won’t be good enough to give them a pass. Of course, though, there is also the worry that you will pass your test despite the hearing problems you have.

It’s entirely possible to pass a hearing test when you still have hearing problems, and we’re going to be exploring some of the causes of this issue. Your hearing instrument specialist (HIS) will work extremely hard to provide accurate results, but it isn’t possible for them to get the perfect readings every time.

Incomplete tests

Testing and diagnosing for the full spectrum of possible hearing issues in a single exam is a very tricky proposition. It forces HIS professionals to find ways to test different areas at the same time, and means that some elements of your hearing simply can’t be tested properly. You can find some examples of the issues which will leave tests effectively incomplete below.

  • Hidden hearing issues: The testing areas which are used by HIS professionals tend to be very clean when it comes to sound. There won’t be much background noise, and many of their tests will involve near complete silence until there is something for you to hear. This doesn’t reflect natural environments, though, and can easily leave hearing problems hidden.
  • Non-audio cues: Humans are very adaptable, and people often learn ways to make up for conditions like hearing loss. When you’re talking to people, this could involve lip reading, even if you’ve never made a conscious effort to learn this skill. This can make certain tests give poor results, unless your HIS is able to hide their face from you.
  • Unusual problems: Most hearing tests are designed to get to the bottom of a range of different common problems. If you’re experiencing something unusual, it could be hard for the standard tests to pick it up, leaving a lot of people without a proper diagnosis. This is particularly bad if there isn’t a test available for the issue you’re living with.

On the threshold

Hearing issues will impact everyone differently, making it challenging for HIS professionals to know how sensitive their tests need to be. Your hearing might be bad enough to force you to turn up the television, but it might not be bad enough to fail a hearing test. This can be frustrating, as the impact this can have on your hearing can cause problems in every aspect of your daily life. Of course, though, you can always ask your audiologist to run further tests if you’re unhappy with their findings.


While the idea of someone cheating on a hearing test might sound a little silly, most people don’t like the idea of wearing a hearing aid, and this can be enough to make people bend the rules a little. Answering questions with guesses during the test is a common approach, particularly amongst young people. It’s hard to provide accurate answers when you have pressure on you, but you should always work to stop this from influencing your results.

Other impacts

Another common way your hearing test can be impacted is if you are experiencing a cold or a problem with your sinuses. When this occurs, you may notice your ears feeling clogged or full, which can cause your ability to hear to appear different than what it really is. Additionally, be immersed in loud sounds one or two days prior to your testing can also impact your results, especially if you’re experiencing a ringing in your ears.

Here at Nobile Hearing Aids, we pride ourselves on providing accurate tests which change based on the person being tested. Our skilled team of hearing experts are well-equipped to help you with hearing problems, and we have everything we need to offer treatments and devices which will be able to improve your hearing.

If you’re experiencing hearing loss or other ear problems, we encourage you to get in touch with our friendly team. You can call us at 239-772-8101, and we’ll get right to work on finding a solution to your hearing problems. This will usually start with a test or two, but it won’t take long before we have something which can help you.