A hearing test, as suggested, tests the working of the human ear and detects any hearing loss. The test aims to determine how well a person can hear and which sounds are easily sensed by the brain. If you are wondering what goes around when a patient visits a hearing professional or an audiologist for hearing test, this article lists the procedure step by step. Let’s take a look.
What to Expect During Your Hearing Test?
A professional audiologist or hearing professional will begin with a couple of non-invasive tests. These aren’t going to cause any pain or surgical marks on any part of the body. There are two tests in particular that are usually the ones conducted first.
Air conduction test
Bone conduction test
The first one helps figure out whether there is some nerve damage that causes hearing loss and the second will determine if the hearing loss is due to some bone deformity. These tests mainly check how well you can pick up sounds from around you and whether it is a mild or serious hearing loss case that you suffer from.
To perform the tests, the patient is invited into a sound-controlled room/chamber that eliminates all forms of noise –even the smallest ones in the background such as the clicking of a clock or horns of passing by traffic. This is done because most of the sounds we hear every day have the same frequency ranges. Their absence in the room only adds to the authenticity of the tests to be performed.
Once the patient is in the room and well-settled, the hearing professional will outfit headphones on your head or use a special speaker device placed on the back of your ears onto the skull bone.
The hearing professional will then introduce some tunes, starting from the low-pitched audio to high-pitched sounds so as to determine what you can hear and what you can’t this is called the air conduction test.
The patient will now be handed a thumb button, it must be pressed every time the patient hears a sound. This will determine how well the middle ear drums function when multiple sound waves of different pitches pass through the organs in the ear.
The test takes few minutes for each ear to be evaluated for sound.
In the bone conduction test, the audiologist will ask the patient to wear a pair of headphones on their skull. Instead of sounds, this time the audiologist will test the vibration in the innermost part of the ear –the cochlea. The vibrations too will follow a certain pattern starting from low to high. The patient will be asked to repeat the same as above. He/she must press the trigger to tell the audiologist whenever a vibration is being sensed so that it can be recorded.
The test will continue for a few minutes until the audiologist has all the information needed. He/she will then take the results obtained from both the tests and develop an audiogram. This audiogram works as a detailed map of the functioning of each ear. It will determine if the patient suffers from hearing loss or not. Furthermore, it will determine the cause of it – bone or nerve deformity.