Audiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating hearing-related issues
3 Most Common Hearing Tests
Did you know that hearing loss is the third most common chronic health problem in adults? In addition, people who experience this condition are at risk for several different complications, including social isolation and depression.
Luckily, there are many ways to test your hearing so that you can detect any issues before they become serious problems. This blog post will walk you through four of the most common hearing tests:
- Pure-tone testing
- Speech testing
Pure-tone testing is a standard and easy test to perform. It evaluates how well you can hear sounds of different frequencies at both ears. You will listen through headphones or earphones placed over your ears while the audiologist changes tones from low volume to medium, high and then back down as quickly as possible.
This test helps determine if there's any damage in either ear due to noise exposure, age or other factors such as fluid build-up in the middle ear due to colds or allergies.
It is a standard test performed by an audiologist during your initial visit and any follow-up visits if needed. The audiologist can also perform pure-tone testing during a routine hearing test or new patient examination. It is painless and takes only a few minutes.
Tympanometry is one of the most common hearing tests. It helps test middle ear function, which includes how well your eardrum responds and moves in response to sound. The probe will be outside each side of your head, and then a sound will go into your ear canal as sensors inside the probe take measurements. The probe does not go into your ear.
Tympanometry measures how well your eardrum moves in response to sound and whether there are any problems with middle ear pressure or function. This test can be a part of a routine hearing check-up and after an audiologist suspects, you have an infection or fluid build-up behind your eardrum. You can also do it if you're experiencing symptoms such as pain, fullness, reduced hearing, dizziness, vertigo or tinnitus.
Speech testing is another standard hearing test performed at the audiologist's office. In this type of test, the audiologist will test your hearing through a series of phrases and words. Speech testing has the patient read sentences from a standardized list, such as the hearing in noise test (HINT). The results are analyzed to determine how well you understand speech against background noise. Doing this helps show any loss in understanding what others say when they talk at normal levels on different types of backgrounds – quiet, medium or noisy.
The best way to know what's going on in your ears is by getting a hearing test. Once completed, an audiologist will review their findings and let you know which steps to take next.