Three Tests Used To Evaluate Hearing
Hearing tests are performed in children and adults alike to help diagnose hearing problems. Although hearing loss is most commonly associated with aging, children, adolescents and young adults may experience hearing issues due to injury, infection, disease, or genetic factors. Hearing tests are non-invasive and painless and will help your doctor determine a treatment course if you are found to be suffering from hearing problems. Various tests are used to evaluate hearing. Here are three most common hearing tests you may encounter.
Middle Ear Tests
A middle ear test is performed to evaluate how well your middle ear functions. Your ear has three main parts, outer, inner, and middle. Your middle ear is an air-filled cavity situated behind your eardrum. All parts are used for hearing, so an issue in any of the three parts of your ear can affect your hearing. Things like fluid in the ear and infections are common causes of middle ear problems.
A middle ear test shows whether your eardrum is reacting properly to varying air-pressure in the ear canal. Your audiologist will insert a small probe in your ear to deliver air pressure. You will have headphones on and as you listen to sounds, the audiologist is looking to see how sensitive your eardrum is.
A pure-tone test is used to determine the range of tones you're able to hear at a variety of pitches. You'll wear headphones and enter a booth while the audiologist plays a variety of tones and pitches from highest to lowest. Typically the audiologist will instruct you to raise your hand each time you hear a tone. The tone will become more faint over time until you no longer hear anything. The audiologist will record your results on an audiogram to determine what your hearing range is. Normal hearing is in the range of 0 to 25 decibels. Mild hearing loss is in the 26 to 40 decibel range and it goes up as severity increases.
Speech Reception Threshold
Sometimes your audiologist will use a test called speech reception threshold to confirm the results of the pure-tone test. The SRT test involves listening to speech and evaluating the softest speech you're able to hear. The audiologist will also record word recognition by asking you to repeat back the words you hear. This test is commonly used for older children as well as adults to assess your ability to understand words.
For more information, contact local professionals like Eartech Hearing & Balance Professionals.