Patients often get anxious about hearing tests. This anxiousness stems from not knowing what the test will include or assuming that the procedure will be painful. There are many misconceptions about hearing tests, and this post will help debunk them. Let’s take a look.
Hearing tests have become highly advanced. For instance, you can do a primary ear test online. Essentially, a hearing will include the testing part, where you will listen to several sounds. In addition, you’ll have a consultation session with an audiologist. The audiologist will diagnose the problem before recommending a test or a hearing aid. They will ask you questions about your hearing history and when you first spotted the problem.
There are many potential causes, so the audiologist will patiently enquire you before concluding. Sometimes the hearing illness could be just a symptom of an underlying disease. So, the audiologist will do checkups to identify the real problem.
Hearing Test Types:
Hearing tests tell you your ability to hear sounds across different frequencies and tones. The intensity of the sound you can listen to gets measured in decibels (dB). The test also measures the ability to hear various sound frequencies. In addition, the unit is used for frequencies in Hertz (Hz).
Generally, there are seven hearing test types:
Pure Tone Testing: In this hearing test, you will get headphones, and the experts will play different sounds. When you can hear the sounds, you should press the button. This test measures your ability to listen to sounds at different pitches and volumes through air conduction.
Bone Conduction Testing: They will place a conductor behind your air that sends vibrations. The test measures your inner ear’s response to these vibrations.
Speech Testing: This test identifies the faintest sound your ear can receive. It also tells whether your ear can separate speech sounds from background noise.
Tympanometry: This hearing test can tell whether there is any fluid build-up, wax build-up, tumours, or infection in your eardrum. It also tests how your eardrum reacts to air pressure.
Acoustic Reflex Testing: This test determines the location of your problem in the middle ear by measuring the involuntary muscle contractions.
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Auditory Brainstem Response: In this test, they will place electrodes on the head, scalp, and earlobes and give you an earphone. They will play the sound and measure your brain activity through the electrodes placed.
Otoacoustic Emissions: In this test, experts use a tiny probe with a microphone and speaker to measure the cochlea’s response. This test can help you tell whether there is damage to the hair cells of the cochlea or any blockage in the ear canal.
Hearing Tests are Painless:
Patients fear taking hearing tests assuming these will be painful. However, hearing tests are painless. Your ears won’t hurt at all when the audiologist performs the tests. The tests involve wearing earphones and recording your response when you hear sounds. The speech tests involve hearing speech sounds in a quiet environment.
Other tests could include the placement of electrodes on the head and earlobes. All these tests aim at identifying your problem. So, there is no fear in taking a hearing test. If you fear visiting testing centres, you can take a primary ear test online to learn about the basics.
Hearing Tests are for Everyone:
It is often the case that as people grow old, their vision and hearing levels may deteriorate. But hearing tests are not only for the elderly. Accidents and unforeseen circumstances can also have an impact on your hearing.
They could cause partial hearing loss, and a hearing test tells if you have a problem. Even if you have no problem, it can help you identify your normal hearing levels. The audiologist can use the results of your tests for future reference.
Experts will plot the results on a long strip of paper that tells about your ability to hear sounds at different frequencies. You will have separate graphs for the results of both your ears.
As mentioned above, the sound intensity gets measured in decibels and the frequencies in Hertz. The audiologist will interpret the graphs for you. You will find that with ageing comes the struggle to hear sounds at certain frequencies.
Recommendations for Hearing Aids:
As the audiologist sees the results, he will know what hearing aids to recommend for you. Sometimes your problem will get resolved only by removing the wax build-up or other blockage. But if the problem is something else, the audiologist can recommend hearing aids based on your hearing loss. They can tell you what type of hearing aids you need and what features they must have.
Hearing the Little Things:
The hearing test will help the audiologist recommend solutions for your hearing loss. These solutions will help you hear sounds you missed all this time. Being able to hear such sounds will improve your overall quality of life. Once again, you’ll be able to hear things like the chirping of birds and the ticking clock. Being able to hear these sounds will help you appreciate nature in a brand-new way.