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What are the Features of a Modern Hearing Test?

a hearing loss patient discussing his audiogram with a smiling hearing professional

It is a good practice to consider hearing tests just another normal part of your overall health routines. If you look at them in that way, you should find that you are able to keep on top of your hearing health much more effectively, and you will probably be able to catch any problems early on and deal with them better too. Plus, if you are getting older or you are otherwise concerned about your hearing, then you should certainly get it checked, and probably more regularly than otherwise. That will ensure that you are going to be able to find a solution early enough, which is in turn going to make a world of difference. In this article we are going to look at some of the features of a modern hearing test in some detail, so you know what you are going to experience when you go for yours.

The audiometry

The first thing that will usually be carried out is known as an audiometry, and this is where your hearing is checked for its range and capacity overall. This will work out the threshold of your hearing, so that you can expect to get to the bottom of where your hearing is overall, and so your audiologist will know exactly the extent of your hearing loss, if there is any, and what kind of solution might be best for your needs. Essentially, you will be asked to press a button whenever you hear a tone or hear a change in tone. By doing this with a tone that gets quieter and softer over time, it can be determined what your hearing range is. This can be done in each ear one at a time to ensure that a full picture is developed of your overall hearing too.

Speech perception test

Because it is also important to make sure that you can hear in a manner which is important for everyday life, you are also going to be asked to do a speech perception test. In this test, you will be carrying out a very similar test to the pure tone audiometry, with the only real difference being that you are listening to words rather than tones. This is obviously an important and useful test, especially if you are concerned about not being able to hear conversations very well, and it can prove important if you are hoping to hone in on a specific hearing issue that you feel you have encountered in your daily life, namely having trouble socially. A speech perception test might not always be carried out, but it can be depending on the nature of your hearing loss and your situation more generally.

Tympanometry

As a part of any modern hearing test, it is also important that the physical parts of your hearing system are checked too, often individually, in order to ensure that there is nothing physically wrong with them. One of the main tests that you will go through as a part of this is known as a tympanometry. This is basically where your eardrum and the fluids around it are checked, and it is done by placing a small device in your ear which measures exactly this. As you might imagine, this is an important part of the whole thing, so it is one that you should hope your audiologist carries out for you as standard as part of the test itself. You will find it is good to know that your eardrum is in fully working order.

Checking the cochlea

You might also have to go through a test designed to check your cochlea and make sure that it is fully functioning as it should be. This is done by placing a band around your head with a vibrating pad in it. This pad sends sound through your bones in your head and directly to the cochlea, which is the hearing organ in your inner ear. In this way, it can be determined whether or not there is anything physically wrong with the cochlea, which is obviously an important part of your physical hearing apparatus generally. It also checks the nerves in the head, which is clearly important too, so you would hope that this test is done as part of your hearing test.

If you are in need of a hearing test, then you will want to get in touch with an audiologist you can trust. Call Audiology Associates at 707-827-1630 in order to find out more about what you might be able to expect.