Hearing loss can affect you even at an early age. Your hearing can become damaged due to different reasons, such as exposure to loud noise, which can cause wear and tear to nerves that send sound signals to the brain. If you want to find out if you have lost some of your hearing and just how much of it you have lost, a specialist can conduct some tests to give you the information you need.
An audiologist is a specialist who assesses and manages hearing disorders. Let’s talk about the tests they use to identify the type and severity of hearing loss in patients.
#1 Pure-Tone and Warble Tone Audiometry
These types of hearing tests determine your hearing sensitivity at different thresholds using pure tones and warble tones. Pure tones are the softest sounds that could be audible to a person and are emitted as a continuous sound wave, while warble tones vary several times per second over different frequencies. A result of (0–25 dB) detailed on an audiogram means your hearing is normal.
#2 Middle and Inner Ear Test
There are two types of hearing tests that measure the integrity of the middle ear and inner ear.
Impedance Audiometry & Tympanometry
This test measures the function of the middle ear. During the test, the audiologist will insert a probe that delivers low tones and measures how well the eardrum vibrates, as well as the small bones of the ear, whenever it encounters sound waves.
Bone Audiometry Test
This is a type of test that measures how well your inner ear is working. During the test, vibrations are sent directly to the inner ear via a bone oscillator, which is a small square box on the end of a headband. The vibrations are pure-tone sounds that are sent directly into the cochlea, and you will be asked to raise your hand if you hear a sound.
#3 Speech Audiometry Tests
There are two types of speech audiometry tests, one determines how loud speech needs to be for you to hear it and how well you are able to distinguish words that are spoken.
Speech Reception Threshold (SRT)
The speech reception threshold is the minimum hearing level for a speech at which you can interpret sounds as spoken words. In other words, it measures the lowest volume at which you can hear speech. During the test, you may be asked to repeat what you hear or select items from multiple choices.
A speech discrimination test measures how well you can discriminate against different words spoken at a volume that you can easily hear. The test is also called word recognition ability. The audiologist either says the words or you will listen to an audio recording and be asked to repeat the words.
Hearing Loss Specialist in Georgetown, TX
Hearing tests provide you with valuable information that can help you make important decisions about your hearing health. Once you have a diagnosis, you can proceed to find solutions to your hearing loss. At Georgetown ENT, we perform all of the hearing tests we discussed above, as well as balance tests. We offer comprehensive testing and treatment services and have a highly skilled and compassionate audiologist on staff to serve you.