Anyone that suspects that they may have damaged their hearing or can notice it getting worse should get it tested by an audiologist. An audiologist will not only test your level of hearing but try to find the cause of any hearing loss that the person is suffering from. Here are some details of the types of hearing tests that you are likely to experience during a visit to an audiologist.Have a look at Hearing Test in Rochester for more info on this.
You will undoubtedly be asked to provide details about your medical history. You will also need to provide details concerning your current work and employment history and whether your occupations, past and present, could have meant that you were exposed to certain sounds that could have damaged your hearing. You will be expected to provide details of past illnesses and injuries, especially if they could have had an effect on your hearing.
Because hearing loss can be genetic you may be asked about other family members and whether they too have suffered from hearing loss. Nearly all hearing tests will involve the audiologist looking inside your ears with an instrument called an otoscope. An otoscope can allow the audiologist to see the inner ear and ear drum to see if there are any noticeable abnormalities.
Most hearing examinations will involve an audiogram which will be carried out in a sound proofed room. After entering the room you need to put on some special audio headphones. The patients hearing is tested by he audiologist make a record of the lowest of a group of tones the patient is able to hear in both ears. Many people will remember taking a similar test at school when your hearing is first tested. The principle is the same but may well involve more sophisticated equipment.
A tympanometry hearing test involves the use of a gentle pressure probe placed in the middle ear. The pressure probe gently increases and decreases the air pressure whilst a tone is played. The tympanometry is carried out to see whether there are any disorders or the presence of fluid inside the ear.
Hearing loss can also be determined by the use of a tuning fork. The tuning fork is struck and then held next to the patient’s ear which causes the middle ear to vibrate. The tuning fork is then placed against the bone located behind the ear, causing vibrations to be sent to the inner ear. The patient will then be asked to identify which of the two tones heard was louder. The test can help to determine the patient’s hearing range and pinpoint the location of the hearing loss.
Hearing examinations may also include a site of lesion test which can determine where the hearing loss lies. This test can allow the audiologist to compare the hearing in the patient’s ears when other sounds are detected. The equipment used for the audiogram test is used to complete a site of lesion test but the results will be different.
Other medical tests may be recommended by the audiologist to determine whether any other medical conditions may be causing the hearing loss. Taking a special x-ray of the brain and inner ear can allow the nerves associated with hearing to be examined.
To obtain a full diagnosis it is often required to undertake a series of examinations in order prescribe the most effective treatment. The variety of hearing tests that are currently available means that a precise diagnosis can be reached and effective treatments can allow patients to go on to lead better lives.