There are a few different hearing tests you can undergo to help identify and diagnose problems with your hearing. Some of the tests are complex and are done in a hearing lab with special equipment. Basic hearing tests for screening purposes can be done in a mobile setting. Although they don't provide as much information as more complex testing, the basic tests can indicate when you have hearing difficulties and need further testing. Here is a look at two basic types of hearing tests you might have done in a hearing lab, doctor's office, or wellness event.
You usually wear headphones for this test so background noises are blocked out and so the tones are delivered into your ears. The hearing specialist controls a machine that delivers a series of tones through the headphones. The tones are of various frequencies because you may hear some frequencies better than others and identifying the ones you can't hear very well is important to diagnosing and treating your hearing loss.
The volume of a tone is gradually reduced until you can no longer hear it. Each time a tone is delivered, you respond in some way such as raising your hand. When you no longer respond, the test operator can determine the lowest volume at which you can hear each specific tone. The results are then displayed in a graph so you can see how well your results compare with normal hearing. This helps you understand the extent of your hearing loss.
Speech Recognition Testing
Whisper testing is another important tool in checking for hearing loss. You may be able to hear sounds at a normal volume, but you might have difficulty making out words. This makes conversation difficult for you when you can't hear well in crowds or places with background noise. For this test, the operator speaks or whispers a series of words while standing behind you. You then repeat the words you hear. This test determines the lowest volume at which you can hear speech and it also determines how well you can understand what you hear.
If the results of these two tests show that you have hearing loss, you may undergo further testing using a tuning fork or electrodes that help figure out if the problem is with the nerves in your ear or part of the structure of your ear. The results of the hearing tests are used to determine the best way to treat your hearing. There are several types of hearing aids on the market and you want one that treats your type of hearing loss so you get the best results when you wear it. For more information, contact establishments like Children & Family Hearing Associates.