Hearing tests serve as a baseline for determining a person’s hearing status. There are many different types and sets of hearing tests, and some specific tests are applicable to a certain age group (i.e pediatric hearing tests).
Norfolk Audiology offers comprehensive audiological evaluations to identify and treat any type of hearing concerns.
Why Would I Need a Hearing Test?
In most cases, hearing loss happens gradually, so the onset of hearing loss is usually overlooked until there is already significant or noticeable damage. This is why getting a regular hearing test is advantageous because early detection can be possible.
There are many hearing tests available online, but keep in mind that the results are not 100% accurate. A professional hearing test entails the use of special tools and equipment, and even a soundproof room or sound booth, to ensure that the most accurate results are obtained.
Audiologists are trained to perform and interpret hearing tests. Recommendations for hearing loss will be based on a hearing test so it is highly recommended to get a professional hearing test so that you can be guided on the type and severity of your hearing loss.
What are the types of hearing tests?
Norfolk Audiology offers various hearing tests to give a comprehensive evaluation of a patient’s hearing health. Below are the types of hearing tests performed at Norfolk Audiology:
Pure Tone Testing
Also known as pure tone audiometry, this type of hearing test uses air conduction to measure a person’s ability to hear sounds at various volumes, frequencies, and pitches. The patient will be asked to sit in a soundproof room or booth while wearing headphones and will be given instructions to raise their hand or press a button
You will be asked to wear headphones and sit in a specially designed booth. A series of sounds will be broadcast through the headphones. Every time a tone or beep is heard, the patient will be instructed to raise their hand or press a button. The results will be plotted on an audiogram.
Bone Conduction Testing
This is a type of pure-tone test that evaluates the inner ear’s ability to respond to sound. As the name implies, a conductor will be placed behind the ear, sending tiny vibrations through the bone directly into the inner ear. Unlike the traditional version that uses air to send audible sounds, bone conduction testing uses vibrations. The results of bone conduction testing will be correlated with the results of pure-tone audiometry and audiologists can use the information to pinpoint the type of hearing loss.
Acoustic Reflex Testing
The involuntary muscle contractions of the middle ear are measured in an acoustic reflex test. This type of hearing test can determine the location of the hearing problem (auditory nerve, cochlea, the ossicles) and the type of hearing loss.
This type of hearing test measures the movement of the eardrum in response to air pressure. The results of tympanometry can determine if there is earwax or fluid buildup, eardrum perforations, abnormal growths or tumors.
Speech testing is used to measure speech recognition threshold (SRT), otherwise known as the faintest speech a person can understand 50% of the time. Speech testing is usually performed in a quiet or noisy room to measure an individual’s ability to separate speech from background noise.
Speech in Noise Testing
Norfolk Audiology offers Speech and Noise Testing, specifically Functional Communication Needs Assessment. This type of evaluation is based on Heidi Hill’s Cognihear Program. We also offer QuickSIN, Acceptable Noise Levels (ANL), and AzBio-speech in noise testing.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)
This type of hearing test uses a tiny probe fitted with a microphone and speaker to measure the responsiveness of the cochlea to sound. A person with normal hearing will produce emissions, sounds generated by the vibrations of the hair cells in the cochlea. OAEs can help determine if there is a blockage in the ear canal, damage to the hair cells of the cochlea, or excess fluid in the middle ear.
Hearing Test: What To Expect
Before the test, we will be asking you to fill out a questionnaire and discuss key points of your medical history and family health background. A hearing test is generally painless and may take 20 minutes to an hour.
How do you prepare your ears for a hearing test?
There’s not really much to prepare when you’re scheduled for a hearing test. At most, you can clean your ears but not with cotton swabs or something pointed. You can take a warm washcloth and wipe your outer ear gently.
Hearing Test Results
After a hearing test, audiologists will go over the results and discuss it with the patient. Recommendations and treatment plans will also be discussed.
What kinds of conditions are diagnosed in hearing screenings?
Aside from the type and severity of hearing loss, there are other medical conditions that can be detected based on a hearing test including tinnitus, Meniere’s disease, vertigo, otosclerosis, and more.
Hearing Test FAQs
Can I test my own hearing?
As we mentioned earlier, there are so many DIY hearing tests available on the internet. While some may be closely accurate or are being used by trusted sources, getting a real hearing test at an audiology clinic is still the best way to get the most accurate results.
What are the signs that I may need a hearing test?
You may need to get a hearing test if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Muffled speech and sounds
- Difficulty understanding speech, especially in a crowd or against background noise
- Frequently asking others to repeat what they are saying
- Turning up the volume of the TV or radio higher than usual
Hearing Tests in Norfolk, NE
Norfolk Audiology administers comprehensive hearing evaluations to accurately determine if hearing loss is present, pinpoint the type of hearing loss, and provide personalized treatment plans to address each patient’s unique hearing concerns. We are committed to providing our patients with enhanced quality of life through better hearing and communication – and that starts with a comprehensive hearing test.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!