A study published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2016 reports that approximately 23% of Americans ages 12 and older have some degree of hearing loss. If you’re among this population, you could be missing out on important information, like what your colleagues are saying at a business meeting or what your date is telling you at Palacio Cafe.
The first step toward better hearing is to schedule a hearing test with an audiologist at Southwestern Hearing & Balance. We review what types of tests we offer below.
Pure Tone Audiometry
For a pure tone audiometry test, you’ll wear a set of headphones and sit in a soundproof booth. A series of tones at various frequencies and volumes will be played, and you’ll tell your audiologist when you can hear them.
Speech testing is conducted in a similar way to pure tone audiometry, except instead of tones, words are played or spoken, which you will repeat back to the audiologist. Your audiologist may play background noise during this test.
Bone Conduction Testing
For bone conduction testing, your audiologist will place a conductor behind the ear, which sends tiny vibrations through the skull bone directly to the inner ear. Machines measure how your inner ear responds to the vibrations.
Tympanometry testing measures how your eardrum moves in response to changes in air pressure. Your audiologist may conduct this test to determine whether you have fluid or wax built up or if there’s a perforation in the eardrum.
Acoustic Reflex Testing
Acoustic reflex testing measures the involuntary muscle contractions in the middle ear in order to determine which part of the ear is causing the hearing problem.
Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are the tiny sound that are generated by the vibrations of the hair cells within the inner ear. For this test, your audiologist will place a tiny probe with a microphone and speaker within the ear to stimulate the cochlea and measure its response to sounds.
Auditory Brainstem Response
Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing is most often used for newborns. The purpose of this test is to screen for sensorineural hearing loss, or hearing loss caused by damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. For this test, you’ll wear headphones on your ears and electrodes on your head to measure the brain’s activity in response to sounds.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Southwestern Hearing & Balance today.