Testing for Hearing Loss
Hearing screenings are a good way to assess hearing loss to determine whether you need to visit an audiologist and can be performed for any age group. Screenings comprise of a pass/fail test, which means that if you fail the screening it indicates that you have some form of hearing loss.
In comparison, a hearing test is a comprehensive assessment conducted by an audiologist to determine the type, level and extent of your hearing loss and whether your hearing loss has impacted only one or both of your ears. This test will help your audiologist guide you with appropriate devices to help you retain the remainder of your hearing.
Your audiologist will conduct a visual examination of your ears through the use of an Otoscope to look inside your ears in search of any physical obstruction that may be resulting in your hearing loss. A history of your previous health ailments, ear infections, medications and supplements will also be explored. Be honest with your audiologist and share all the necessary information to the best of your ability.
Your audiologist may also use pure-tone testing even if this test had been conducted during your screening. This test involves listening to sounds that are generated from headphones and responding accordingly. The test results will help them create an audiogram that will chart your hearing abilities.
The audiologist may also use the speech reception threshold to confirm the pure-tone test. This particular test indicates the softest degree of speech that you are able to hear half of the time. The test is conducted both with background noise as well as in complete silence.
The acoustic reflex measure is used by your audiologist to determine the exact location of your hearing loss. The test explores the functioning capacity of your middle ear by testing the level of sound signals which cause the muscles in your middle ear to contract in response.
Tympanometry is also another test which explores your middle ear where a tiny puff of air is blown into your ear canal intended to help the eardrum to vibrate. This test indicates whether there is appropriate fluid in your ear, a hole within the eardrum or whether there is a build-up of earwax. It also indicates whether the eardrum is not vibrating at the recommended level or whether it is vibrating way too much.
Static acoustic impedance is another test that is used to help explore the volume of air that is present within the ear canal. This can help identify whether there is damage to the middle ear that may be resulting in hearing impairment.
Each of the hearing tests listed above is painless and only used for assessment purposes to help your audiologist determine the best options to help you rectify your hearing so that you can continue to enjoy your auditory world.