So, you’ve decided to go to an audiologist and get your hearing checked. You might be doing this for any number of reasons. Maybe you have noticed some hearing loss. Maybe you have a family history of hearing loss. Maybe you’ve heard – correctly – that you should get your hearing checked after you’ve turned 50.

Still, it’s a bit scary, or at the very least, anxiety-inducing. Getting your health checked out with a new batch of tests can feel stressful. Nonetheless, everything is easier when you know what to expect. Here’s the skinny of how most hearing tests conducted by audiologists go down.

1. You will be asked about your lifestyle

Your audiologist wants to paint a complete picture of your hearing health. This means in addition to the hearing tests they’ll run, they also want to know your lifestyle as it relates to your hearing health. Do you go to a lot of concerts? Do you work in loud environments? Do you live to mow and weed-whack the lawn? All of these activities, and others, can damage your hearing over time, and your audiologist will want to know the answers to these questions and others to determine how much your life puts your hearing at risk.

2. You will be asked about your health history

Again, these questions will help the audiologist know what, if any particular thing, to be on the lookout for. Did either of your parents significantly lose their hearing? What about other relatives? Do you get more than your fair share of ear infections? Have you had any sort of ear injury or trauma? These are things the audiologist will want to know. They will also likely ask about the medications you are on, as some medications are potentially dangerous to your ears, or “ototoxic.”

3. Your ears will be physically examined

Speaking of ear infections, your audiologist will check the overall health of your ears and ear canal. They will also check how much wax buildup you have, and any other indicators of potential hearing loss or blockage that’s visible to the naked eye. This examination won’t take long and is completely pain-free.

4. You will undergo actual hearing tests

There are a number of different hearing tests available at an audiologist’s disposal. They will take into consideration you hearing loss symptoms, experience and health background when deciding which ones to use in assessing your hearing health. Many of these tests involve wearing a pair of earphones and raising your hand or pushing a button when you hear a particular sound. These tests are pain-free and easy for you to perform.

5. Getting your results

The results of your hearing test will be charted on an audiogram. With this information and the medical history you provided earlier, the audiologist will be able to piece together your hearing health. Some hearing loss only impacts certain pitches or sounds, while others are more encompassing. Your audiologist will walk you through your results and recommend any treatments if necessary.

All in all, getting your hearing tested is straightforward, painless and pretty simple, so there’s no reason not to fearlessly plunge ahead into the process. Your ears will thank you!