Hearing loss is challenging, if not impossible, to diagnose by yourself. For example, you can’t actually put your ear up to a speaker and effectively calculate what you hear. So getting your hearing tested will be essential in figuring out what’s happening with your hearing.
But there’s no need to worry or stress out because a hearing test is about as simple as putting on a high-tech set of headphones.
But we get it, no one likes tests. Tests in general are no fun for anyone of any age. You will be more comfortable and more prepared if you take some time to get to know these tests. A hearing test is about the simplest test you’ll ever have to take!
What is a hearing test like?
Talking about scheduling an appointment to get a hearing test is something that is not that unusual. And the phrase “hearing test” is something we’ve probably talked about occasionally. Perhaps, you’ve heard that there are two types of hearing tests and you’re wondering what they are all about.
Well, that’s not completely accurate. Because it turns out there are a number of different hearing tests you might undergo. Each of them is made to measure something different or give you a specific result. Here are some of the hearing tests you’re likely to encounter:
- Pure-tone audiometry: Most people are most likely familiar with this hearing test. You listen for a sound on a set of headphones. Hear a tone in your right ear? Put up your right hand. Hear the pitch in your left ear? Same thing! With this, we can figure out which wavelengths and volumes of sound you can 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, again, be instructed to put on some headphones. Instead of making you focus on tones, this test will consist of audible speech at different volumes to identify the lowest level you can hear a word and still comprehend it.
- Speech and Noise-in-Words Tests: Needless to say, conversations in the real world take place in settings where other sounds are present. The only real difference between this test and the Speech audiometry test is that it is carried out in a noisy setting. This mimics real-world situations to help determine how your hearing is working in those situations.
- Bone conduction testing: How well your inner ear is working will be determined by this test. Two small sensors are placed, one on your forehead, and the other on your cochlea. Sound is then sent through a small device. How efficiently sound vibrations travel through the ear is measured by this test. If this test establishes that sound is traveling through your ear effectively it may suggest that you have an obstruction.
- Tympanometry: The general health of your eardrum sometimes requires testing. Tympanometry is a test that is utilized for this purpose. 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 reveal that.
- Acoustic Reflex Measures: During this test, a tiny device delivers sound to your ear and observes the muscle feedback of your inner ear. It all happens by reflex, which means that your muscle movements can reveal a lot about how well your middle ear is functioning.
- Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR): The ability of your inner ear and brain to respond to sound is measured by an ABR test. This is accomplished by putting a couple of strategically placed electrodes on the outside of your skull. This test is totally painless so don’t worry. That’s why everyone from newborns to grandparents get this test.
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing: This type of testing will help determine if your inner ear and cochlea are working effectively. It does this by tracking the sound waves that echo back from your inner ear into your middle ear. This can determine whether your cochlea is working or, in some cases, if your ear is blocked.
What do the results of hearing tests reveal?
Chances are, you usually won’t undergo every single one of these hearing tests. Generally, your specific symptoms will determine which of these tests will be relevant.
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 take can, in other cases, simply help us rule out other causes. Ultimately, we will get to the bottom of any hearing loss symptoms you are noticing.
Here are a few things that your hearing test can uncover:
- Whether your hearing loss is in a particular frequency range.
- Which treatment approach is best for your hearing loss: We will be more effectively able to address your hearing loss once we’ve determined the cause.
- How much your hearing loss has advanced and how serious it is.
- Whether you’re dealing with symptoms related to hearing loss or hearing loss itself.
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 a lot more in-depth and can supply usable data.
The sooner you get tested, the better
So as soon as you notice symptoms, you should schedule a hearing test. Don’t worry, this test won’t be very stressful, and you won’t have to study. And the tests aren’t unpleasant or invasive. If you’re wondering, what should I not do before you get a hearing test, don’t worry, we will provide you with all of that information.
It’s easy, just call and schedule an appointment.