Posted on: 14 April 2017Share
It's common to experience some hearing loss as you age, especially if you worked around loud equipment most of your life. At some point, your loss of hearing might begin to interfere with your quality of life. Conversations become difficult to follow, you can't hear the television without it being so loud it disturbs everyone else in the house, and you might even put your safety in danger if you can't hear approaching cars when you're out walking. At the first sign of hearing loss, you should be tested. Here are some audio tests that help diagnose the type and severity of your loss.
Spoken Word Tests
These tests help determine how well you can distinguish words. The audiologist may start with a whisper test. To do this, he or she stands behind you and whispers a list of words. You repeat the words you hear. This reveals how well you can distinguish sounds at a very low level. A similar test is done with spoken words. For this test you'll probably wear headphones to listen to a recording of simple words at various levels of loudness. You'll be asked to repeat the words. In this way, the audiologist can pinpoint the level of loudness at which your hearing fails. This is an important test because it shows how well you can engage in conversation. You may be able to hear the words, but if you can't distinguish them well enough to repeat them, it's a sign of hearing loss.
Testing With Audio Tones
Testing with tones is done in a similar manner. You wear headphones and listen as a machine emits a series of tones of various pitch and loudness. When you hear a tone, you signal with your hand or push a button. When the test is over, the audiologist will analyze the results by calculating how many tones you missed. This test reveals which sound frequencies are out of your range of hearing and how loud sound has to be for you to hear it.
Treatment for hearing loss usually involves wearing a hearing aid. The device is selected according to the degree of hearing loss you have. For that reason, you should only take the audio tests when you're feeling well and hearing normally. For instance, you shouldn't take an audio test if you have a head cold or if you've recently been exposed to loud noise such as a music concert.
Audio tests are an important part of diagnosing your hearing problem, but your doctor or audiologist may also recommend other medical tests as well. Anything that interferes with sound waves making it to your brain will affect your hearing. If your hearing loss is sudden or accompanied by other symptoms, you may need to undergo more complex testing. However, for age-related hearing loss, audio testing reveals a great deal about your condition and can help you get a hearing aid that is customized to your condition so you can hear what you've been missing.
For more information, talk to a professional like Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic, Inc.