Hearing tests are important tools that audiologists use to identify and diagnose hearing disorders. There are many different tests that audiologists use in this capacity. For example, audiologists frequently use pure-tone tests, middle ear tests, auditory brainstem tests, speech tests and others to diagnose hearing loss conditions.

There are a wide range of hearing disorders and impairments that can be diagnosed with hearing tests. Here is a list of some of the main disorders that are commonly diagnosed with hearing tests.

1. Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is a type of hearing loss in which damage has occurred to the hair-like cells in the ear. Sensorineural can also involve damage to the auditory nerve. This damage is often permanent and it can reduce the flow of sound nerve signals to the brain, reducing hearing. 

Sensorineural hearing loss is often diagnosed with a hearing test called audiometry. This test involves exposing a person to a variety of pitches of sound, and measuring a person’s response to them with a device called an “audiometer.” This testing can help to provide highly beneficial information about the person’s hearing capacity.

2. Conductive hearing loss

Unlike sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss is often temporary. Conductive hearing loss involves either an obstruction to the middle or outer ear, or damage to those areas. Sometimes conductive hearing loss is temporary, and sometimes it is permanent.

Conductive hearing loss can also be detected through an audiometry test. It can be caused by a buildup of earwax, by something foreign to the body getting stuck in the ear, or from numerous types of damage.

3. Sudden deafness

Sudden deafness is a hearing disorder in which a person loses his or her hearing very suddenly. It can be lost at once, or it can be lost over the course of a few days. It usually just happens in one ear. In fact, 90 percent of the cases of sudden deafness involve hearing loss in one ear. It can be caused by infection, earwax impaction, allergies or other causes.

Sudden deafness is often diagnosed with a hearing test called pure-tone audiometry. Once it is diagnosed, the next step is to figure out the best possible treatment protocol to help restore hearing.

If you’re experiencing hearing loss or other complications with your auditory system, don’t hesitate to contact an audiologist to schedule a hearing test and receive the treatment you need!