Audiological Services of San Francisco

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Understanding Different Hearing Tests

Ear Exam

If you’re due for a hearing test, then it might help you to learn that there are actually several different types of hearing tests that your hearing care provider will use in order to determine your level of hearing loss. Understanding the differences can be difficult if you haven’t researched it beforehand. This article will explain the different types of hearing tests to help you understand them before they happen and to relieve your stress or anxiety about having your hearing tested.

Hearing Evaluation

Evaluations are in-depth looks at your hearing loss. The process is more involved than the other types of hearing test and typically involves a number of different processes in order to get a full picture of your hearing level. Your hearing care provider will typically look inside of your ears with an otoscope to inspect areas like your ear canal, eardrum and also any earwax that might be causing problems. The otoscope is fitted with a camera that will allow both you and your hearing care provider to see inside of your ear as they move it around.

Hearing Screening

A screening is typically the first thing that your hearing care provider will do. It’s usually the most effective way of getting your hearing checked and is crucial in determining if you need to undergo further treatment and tests or not. After the initial screening, your hearing health specialist will either give you a pass or fail to indicate if you have hearing loss or not. If you fail the hearing test, then your hearing care provider will typically refer you to have a full hearing evaluation and instruct you on the best steps to take. As explained above, the full hearing evaluation involves a series of tests to determine your level of hearing loss.

Audiograms

An audiogram is an examination that usually takes place in a soundproof room. This is to isolate the sounds in the test so that outside noises don’t affect the results. Your hearing care provider will use specialized equipment to carry out this examination. It consists of a series of tests that attempt to find your hearing ability. Your hearing specialist will also carry out a speech exam. This involves repeating one and two syllable words at various volumes. This will help your hearing health professional determine if you have hearing loss or not. You will also be asked to listen to sentences with background noise so they can determine how much it affects your hearing.

These are the three main types of hearing test. There are other tests such as a tympanometry, which involves applying pressure to your ear in order to check for fluids or other problems in the middle ear.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the different types of hearing test that your hearing care provider may use. Hearing tests are often quick and easy, but it helps to know what will take place so that you’re better prepared for your hearing test.


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