Why is Pure-Tone Audiometry a Common Hearing Test?
When you are dealing with hearing loss, the next step is to speak to an audiologist about what you can do next. One of the many hearing tests that they will talk to you about is pure-tone audiometry testing. It's the most used hearing test around, and the reason it's used as a first test type is that an audiologist can then confirm whether you are experiencing genuine hearing loss or not.
It doesn't just confirm or rebut a diagnosis, though. It can tell you the type of hearing loss you are dealing with and the severity and the configuration of the loss. It's essential to get to the root of the hearing loss, and this test will help.
What is pure-tone audiometry?
An audiologist will set up a hearing test that uses pure-tones at various frequencies to measure your hearing. With these pure tones at a variety of frequencies, your audiologist can measure your response and determine the hearing loss present. This test isn't going to hurt, so if your audiologist sets one up, you don't need to panic.
During this test, a sound will be played at a specific frequency over and over and at different volumes. Your audiologist will monitor your reactions to that sound and play it until you cannot hear it. This will tell your audiologist which frequencies are audible for you and which are not.
Once they have plotted these frequencies on a graph, they will repeat the process on frequencies. Put together, a picture of your hearing sensitivity can be created, and an audiogram is used to plot the frequencies you cannot hear. Once the test is complete, your audiologist will compare your audiogram to normal hearing levels and see how badly your hearing is affected.
Why is this a standard hearing test?
There are plenty of reasons that audiologists use pure-tone audiometry as a hearing test method – and there's a reason it's a gold-standard test. Some of those include:
It's considered one of the best tests around for determining hearing loss, mostly down to how accurate it is. The accuracy has led to many audiologists using this test before all others, and in some cases, without the use of other tests at all. The results are spot-on as the test itself is meticulous, allowing patients to have a thorough examination of their hearing to get the best results.
When your audiologist is assessing you, pure-tone tests will be done on both ears, not just one. Your audiologist can then evaluate your individual hearing loss, while also identifying whether you have lost hearing in both ears – and only one.
It's quick and easy
These tests can be completed in less than half an hour, making it a convenient test when pushed for time. Your audiologist can test more patients in a short time frame, enabling more people to be helped and more information to be gathered.
The benefits of pure-tone audiometry
A pure-tone audiometry test is an excellent diagnostic tool for audiologists. It allows for a lot of information to be collected after one test, and many patients won't need more tests after this one. There is minimal equipment required for this type of test: all your audiologist needs are a quiet environment and headphones and the right equipment to plot your results.
Pure-tone audiometry doesn't cost much to perform for audiologists, either. The lack of equipment means that you get a range of data, accurate results and barely any associated costs! It's used first when it comes to hearing tests because of how easy and painless it is for patients. Audiologists can collect the information that they need without having to perform a myriad of other tests.
Contact us today
There are comprehensive tests available if you suspect hearing loss, and audiometric evaluation can happen in a number of ways. There are different hearing function tests that audiologists use to help them to determine hearing loss, but pure-tone audiometry is the most popular way to do it. Pure tone audiometry is a gold standard test in audiometry, and it's the first choice for audiologists when they are looking for ways to assess hearing.
If you are looking for an audiologist appointment for pure-tone audiometry, learn more about Audiology Associates and call us today at 707-827-1630. Our team is more than willing to talk you through your testing options and get you booked in.