Texas Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists, LLP - Bedford, Grapevine, Southlake, and Flower Mound, TX

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Hearing loss is challenging, if not impossible, to diagnose by yourself. For example, you can’t actually put your ear next to a speaker and subjectively evaluate what you hear. So getting your hearing tested will be crucial in understanding what’s going on with your hearing.

But there’s no need to worry or stress out because a hearing test is about as simple as putting on a high-tech pair of headphones.

But we get it, no one likes tests. Whether you’re a high school student or middle-aged medical patient, tests are really just no fun. Taking a little time to become familiar with these tests can help you feel more prepared and, as a result, more comfortable. A hearing test is probably the easiest test you’ll ever have to take!

How is a hearing test performed?

We frequently talk about scheduling an appointment with a hearing specialist to get your ears assessed. And we’ve likely used the phrase “hearing test” a couple of times. Maybe, you’ve heard that there are two kinds of hearing tests and you’re wondering what they’re all about.

Well, that’s not exactly accurate. Because as it happens, there are a number of different hearing tests you may undergo. Each of these tests will give you a specific result and is created to measure something different. The hearing tests you’re most likely to encounter include the following:

  • Pure-tone audiometry: This is the hearing test you’re probably most familiar with. You listen for a sound on a pair of headphones. You simply raise your right hand if you hear a pitch in your right ear, and if you hear a pitch in your left ear you put up your left hand. This will test your ability to hear a variety of wavelengths at a variety of volumes. And if you have more profound hearing loss in one ear, this test will also determine that.
  • Speech audiometry: In some cases, you can hear tones really well, but hearing speech is still something of a challenge. That’s because speech is typically more complex! This test also is comprised of a set of headphones in a quiet room. You will listen to speech at different volumes to determine the lowest level you can hear words and clearly comprehend them.
  • Speech and Noise-in-Words Tests: Of course, real-world conversations almost never occur in a vacuum. A speech and noise-in-words test will go through the same procedure as speech audiometry, but the test occurs in a noisy room rather than a quiet one. This can help you figure out how well your hearing is functioning in real-world situations.
  • Bone conduction testing: How well your inner ear is functioning will be established by this test. Two little sensors are placed, one on your forehead, and the other on your cochlea. Sound is then sent through a small device. This test measures how well those sound vibrations move through your inner ear. This test can usually detect whether there is a blockage in your ear (ex: if you’re unable to hear, but your inner ear is working perfectly there may be some kind of obstruction hindering the sounds).
  • Tympanometry: The overall health of your eardrum sometimes needs to be tested. This is done using a test called tympanometry. Air will be gently blown into your ear so that we can measure how much movement your eardrum has. The results of this test can indicate whether your eardrum has a hole, fluid behind your eardrum membrane, and more.
  • Acoustic Reflex Measures: During this test, a tiny device delivers sound to your ear and observes the muscle feedback of your inner ear. The reflexive reaction of the muscle movement of your inner ear will help us determine how well it’s functioning.
  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR): The ability of your inner ear and brain to react to sound is measured by an ABR test. To accomplish this test, a couple of electrodes are tactically placed on your skull. This test is completely painless so don’t worry. That’s why people from newborns to grandparents get this test.
  • Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing: This type of testing will help identify if your inner ear and cochlea are working properly. This is accomplished by measuring sound that echo’s back to your middle ear from your inner ear. This can identify whether your cochlea is working or, in some situations, if your ear is blocked.

What do the results of hearing tests reveal?

It’s likely, you usually won’t take every single one of these hearing tests. We will select one or two tests that best suit your symptoms and then go from there.

What are we looking for in a hearing test? A hearing test can sometimes expose the cause of your hearing loss. In other circumstances, the test you take might simply rule out other possible causes. Whatever hearing loss symptoms you’re experiencing will ultimately be determined.

In general, your hearing test will reveal:

  • The best approach for dealing with your hearing loss: We will be more successfully able to address your hearing loss once we’ve determined the cause.
  • Which wavelengths of sound you have the hardest time hearing (some people have a difficult time hearing high wavelengths; other people have a hard time hearing low sounds).
  • Whether you’re experiencing symptoms associated with hearing loss or hearing loss itself.
  • How serious your hearing loss is (or, if you’ve had numerous tests over the years, how your hearing loss may have advanced).

Is there any difference between a hearing screening and a hearing test? The difference between a quiz and a test is a good analogy. A screening is very superficial. A test is designed to provide usable data.

The sooner you take this test, the better

That’s why it’s essential to schedule a hearing test when you first detect symptoms. Don’t worry, this test won’t be very stressful, and you don’t need to study. And the tests aren’t unpleasant or intrusive. If you’re wondering, what should I not do before you get a hearing test, don’t worry, we will have all of that information for you.

It’s simple, just call and schedule an appointment.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.