Hearing loss is difficult, if not impossible, to diagnose by yourself. As an example, you can’t really evaluate your level of hearing by simply putting your ear near a speaker. That means that if you want to understand what’s happening with your hearing, you have to get it tested.
Now, before you start sweating or anxiously fidgeting, it’s significant to mention that most hearing tests are rather easy and involve nothing more taxing than putting on a pair of fancy headphones.
But we get it, people don’t like tests. Whether you’re a high school student or middle-aged medical patient, tests are really just no fun. You will be more relaxed and more prepared if you take some time to get to know these tests. There’s virtually no test easier to take than a hearing test!
What is a hearing test like?
Talking about scheduling an appointment to get a hearing assessment is something that is not that unusual. And we’ve likely used the phrase “hearing test” once or twice. You may even be thinking, well, what are the two types of hearing tests?
Well, that’s not exactly accurate. Because you may undergo a few different kinds of hearing tests, as it turns out. Each one is made to assess something different or provide you with a specific result. The hearing tests you’re most likely to experience include the following:
- Pure-tone audiometry: Most individuals are most likely familiar with this hearing test. You listen for a tone on a set of headphones. You just put up your right hand if you hear a tone in your right ear, and if you hear a tone in your left ear you put up your left hand. With this, we can determine which frequencies and volumes of sound you’re able to hear. And if you have more profound hearing loss in one ear, this test will also determine that.
- Speech audiometry: Sometimes, you’re able to hear tones very well, but hearing speech is still something of a challenge. That’s because speech is generally more complex! When you’re having a speech audiometry test, you’ll be brought into a quiet room and will, once again, be directed to put on some headphones. You will listen to speech at various volumes to determine the lowest level you can hear words and clearly comprehend them.
- Speech and Noise-in-Words Tests: Naturally, real-world conversations almost never take place in a vacuum. A speech and noise-in-words test will go through the same procedure as speech audiometry, but the test occurs in a noisy room rather than a quiet one. This can help you figure out how well your hearing is working in real-world situations.
- Bone conduction testing: This diagnostic is made to measure the performance of your inner ear. Two little sensors are placed, one on your forehead, and one on your cochlea. Sound is then sent through a small device. How efficiently sound vibrations move through the ear is measured by this test. If this test establishes that sound is moving through your ear effectively it could suggest that you have a blockage.
- Tympanometry: The general health of your eardrum sometimes requires testing. Tympanometry is a test that is utilized for this purpose. Air will be gently blown into your ear in order to measure how much movement your eardrum has. The results of this test can reveal whether your eardrum has a hole, fluid behind your eardrum membrane, and more.
- Acoustic Reflex Measures: A tiny device measures the muscle feedback of your inner ear after sending sound to it. The reflexive reaction of the muscle movement of your inner ear will help us determine how well it’s working.
- Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR): The ability of your inner ear and brain to react to sound is measured by an ABR test. This is achieved by putting a couple of tactically placed electrodes on the outside of your skull. Don’t worry, though! This test is completely painless. It’s one of the reasons why ABR testing is used on people from grandparents to newborns!
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing: This diagnostic is made to determine how well your cochlea and inner ear are working. It does this by tracking the sound waves that echo back from your inner ear into your middle ear. If your cochlea isn’t working efficiently or there’s a blockage, this test will reveal it.
What do the results of hearing tests reveal?
You most likely won’t need to get all of these hearing tests. We will pick one or two tests that best suit your symptoms and then go from there.
What do we look for in a hearing test? A hearing test can sometimes uncover the cause of your hearing loss. The hearing test you get can, in other instances, simply help us rule out other causes. Whatever hearing loss symptoms you’re noticing will ultimately be determined.
Here are some things that your hearing test can uncover:
- Which treatment approach will be best for your hearing loss: We will be more successfully able to address your hearing loss once we’ve determined the cause.
- Whether you’re dealing with symptoms associated with hearing loss or hearing loss itself.
- Which wavelengths of sound you have the most difficult time hearing (some people have a difficult time hearing high wavelengths; other people have a difficult time hearing low pitches).
- How much your hearing loss has progressed and how significant it is.
What is the difference between a hearing test and a hearing screening? The difference between a quiz and a test is an apt example. A screening is very superficial. A test is designed to provide usable data.
It’s best to get a hearing test as soon as possible
That’s why it’s essential to schedule a hearing test when you first observe symptoms. Relax, you won’t need to study, and the test isn’t stressful. Nor are hearing tests intrusive or generally unpleasant. We will give you all of the information about what to do and not to do before your hearing test.
It’s easy, just call and schedule an appointment.