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What are the types of hearing tests?

A hearing test, also known as an audiological evaluation, is an assessment of a person’s ability to hear across a broad range of frequencies (pitches) and speech sounds. This test involves the use of headphones or earphones and evaluates the softest level an individual can hear by presenting a series of tones and speech sounds at varying volumes.

The results of the test are often presented in the form of an audiogram, which is a graph that shows a person’s hearing threshold (the softest sound they can hear) at different frequencies. 

Hearing tests are usually administered by an audiologist, a healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing disorders.

Types of Hearing Tests

There are several types of hearing tests that can be used to evaluate a person’s hearing. Some of the most common include:

  1. Pure-tone audiometry: This is the most common type of hearing test. It involves the use of headphones or earphones, and a series of tones are played at different frequencies and volumes to determine the softest sound a person can hear. The results are plotted on an audiogram, which is a graph that shows a person’s hearing threshold at different frequencies.
  2. Speech audiometry: This test involves the use of recorded speech sounds or live speech to determine a person’s ability to hear and understand speech at different volumes and in different environments, such as a noisy background.
  3. Tympanometry: This test measures the movement of the eardrum in response to changes in air pressure. It can help to detect problems with the middle ear, such as fluid in the ear or a perforated eardrum.
  4. Otoacoustic emissions (OAE): This test measures the sounds that are naturally produced by the ear in response to a stimulus. It can help to detect inner ear problems, such as sensorineural hearing loss.
  5. Auditory brainstem response (ABR): This test measures the electrical activity of the auditory nerve and brainstem in response to sound. It can help to detect problems with the inner ear or the nerve pathways that connect the ear to the brain.
  6. Auditory steady state response (ASSR): This test measures the response of the auditory system to sounds presented at a steady state or constant frequency. It’s used to evaluate hearing in infants or young children who can not cooperate with traditional tests.

Why would I need a hearing test?

There are several reasons why you might need a hearing test. Some of the common reasons include:

  1. Suspected hearing loss: If you are experiencing difficulty hearing or have noticed a change in your hearing, a hearing test can help determine if you have a hearing loss and the extent of the loss.
  2. Monitoring hearing loss: If you already have hearing loss, a hearing test can be used to monitor the progression of the loss over time.
  3. Occupational requirements: Some jobs, such as those in the aviation or construction industries, may require regular hearing tests to ensure that employees are able to hear warning signals and other important sounds.
  4. Before surgery: A hearing test may be performed before certain types of surgery, such as ear surgery, to establish a baseline of your hearing abilities.
  5. Age: As you age, it is more common to develop hearing loss, so a hearing test is recommended for older adults.
  6. Noise exposure: If you have been exposed to loud noise, such as in a construction or manufacturing environment, a hearing test can determine if the noise has caused any damage to your hearing.

If you have any symptoms, or concerns, or have been exposed to loud noise, it’s recommended to schedule an appointment with an audiologist for an evaluation.

Hearing Tests in Swampscott and Peabody, MA

If you think you may have hearing loss, it’s important to schedule a hearing test with an audiologist as soon as possible. A hearing test can help to determine the cause of your symptoms, the extent of your hearing loss, and the best course of treatment.

Audiologists at Atlantic Hearing Care can help you find ways to manage your hearing loss, such as with hearing aids, cochlear implants, or other assistive devices.

Call us today to book a hearing test! Our clinics are located in Swampscott and Peabody, MA.


Two Convenient Locations

990 Paradise Road, Suite 3A
Swampscott, MA 01907

2 First Avenue, Suite 127-1
Peabody, MA 01960