What is an Audiology test?

Audiometry is a non-invasive, painless hearing test that assesses a person’s ability to distinguish between distinct sounds, pitches, or frequencies. Patients who have a tumour in or near the ear may undergo audiometry testing to identify whether a hearing loss has occurred or monitor their hearing before and during surgery. Additionally, it is used to determine if hearing aids or surgery may be utilized to enhance one’s hearing.

Our ears are divided into three unique sections: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Audiometry testing may determine if you have sensorineural or conductive hearing loss (damage to the nerve or cochlea) (damage to the eardrum or the tiny ossicle bones). Several tests may be done during an audiometry assessment.

Why Audiology test?

The audiologist conducting your hearing test should identify themselves and explain what will occur and in what sequence.

They will examine your ears to verify there is no obstruction (wax) or other cause for the hearing test to be unable to be completed.

They will next want to collect a short history of your hearing, including when you first noticed issues, whether they occurred gradually or abruptly, and if you have had any illnesses or injuries that may have contributed to the hearing difficulties and subsequent problems.

The audiologist will next conduct an audiogram to assess your hearing. The examination will last around 20-30 minutes. Through headphones, you will be given a succession of sounds and asked to respond in a way that shows you heard the sound correctly by pushing a button each time, regardless of how quiet or faint the sound is.

It is done in one ear first, then the other, since the findings may vary. Additional tests may be necessary, depending on the outcome, but this will be disclosed at the time.

Our Procedure for Audiology test

Audiometry tests

Audiometry exams are done in a soundproof environment that is silent. Your head will be fitted with earphones. You will be requested to sit quietly and refrain from speaking. Tones and other speech sounds are sent to your ears one at a time using headphones attached to a machine. The audiologist will record each tone at the lowest volume you could hear it. You’ll be asked to raise your hand by the audiology technician whenever you hear anything. As soon as you hear a sound in your left ear, raise your left hand; as soon as you hear a sound in your right ear, raise your left hand. You may be asked to press a button or indicate that you have heard a sound at some facilities. Tuning forks are also used to perform the Rinne and Weber tests before or after the general audiometry exam. Each test assesses the possibility of various types of hearing loss.

Speech discrimination

You will be prompted to repeat words you hear about measuring your speech discrimination. You will hear a succession of two-syllable syllables at a steadily decreasing loudness throughout the exam. The second level of the exam requires you to listen to and repeat a succession of one-syllable words at a constant loudness.

Acoustic reflex test

During continuous stimulation, the acoustic reflex decay test determines whether a reflex contraction is maintained or weakens (usually 10 seconds). The test is normally done between 500 and 1000 Hz, but not higher than that because even normal ears might show deterioration at higher frequencies. A soft plug is inserted into your ear during the tympanometry and acoustic reflex tests. The plug will alter the pressure, emit a loud sound, and record your reactions to the sound and varied pressures. The eardrum’s movement is monitored, as are the reflexes of the small muscles linked to the ossicles.

Pure tone audiometry test

You will wear earbuds and hear various sounds sent to one ear at a time throughout the exam. A pure tone audiometry test determines a person’s ability to hear the softest or least detectable sound. Sound volume is expressed in decibels (dB). A whisper is around 20 decibels, loud music is approximately 80-120 decibels, and a jet engine is approximately 180 decibels. Frequencies are used to quantify the tone of sound (Hz). Low bass tones range 50-60 Hz, whereas high-pitched tones have 10,000 Hz or more. The normal hearing range is 250-8,000 Hz at a volume of no more than 25 dB.

Speech audiogram testing

Most audiologists now do a speech audiogram’ to determine how well you hear speech. It is often accomplished by listening to the speech (single words or extremely brief phrases) via headphones or a loudspeaker and then repeating what you heard.

Depending on the test protocol utilized, this may be done with or without background noise. This test informs the audiologist about the amount of improvement obtained with amplification and how your hearing can be improved.

Middle ear test

The outer, middle, and inner ear are the three sections of your ear. It’s difficult for sounds to travel from your outer ear to your inner ear and brain if you have an issue with your middle ear. Your audiologist may conduct tests to determine how well your middle ear is functioning. Testing of the middle ear is especially critical in children aged 3–5. Hearing loss in young children is more common as a result of middle ear issues, such as ear infections. Our hearing care specialist performs a middle ear test, also known as tympanometry, to assess the condition of the middle ear and the eardrum’s mobility.