Understanding the Different Types of Hearing Test

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Understanding the Kinds of Hearing Tests

As you’re reading this, chances are, you’re already considering having you or your loved one’s hearing tested. This is the first step towards gaining a new sense of hearing. And with this, we would like to guide you in however way we can, firstly, by helping you understand the different types of hearing tests. 

Hearing tests are done to determine what type of hearing loss a patient has and identify the degree of his or her condition. The ultimate purpose of this is to figure out how you can best respond and manage your hearing loss. Don’t worry, hearing tests are completely safe and painless. It is usually done within the comfort of a soundproof booth and shouldn’t take more than an hour of your time.

Different Types of Hearing Tests

A combination of the following tests may be ordered by your hearing care specialist.

Pure-Tone Audiometry

PTA is a standard test that aims to measure the range of your hearing in each ear. This involves listening and responding to sounds at various pitches and volumes. This is the most common and accepted test to determine if a person requires hearing aids.

Bone Conduction Testing

This is a type of pure-tone test that aims to measure the inner part of your ear’s ability to respond to sound. During this test, a conductor will be placed behind your ear, sending vibrations directly to your inner ear. This will help your hearing specialist in determining if you are experiencing sensorineural hearing loss.

Speech Audiometry

Speech test is another standard component of hearing evaluations. Instead of using pure tones, this one uses live or recorded speeches. The aim of this test is to measure the softest speech sound you can perceive and comprehend. During a speech test, you will be asked to repeat back words in varying sound levels.

Tympanometry

Tympanometry is a hearing test that aims to check the health of your eardrums and how well it is functioning. This one involves plugging the ear and slowly increasing air pressure in the ear canal to see how the eardrum will respond.

Auditory Brainstem Response

ABR aims to see how your inner ear and brain pathways are working in an attempt to find out whether these cause damage in your hearing. This involves putting electrodes on the head and is typically used for newborns, children, and other patients who can’t complete a typical hearing test.

Otoacoustic Emissions

OAE tests aim to determine how well your inner ear works by measuring the OAE. OAEs are sounds produced by the inner ear as its response to sounds. There are hair cells inside the organ that responds through vibration. OAE tests are done by placing a small earphone or probe in your ear and measuring the sounds that come back.

Paediatric Visual Reinforcement Audiometry

VRA is a hearing test especially designed to assess perception of toddlers and infants who are too young to participate in normal hearing evaluations. This is a behavioural test whereby visual reinforcement such as toys and videos are used to train patients to respond to sounds.

Understand that air and bone conduction are necessary for different types of hearing tests to decide if a patient is clinically suitable to use hearing aid or not. This is why online hearing tests are not recommended as bone conduction tests can never be done online.

Ready to take further steps in gaining a new sense of hearing? Our hearing care professionals are more than glad to guide you through this life-changing journey. All you need to do is schedule a hearing test appointment and we’ll see you here in our clinic one of these days. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

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