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Lincoln, RI 02865 Building #3
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What Are The Features Of A Modern Hearing Test?

an audiologist in performing a modern hearing test

Hearing tests are an integral part of keeping your health in check. Whether they confirm that your hearing is in perfect condition or identify hearing loss and related issues, their impact on your life can be huge. When you have reason to suspect that your hearing isn't at the level it should be, booking a hearing examination with an audiologist is essential.

Before booking your hearing test, it's best to familiarize yourself with what to expect from the appointment. This removes any source of apprehension and allows you to prepare in style. Here's all you need to know about the key features of a modern hearing test.

The background data collection

Before the audiologist examines your hearing capabilities, you will first need to provide an array of details about yourself as well as the family history. This information can actively support the audiologist as they try to build a clearer image of your life and the hearing loss issues that are statistically most likely to affect you.

The background data collection processes can also extend to insurance documents, which can subsequently support you through the financial challenges. This is also an opportunity to note anything of interest during the interactions. 

The physical inspections

Physical inspections of the ears give the audiologist an opportunity to identify any abnormalities that could affect your hearing or may require further investigation. This part of the hearing test is completed with an otoscope and extends to checking the middle ear for wax buildups, infections and damage to the hair cells.

Pure-tone testing

When you picture a hearing test, you probably think about sitting in a booth with headphones on as sounds and dialogue are sent to your ears. This is pure-tone testing. 

The technology used during the pure-tone testing examinations has advanced at a rapid rate, but the fundamental features are largely untouched. This test is designed to identify the highest and lowest volumes and pitches that you can hear. During the test, you will hold a buzzer and press it whenever you hear a sound as instructed. The results are recorded on an audiogram and can have a huge influence for producing accurate results and finding the best hearing aids.

Bone conduction testing

Bone conduction testing is a variant on the pure-tone test. A vibrating conductor is placed behind the ear so that sounds are vibrated rather than passed through the air. The results of this can help ascertain the type of hearing loss, especially when the results vary from the pure-tone testing outcomes.

Speech testing

The ability to follow a conversation without visual pointers is the main priority for most people that experience hearing loss. Speech testing is a central feature of the modern hearing examination as it measures the speech reception threshold (SRT) to identify and record the natural function of your ears. 

Speech testing can include some conversations that occur with minimal background noise while others have the background sounds to reflect daily situations and gain a deeper insight into the impacts of your hearing loss. 

Tympanometry

Tympanometry is an examination of the middle ear, with a particular focus on the middle ear. The quick and painless process involves inserting a small probe with a flexible rubber tip into the ear. This can check for fluid, infections, tumors, earwax and eardrum perforations. 

Acoustic reflex testing

The ears are very complex, and the ability to transmit sound waves to the brain in a healthy manner requires various parts, including the ossicles, cochlea and auditory nerves to offer a good response. Acoustic reflex testing checks for involuntary muscle contractions within the middle ear to identify the source of hearing loss. 

Results from the test are recorded and can provide an audiologist with further insight into the situation as well as the best possible solution.

Other tests

Every hearing test is tailored to the needs of the individual, which is why not all tests will appear within your visit. In addition to the above examinations, individuals may undergo auditory brainstem response (ABR) and otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) testing. Whichever hearing examinations are used, appointments usually last for around one hour.

Subsequent appointments

If hearing loss or a related issue is detected, it will be necessary to see the audiologist again. This may include further examinations, sound therapy, and other treatments. In most cases, though, the secondary appointments are designed for hearing aid fittings to ensure that the hearing loss can be managed in a suitable fashion.

To find out more about the benefits of hearing tests or book one today, call Hear for You Hearing & Balance Center at 401-475-6116 now.