If you’ve never had a hearing test, it can be difficult to know what to expect. Performed by an audiologist, a hearing test will check the effectiveness of your hearing to be able to identify whether or not you are experiencing hearing loss. 

There are some common hearing tests that are carried out to give your audiologist a clear picture of your hearing. If there is anything that requires further investigation, the audiologist may decide to carry out further tests.

So, what are the four most common hearing tests? Look at them in more detail below:

1. Pure-tone testing

Pure-tone testing is the most common type of hearing test. During a pure-tone test, you will sit in a room or a booth, wearing a headset. An audiologist will either play sounds or play a recording and ask you to signal when you’ve heard a sound.

This will help to assess your hearing range, as well as the frequencies that you’re able to hear. This is usually the first type of test that will be carried out during your appointment.

2. Bone conduction testing

Bone conduction testing is used to measure how your ears respond to different sounds. This can help detect the level of hearing loss you could be experiencing. Using a conductor placed behind your ear, small vibrations are sent to your bones directly to your ear.

This will measure reactions from the inner ear to detect if there are any issues. This is different to a tuning fork test, which is another simple hearing test your audiologist may perform.

3. Speech testing

Speech testing will measure how well you can separate speech from background noises. It’s carried out in a quiet environment, and will help determine your speech reception threshold (SRT), which is the level of speech you can recognize. People experiencing hearing loss can find it difficult to separate speech from background noise, so if you are experiencing this symptom then it’s important to book a hearing test. 

4. Tympanometry

Your audiologist may perform a tympanometry test first if they suspect there is a buildup of earwax, fluid or another type of obstruction that could be causing you to experience hearing loss. It works by measuring your eardrum’s movement using air pressure to stimulate your ear. A tympanometry test can also be followed up with other types of hearing test to determine the cause of hearing loss.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss, booking a hearing test can help get to the root of the problem. It can help identify the cause of your hearing loss to be able to provide the right kind of treatment. Many people book regular hearing tests to help them monitor their hearing, especially if they have been experiencing some form of hearing loss. Left untreated, hearing loss can progress, which is why early detection is key.