People experience hearing loss in a variety of ways: suddenly, due to accident or illness; gradually over time that might be months, years or decades; or in fluctuation, in which they hear better some days than others. Each person’s hearing loss is a unique combination of environments and physical structures in the ear and brain.
When dealing with hearing loss, it’s hard to understand how severe it is without having proper hearing tests conducted. This is where diagnostic hearing tests become valuable tools. At our practice, these simple tests are done to determine the exact pitches, volumes and tones you can hear. By graphing the results, your hearing can be compared to standards that determine the kinds of sounds you hear clearly and those you don’t. These tests are specially designed to help recognize the hearing quality of speech sounds.
The test is the first step in diagnosing and treating hearing loss.
Types of Hearing Tests
Various tests check certain abilities in your ear:
- Air conduction test: determines hearing ability through the ear canal
- Bone conduction test: determines hearing ability through the bone structures of the head
- Speech test: determines ability to parse words
Other tests check various ear structures like the eardrum and auditory nerves. They are all painless and brief. The hearing professional uses a measuring device called an audiometer to run the tests.
Patients wear headphones and a small receiver on the bone near the ear. Tests generally try to determine the softest point at which you can hear the word or tone. As the volume rises and you acknowledge hearing the sound, a benchmark is set for that frequency.
Before or after sound testing, the audiologist might ask about noise levels in your everyday life, and problems relating to hearing like tinnitus and how badly hearing loss affects your daily life.
Beneficial Hearing Aid Center has expert audiologists that will administer the test and evaluate results. The test should take about 30 minutes. Discussing your results and talking about solutions for your hearing problem will take longer. Every patient will get complete care from our specialists about hearing ability and hearing aids.
Hearing tests for children
We field a lot of questions about young children who cannot participate in question-and-answer type testing. Infants are tested in several ways that involve sensors in and around the ear. They can determine if sounds are heard or not by an echo effect from the cochlea in the ear. Other sound recognition games and toys used by audiologists help determine a toddler’s ability to hear.
There are basic sound tests done with children before they are referred to a hearing specialist, generally at school or with a pediatrician. If you have any questions about these tests or adult testing, or hearing problems in general, please call Beneficial Hearing today.