Hearing tests, also known as audiological evaluations, take many forms, depending on the type of hearing symptoms you report to us. The first step will be to have a consultation about the problems you have encountered, as well as the parts of your lifestyle that can benefit from hearing assistance. Some people are seeking help hearing better in the workplace, while others would simply like to be able to watch television at home without raising the volume to a level that is uncomfortable for everyone else in the room.
During the consultation, we will ask you about your personal hearing history and your family history, as well as any other noise-related events that may have affected your hearing in a single incident. With this background information in place, we can schedule your hearing test. You can be prepared to take the test in a soundproof space while wearing headphones or specialized earplugs that will help us isolate the sounds going to your ears. Although there are other audiological evaluations designed for children, three major types of tests are used for adults who experience hearing loss.
Here we break out a few common tests.
Pure Tone Audiometry
Pure Tone Audiometry
Pure Tone Audiometry is used to evaluate your ability to hear sounds with different features, namely volume (or amplitude) and pitch (or frequency). In order to test this ability, we can play different sounds for you and ask you to respond by raising your hand, pressing a button, or otherwise signaling that you have heard something.
Many evaluators will begin with sounds at a louder level, though they should not be uncomfortable to you, and they will become progressively softer. Other evaluators find it beneficial to provide a mixed bag of frequencies and amplitudes to test which you are able to hear. The most important thing to keep in mind with a Pure Tone Audiometry evaluation is that nobody is able to hear all the tones played. Every pair of ears will lose the ability to hear at some point. Don’t worry if you are unable to hear a sound. That is precisely the reason for the test. Simply relax your mind and focus your attention on the sounds coming to you from the evaluator.
After you have completed your hearing tests, your audiologist will compile a graph called an audiogram. If you are able to hear a sound in Pure Tone Audiometry or Speech Audiometry 50% of the times it was introduced, then it will be recorded on the audiogram.
The resulting graph indicates your success rate with different frequencies and amplitudes of sound, ranging from low-pitched and loud, which tend to be the easiest to hear, up to high-pitched and soft sounds. Don’t worry if you can’t understand the details of the audiogram. The audiologist is there to interpret the results for you and to devise a treatment plan tailored to your particular results.