Self-diagnosing hearing loss is basically impossible. For example, you can’t really put your ear up to a speaker and effectively evaluate what you hear. So getting your hearing tested will be vital in figuring out what’s happening with your hearing.
But there’s no need to worry or stress because a hearing test is about as easy as putting on a high-tech pair of headphones.
Alright, tests aren’t everyone’s favorite thing to do. Tests in general are no fun for anybody of any age. You will be more comfortable and more prepared if you take a little time to get to know these tests. There’s almost no test easier to take than a hearing test!
How is a hearing test performed?
Talking about making an appointment to get a hearing assessment is something that is not that uncommon. And we’ve probably used the phrase “hearing test” once or twice. You may even be thinking, well, what are the 2 types of hearing tests?
Well, that’s a bit misleading. Because as it happens, there are a few different hearing tests you may undergo. Each of them is designed to assess something different or give you a specific result. Here are some of the hearing tests you’re likely to experience:
- Pure-tone audiometry: This is the hearing test you’re likely most aware of. You wear some headphones and you listen for a sound. Hear a pitch in your right ear? Raise your right hand. Hear the tone in your left ear? Same thing! This will test your ability to hear a variety of wavelengths at a variety of volumes. It will also measure whether you have more significant hearing loss in one ear than the other.
- Speech audiometry: Sometimes, you can hear tones really well, but hearing speech is still something challenging. That’s because speech is generally more complex! This test also is comprised of a pair of headphones in a quiet room. Instead of making you focus on tones, this test will be comprised of audible speech at various volumes to detect the lowest level you’re able to hear a word and still comprehend it.
- Speech and Noise-in-Words Tests: Obviously, conversations in real-time occur in settings where there are other sounds. The only actual 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 settings.
- Bone conduction testing: How well your inner ear is functioning will be determined by this test. Two small sensors are placed, one on your forehead, and one on your cochlea. Sound is then sent through a small device. How efficiently sound vibrations travel through the ear is tracked by this test. This test can often detect whether there is an obstruction in your ear (ex: if you’re unable to hear, but your inner ear is working fine there might be some sort of obstruction hindering the sounds).
- Tympanometry: The overall health of your eardrum sometimes needs to be tested. This is done using a test called tympanometry. During this test, a little device will gently push air into your ear and measure exactly 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: A tiny device measures the muscle response of your inner ear after delivering sound to it. The reflexive reaction of the muscle movement of your inner ear will help us discover how well it’s working.
- Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR): An ABR test attempts to measure how well the brain and inner ear are responding to sound. This is achieved by placing a couple of tactically placed electrodes on the outside of your skull. This test is entirely painless so don’t worry. It’s one of the reasons why ABR testing is used on everyone from grandparents to newborns!
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing: This diagnostic is made to determine how well your cochlea and inner ear are functioning. This is achieved by tracking sound that echo’s back to your middle ear from your inner ear. If your cochlea isn’t working efficiently or there’s an obstruction, this test will reveal it.
What can we discover from hearing test results?
It’s likely, you usually won’t undergo every single one of these hearing tests. Generally, your specific symptoms will determine which of these tests will be appropriate.
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 instances, simply help us eliminate other causes. Whatever hearing loss symptoms you’re noticing will ultimately be determined.
Generally, your hearing test will reveal:
- Whether you’re dealing with symptoms related to hearing loss or hearing loss itself.
- Whether your hearing loss is in a specific frequency range.
- The best approach for dealing with your hearing loss: We will be more successfully able to address your hearing loss once we’ve established the cause.
- How severe your hearing loss is (or, if you’ve had numerous tests over the years, how your hearing loss might have advanced).
What’s 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 really superficial. A test is a lot more in-depth and can supply usable information.
It’s best to get tested as soon as possible
That’s why it’s essential to schedule a hearing test when you first detect symptoms. Don’t worry, this test isn’t going to be super stressful, and you don’t have to study. And the tests aren’t painful or intrusive. 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 simple, just call and schedule an appointment.