Did you know there are many types of hearing tests? A hearing test is an evaluation that informs an audiologist the type and degree of hearing loss an individual has. Different types of tests are used to ensure a full evaluation of one’s hearing loss is complete.
There are two major categories of tests: audiometric test procedures and outer or middle ear tests. Each category has multiple types of tests that can be used depending on the type of person being tested. For example, children cannot undergo the same type of testing as adults, simply because they cannot sit still and behave as well as adults can.
Audiometric tests measure the range and sensitivity of a person’s sense of hearing. The main types of audiometric tests include:
- Pure-tone audiometry
- Speech reception threshold
- Speech awareness threshold
- Word recognition score
- Loudness discomfort level
The results of these tests are mapped out on an audiogram, or graph. The audiologist is trained to read the audiogram to understand the type and degree of hearing loss an individual has.
OUTER/MIDDLE EAR TESTS
Middle ear tests measure how the eardrum reacts to pressure in the ear canal while outer ear tests measure how well sound is transmitted to the eardrum. Types of outer and middle ear tests include:
- Ear canal volume
- Acoustic reflex testing
The results of these tests will allow an audiologist to determine the type and degree of hearing loss an individual has.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
From the results of the audiograms and other tests, the audiologist will be able to diagnose an individual with hearing loss. The treatment option for someone with hearing loss will depend highly on the type and degree of hearing loss they have. Usually, hearing aids are part of the solution, coupled with assistive listening devices.
If your hearing test results indicate you need hearing aids, your audiologist will work with you to find the right devices for your specific hearing loss, lifestyle and budget needs. Hearing aids come in a variety of styles, models and colors. Additionally, hearing aids also offer a number of different features, from noise reduction to directional microphones.
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with an audiologist. Your audiologist will be happy to answer any questions and discuss any concerns before conducting the hearing tests.