Self-diagnosing hearing loss is basically impossible. For instance, you can’t actually put your ear up to a speaker and effectively evaluate what you hear. So getting your hearing tested will be essential in understanding what’s happening with your hearing.
Now, before you start sweating or fidgeting anxiously, it’s significant to point out that most hearing tests are very easy and involve nothing more taxing than putting on a pair of fancy headphones.
Alright, tests aren’t everyone’s favorite thing to do. Tests in general are no fun for anybody of any age. Taking some time to become familiar with these tests can help you feel more prepared and, as a result, more relaxed. A hearing test is about the easiest test you’ll ever take!
How is a hearing test done?
Talking about making an appointment to get a hearing assessment is something that is not that unusual. And the phrase “hearing test” is something we’ve probably discussed on occasion. Perhaps, you’ve heard that there are two kinds of hearing tests and you’re wondering what they are all about.
Well, that’s not exactly accurate. Because as it happens, there are a number of different hearing tests you may undergo. Each of these tests will give you a particular result and is designed to measure something different. Here are a few of the hearing tests you’re likely to encounter:
- Pure-tone audiometry: Most individuals are most likely familiar with this hearing test. You listen for a tone on a pair of headphones. You just raise your right hand if you hear a pitch in your right ear, and if you hear a tone in your left ear you raise your left hand. This will test how well you hear a variety of frequencies at a variety of volumes. And if you have more profound hearing loss in one ear, this test will also determine that.
- Speech audiometry: Sometimes, hearing speech is a challenge for you despite the fact that you can hear tones just fine. 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. Instead of making you focus on tones, this test will be comprised of audible speech at various volumes to detect the lowest level you can hear a word and still comprehend it.
- Speech and Noise-in-Words Tests: Obviously, conversations in real-time happen in settings where there are other sounds. The only real difference between this test and the Speech audiometry test is that it is carried out in a noisy setting. This can help you determine how well your hearing is working in real-world scenarios.
- Bone conduction testing: How well your inner ear is working will be determined by this test. A small sensor is placed near your cochlea and another is put on your forehead. Sound is then transmitted through a small device. This test measures how well those sound vibrations travel through your inner ear. This test can usually identify whether there is an obstruction in your ear (ex: if you’re unable to hear, but your inner ear is working perfectly there may be some sort of obstruction hindering the sounds).
- Tympanometry: The overall health of your eardrum sometimes requires testing. This is accomplished using a test called tympanometry. During this test, a little device will gently push air into your ear and measure just how much your eardrum moves. If you have fluid behind your eardrum, or a hole in your eardrum, this is the test that will identify that.
- Acoustic Reflex Measures: During this test, a tiny device delivers sound to your ear and measures the muscle response of your inner ear. 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. To achieve this test, a couple of electrodes are strategically placed on your skull. Don’t worry, though! This test is totally painless. That’s why everyone from newborns to grandparents get this test.
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing: This diagnostic is made to measure how well your cochlea and inner ear are functioning. It does this by measuring the sound waves that echo back from your inner ear into your middle ear. If your cochlea isn’t working efficiently or there’s an obstruction, this test will reveal it.
What do the results of hearing tests reveal?
You most likely won’t have to get all of these hearing tests. Generally, your particular symptoms will determine which of these tests will be suitable.
When we test your hearing, what are we looking for? A hearing test can sometimes uncover the cause of your hearing loss. In other cases, the test you take might simply eliminate other possible causes. Whatever hearing loss symptoms you’re noticing will ultimately be determined.
Here are some things that your hearing test can reveal:
- The best approach for treating your hearing loss: Once we’ve established the cause of your hearing loss, we’ll be able to more successfully offer treatment solutions.
- Whether you are dealing with hearing loss or experiencing the symptoms associated with hearing loss.
- Which wavelengths of sound you have the most difficult time hearing (some individuals have a hard time hearing high frequencies; others have a difficult time hearing low sounds).
- 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 tested as soon as possible
That’s why it’s important to schedule a hearing test when you first observe symptoms. Don’t worry, this test won’t be super stressful, and you don’t have to study. And the tests aren’t painful or intrusive. 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.