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Self-diagnosing hearing loss is pretty much impossible. For instance, you can’t actually put your ear next to a speaker and subjectively evaluate what you hear. So getting your hearing tested will be essential in figuring out what’s going on with your hearing.

Now, before you start sweating or fidgeting anxiously, it’s significant to mention that most hearing tests are very easy and involve nothing more challenging than putting on a pair of fancy headphones.

But we get it, people don’t like tests. Tests in general are no fun for anyone of any age. You will be more relaxed and more ready if you take some time to get to know these tests. There’s virtually no test easier to take than a hearing test!

How is a hearing test done?

We often talk about scheduling an appointment with a hearing specialist to get your ears assessed. And we’ve likely used the phrase “hearing test” a couple of times. You may even be thinking, well, what are the two types of hearing tests?

Well, that’s a bit misleading. Because you might undergo a number of different kinds of hearing tests, as it turns out. Each one is made to measure something different or give you a specific result. Here are a few of the hearing tests you’re likely to experience:

  • Pure-tone audiometry: This is the hearing test you’re probably most familiar with. You listen for a sound on a pair of headphones. You simply raise your right hand if you hear a pitch in your right ear, and if you hear a tone in your left ear you raise your left hand. This will test how well you hear a variety of frequencies at a variety of volumes. And if you have more profound hearing loss in one ear, this test will also determine that.
  • Speech audiometry: Sometimes, you’re able to hear tones very well, but hearing speech remains somewhat of a challenge. Speech is typically a more complex audio spectrum so it can be harder to hear with clarity. During a speech audiometry test, you’ll be brought into a quiet room and will, again, be instructed to put on some headphones. Instead of making you listen to tones, this test will consist of audible speech at various volumes to detect the lowest level you can hear a word and still comprehend it.
  • Speech and Noise-in-Words Tests: Needless to say, conversations in the real world take place in settings where other sounds are present. The only real difference between this test and the Speech audiometry test is that it is carried out in a noisy setting. This can help you figure out how well your hearing is functioning in real-world situations.
  • Bone conduction testing: How well your inner ear is functioning will be established by this test. A small sensor is placed next to your cochlea and another is put on your forehead. Sound is then transmitted through a small device. How efficiently sound vibrations travel through the ear is measured by this test. If this test determines that sound is moving through your ear effectively it may indicate that you have an obstruction.
  • Tympanometry: On occasion, we’ll want to test the overall health of your eardrum. This is accomplished using a test called tympanometry. During this test, a little device will gently push air into your ear and measure just how much your eardrum moves. The results of this test can indicate whether there’s a hole in your eardrum, fluid behind your eardrum membrane, and more.
  • Acoustic Reflex Measures: A tiny device measures the muscle feedback of your inner ear after sending sound to it. It all occurs by reflex, which means that your muscle movements can tell us a lot about how well your middle ear is working.
  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR): The ability of your inner ear and brain to react to sound is measured by an ABR test. To achieve this test, a couple of electrodes are strategically placed on your skull. Don’t worry, though! This test is entirely painless. It’s one of the reasons why ABR testing is used on everyone from grandparents to newborns!
  • Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing: This type of testing will help determine if your inner ear and cochlea are working properly. This is achieved by measuring sound that echo’s back to your middle ear from your inner ear. If your cochlea isn’t working efficiently or there’s an obstruction, this test will reveal it.

What can we learn from hearing test results?

You most likely won’t need to get all of these hearing tests. Usually, your particular symptoms will determine which of these tests will be relevant.

When we test your hearing, what are we looking for? A hearing test can sometimes expose the cause of your hearing loss. In other cases, the test you take might simply rule out other possible causes. Whatever hearing loss symptoms you’re experiencing will ultimately be determined.

In general, your hearing test will reveal:

  • How much your hearing loss has advanced and how severe it is.
  • Which frequency of sound you have the hardest time hearing (some individuals have a difficult time hearing high wavelengths; other people have a hard time hearing low sounds).
  • The best strategy for dealing with your hearing loss: We will be more successfully able to treat your hearing loss once we’ve established the cause.
  • Whether you’re experiencing symptoms related to hearing loss or hearing loss itself.

Is there a difference between a hearing screening and a hearing test? It’s sort of like the difference between a quiz and a test. A screening is really superficial. A test is designed to supply usable information.

It’s best to get tested as soon as possible

So as soon as you notice symptoms, you should schedule a hearing test. Relax, you won’t have to study, and the test isn’t stressful. Nor are hearing tests invasive or generally unpleasant. If you’re wondering, what should I not do before a hearing test, don’t worry, we will provide you with all of that information.

It’s simple, just call and schedule an appointment.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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