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What are the Different Types of Hearing Tests?

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What are the Different Types of Hearing Tests?

A hearing test is what you need if you feel as if your hearing is getting gradually worse. The key is to limit the damage before it escalates and causes future problems. The types of hearing tests differ depending on your conditions and what the audiologist believes to be the necessary steps to work out the extent of the issue. The most common forms range from pure tone testing to bone conduction and speech recognition testing.

Below you’ll find a range of tests an audiologist might use to diagnose your problem. These are the different types of hearing tests you’ll come across.

Acoustic reflex

An acoustic reflex hearing test is used to measure the stapedial reflex in the inner ear. This is the action that occurs in response to hearing a loud sound. What happens is noise causes the muscle to stiffen the ossicular chain. Because a quality audiologist knows this, they can use a simple test to decipher the type of damage as well as the location. They do this by measuring the admittance of the middle ear. Usually, it’s due to an issue with the ossicles itself, or the cochlea and auditory nerve.

Auditory brainstem response

Don’t worry because this isn’t as drastic as it sounds. Your audiologist will attach electrodes to your head to measure your brain waves. They sometimes attach them to your scalp or earlobes while asking you to wear headphones. To measure brain activity, a series of sounds at different pitches and intensities are played and the audiologist will watch how your brain reacts. An ABR hearing test is typically used to check for sensorineural hearing loss. Sensorineural is when the root of the issue is linked with the inner ear or the cranial nerve, and it accounts for 90% of all hearing loss in the US.

Tympanometry

Your audiologist will place a small device behind the back of your ear and monitor the movement of your eardrum. The reason they do this is to check for a blockage that they can’t see with the naked eye. For example, a tympanometry hearing test is commonly used to determine whether there is fluid behind the eardrum. It can also tell if there is a build-up of wax or perforations to the eardrum. It might be used to check for growths and tumors, too.

Online hearing test

Technology has moved forward to the point where your audiologist can tell if you experience hearing loss without conducting a face-to-face test. An online hearing test comes into two forms: calibrated or uncalibrated. The former assesses your hearing threshold by testing the lowest sound you can hear. The latter works by asking you to turn up the volume on your device until you can hear a sound. This is a perfect option for people who don’t have the time to see an audiologist in person or anybody who thinks they have hearing loss symptoms.

Anyone who feels as if their hearing is getting bad should get in touch now. We can figure out what’s wrong and provide a solution.