Hearing tests are absolutely painless and safe. They are usually conducted in a soundproof studio with specially adapted headphones. These tests’ findings are plotted on an audiogram, which serves as a visual depiction of your level of hearing loss.
Types Of Hearing Tests
Here are some of the different types of hearing tests:
Pure Tone Testing
Also known as pure tone audiometry, this type of hearing test measures your ability to hear sounds at different pitches and loudness using air conduction. Wearing headphones and sitting in a specially built booth will be required. Through the headphones, a succession of noises will be projected. You will be asked to click a button or raise your hand as an indication that you heard the tone. The results of this test will be plotted on an audiogram.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)
OAEs are noises produced by the vibration of the hair cells in the cochlea. This method of testing employs a small probe equipped with a mic and speaker to stimulate and measure the cochlea’s response. Patients with normal hearing will generate emissions. However, when hearing loss surpasses 25-30 dB, no sound will be created. This test can also determine if there is an ear canal obstruction, accumulated fluid in the middle ear, or damage to the cochlea’s hair cells. OAE testing is frequently used for newborn hearing evaluations.
Bone Conduction Testing
Bone conduction testing is another pure-tone test that assesses your inner ear’s reaction to sound. A conductor will be positioned behind your ear, sending small vibrations straight to the inner ear through the bone. This differs from the traditional evaluation, which sends audible noises via air.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
This form of testing is used to assess whether sensorineural hearing loss exists. It’s also commonly used to check babies for hearing issues. Electrodes are attached to your scalp, head, or earlobes while wearing headphones. Brainwave activity is monitored in reaction to different intensities of noises.
This type of hearing test is used to determine the speech reception threshold (SRT), which is the weakest speech you can understand 50% of the time. It is given in either a calm or noisy environment and assesses your ability to distinguish speech from ambient sound or background noise.
Acoustic Reflex Testing
This test detects involuntary muscle contractions in the middle ear and is used to pinpoint the site of your hearing impairment as well as the kind of hearing loss.
The movement of your eardrum in reaction to air pressure is measured by this test. Tympanometry can detect fluid buildup, wax buildup, eardrum perforations, and malignancies.
Types of Hearing Loss
These hearing tests will help your audiologist determine what kind of hearing loss you may have and how best to treat it.
Hearing loss is classified into three types:
Sensorineural Hearing Loss (sometimes termed nerve deafness)
Sensorineural Hearing Loss (sometimes termed nerve deafness) is a type of hearing loss characterized by an issue with the ear anatomy and/or the nerves that govern hearing. It might be present from birth or develop later in life. Sensorineural hearing loss is typically irreversible. The severity of this form of hearing loss varies from modest (inability to hear some noises) to profound.
Conductive Hearing Loss
An obstruction of sound transmission characterizes this type of hearing loss. It can happen at any age, but it is more prevalent in newborns and young children, and it is frequently caused by fluid in the ears or ear infections. Conductive hearing loss is often moderate, short-term, and curable.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed hearing loss is a mix of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most common hearing test?
The most frequent type of hearing test is pure-tone audiometry. It specifies the weakest sounds someone can hear at various pitches or frequencies ranging from high to low. If there is hearing loss, we will utilize this test to assess the type and severity of hearing loss.
Which hearing test is most accurate?
All hearing tests have their own level of accuracy, depending on the information that they can produce. One of the most crucial diagnostics an audiologist will perform to establish the amount of your hearing loss is an audiogram. As it is used to calibrate hearing aids, the data that an audiogram produces is critical in providing an accurate hearing solution.