Hearing loss is the inability to hear totally or partially. It can also be a permanent or temporary situation. People with a hearing loss disorder develop it gradually over time or suddenly. The degree of the inability to hear can be profound, moderate, or mild. You should conduct a hearing test to determine the position of your patient’s hearing problem.
Fortunately, there are various ways of testing whether you have a hearing problem. You will have insight into each method in this article. Also, the tests can be conducted one on one or online. It depends on your preference and availability.
When people complain of loud volume while listening to the TV, radio, or other gadgets, it can indicate a hearing problem. You may also keep telling people to speak louder when addressing you, and the volume is audible to them. The chances are that you are experiencing hearing loss.
Statistics indicate that over 35 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. More so, the rate is steadily increasing. Therefore, do not hesitate to seek medical attention immediately you strain hearing. After visiting a hearing aid professional, they will conduct some or all of the following tests on you;
- A Bone Conduct Test
It tests how your inner ear responds to various sounds. The hearing aid expert places a conductor behind your ear. Then the conductor will send small vibrations to your inner ear through the bone.
In the olden days, this method used air to send sounds. You have a hearing loss problem if you don’t hear any sound or receive it lower than the actual volume. The next stage the audiologist will do is to determine the type or degree of hearing loss you are experiencing.
- A Pure Tone Test
It also gets referred to as pure tone audiometry. Instead of measuring whether you can hear the sound as the bone conduct test, it measures your ability to hear sound at different volumes and pitches. The process happens using headphones.
The ear specialists will have you comfortably settled in a special booth for conducting the test. You will then wear the headphones. The hearing aid specialist will request you to press a button or raise your hand each time you hear a sound.
The testing process begins with the hearing aid expert broadcasting various sounds through the headphones. Then, the results get displayed on an audiogram.
- A Speech Test
This test usually determines the speech reception threshold (SRT) you can understand 50% of the time. It can take place either in a noisy or quiet environment. The hearing aid professional will test whether you can distinguish between the background noise and the speech.
When your ears build up or develop the following, it restricts your hearing;
- Eardrum perforations
This procedure tests if your ears have developed the above conditions. It entails using air pressure to measure your eardrum’s movement.
- An Acoustic Reflex Test
Your hearing loss problem can be due to a situation in specific locations of your ear, such as;
- Auditory nerve
When a hearing specialist conducts an acoustic reflex test on you, they can detect your hearing problem location. The test measures your middle ear’s involuntary muscle contractions to locate the source of your hearing loss.
- An Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Test
Though the ABR test works perfectly on everyone, it is ideal for infants and people who cannot typically respond like the mentally or developmentally disabled. It precisely determines whether the patient has a sensorineural hearing loss.
You wear headphones after attaching electrodes to your earlobes, head, or scalp. Then the hearing aid professional sends sounds through the headphones. He then measures your brain activities based on various sound intensities.
- The Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) Test
Your inner ear has a place called the cochlea, and it contains hair cells. The vibrations of those hair cells are known as OAEs.
This test measures the response of your inner ear’s hair cell vibrations. The OAEs test entails a tiny probe installed with a speaker and microphone.
The hearing aid specialist stimulates your ear’s cochlea to measure its response. If your hearing is normal, you produce emissions. No sound gets produced when your hearing loss goes beyond 25 – 30 decibels.
The OAEs test also test whether your ear has;
- Damaged cochlea hair cells
- Middle ear excess fluid
- Ear canal blockage
It also helps in screening the newborns’ hearing.
When you visit your audiologist, they will order you to take either a combination or one of the above tests. It depends on your condition. After the test, the hearing specialist will develop a treatment plan designed for your hearing loss condition.
As illustrated above, the hearing loss problem is common worldwide, and the number of people being affected is escalating. Fortunately, technology and innovations of hearing aid professionals have developed various valuable solutions. If you have a hearing loss problem, the first step is to take a test.
The audiologist will guide you on the kind of test to take. It could happen online or when you visit the physical testing center. Either way, you will get credible results. Based on the outcome, you will receive customized treatment for your hearing loss problem.