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Common Types of Hearing Tests

Hearing Evaluation

If you’ve never had a hearing test before, you may want to consider getting an appointment booked, especially if you think you might have hearing loss. There’s no way of properly knowing if you have hearing loss unless you get tested. It may surprise a lot of you to know that there are different types of hearing tests you can take. Below, we’ll run through the four most common ones:

Speech test

A speech test is pretty simple and serves as one of the standard hearing tests for audiologists. The aim is to see how accurately you can hear conversations and understand what people are saying. Your audiologist will put you in a soundproof room, and you will have to listen to various different conversations. Some will be regular speeches with no background noise, while others will include background noise. You’ll be asked to repeat what you heard, and this will help determine how good you are at picking up general speech.

Pure-tone test

The pure-tone test is another common hearing test, and it helps to figure out the different pitches your ears can pick up. During the test, you’ll have soundproof headphones on that will play various pitches at different frequencies. Your audiologist will then get you to indicate when you hear a sound. When you stop hearing any sounds, this shows them where your range ends. You’ll be tested on both ears separately to see if there are any differences between the two.

Acoustic reflex test

The acoustic reflex hearing test is all about the middle ear. Essentially, the audiologist will put air pressure in your ear canal, which should trigger the eardrums vibrational mechanism. This allows them to see a couple of things. First, it can show if you have a perforated eardrum or not. Secondly, it helps to measure your acoustic reflex, which is a fancy way of saying the contraction of your middle ear. Doing this can help identify the location of your hearing problem and determine the type of hearing loss you may have.

Otoacoustic emissions test (OAEs)

An OAE test will help figure out numerous problems and assess the health of the cochlea in your inner ear. The process is simple: a small instrument is inserted into your ear with a microscopic microphone and speaker. This instrument is used to measure the sounds produced by the cochlea as they vibrate when stimulated by sound. The technical term for the sound given off by your inner ear is otoacoustic emissions, hence the name of the test. Most health ears produce emissions, but a lack of sound can indicate hearing loss. The great thing about this test is that it can show whether or not the cochlea hairs have been damaged, or if your hearing loss is related to something else.

There’s no reason to be afraid of any hearing tests as they’re not uncomfortable and don’t take long at all. Your audiologist will compile the results for you and talk you through everything they discovered. A hearing test is the first step in figuring out any hearing problems and then proceeding with the right treatment plan after. Book an appointment with your audiologist today if you want to assess your hearing health.