Types of Hearing Tests, When to Get Tested, Results and More

hearing tests types, results

Hearing loss is a condition that affects millions of people in India. With hearing loss, people lose one of their five senses. According to WHO, nearly 63 million people suffer from hearing loss in India. Hearing loss hinders not only hearing but also our self-confidence and growth. ENT doctors can predict and identify hearing loss by performing hearing tests using advanced technology. Audiometry test will help to identify the hearing condition.

What are hearing tests? What is their importance?

A hearing test is a progress card for your hearing. The results depict the hearing condition and suggest necessary preventive measures to safeguard your hearing. Hearing test or Audiometry test represents the severity of the hearing loss condition. With the help of a hearing test report, doctors will advise the necessary treatment to restore hearing capacity.

different audiometry test for hearing loss

Who should get a hearing test?

Anyone from young children to senior citizens can get Audiometry test. It is a simple and painless process to identify hearing condition. Doctors will recommend a hearing test for young children, adults and senior citizens to ensure the ear functioning is normal. If you suspect that you have hearing loss, consult an ENT specialist for a hearing test.

When do you need a hearing test?

If you suffer from the following conditions:

  • Tinnitus (Ringing) in one or both ears
  • Middle ear infections
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Mild hearing loss
  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Profound hearing loss
  • Moderate hearing loss
  • Presbycusis
  • Perforated ear drum
  • Autoimmune diseases like Meniere’s disease
  • Ear discharge

If you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent ear blockage
  • Difficulty in conversing over mobile phone
  • Listening to loud voices on TV and mobile
  • Headache
  • Sudden change in hearing
  • Accumulation of earwax
  • Fluid buildup in the ear
  • Difficulty in understanding sounds
  • Injury to the head or ear
  • If Hearing loss runs in the family

These symptoms and conditions can lead to hearing loss. If you exhibit any of the above, immediately consult an ENT specialist. Get a hearing test to safeguard your hearing.

How often should you get your hearing tested?

Doctors typically recommend a hearing test to conduct within 6-12 months for newborns. In adults up to the age of 50, doctors recommend checking their hearing every 10 years. After attaining 50 years, it is recommended to have a hearing test every 3 years. Consult the best ENT doctor in Hyderabad and check your hearing.

What are the different types of hearing tests?

Different hearing tests are conducted for babies, children, and adults. The hearing tests differ as the ear development in children and adults varies. Different hearing tests are:

Babies or young children

Through behavioural assessments, doctors assess hearing in babies between 6-8 months old. Doctors make sounds near the ear and observe the child’s reaction. In some cases, doctors will suggest a VRA test.tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

This test is performed in children between 6 months to 2.5 years. It takes less than 15 minutes to complete the procedure. The child is made to sit in a chair, and sound is played through speakers or headphones. Then the child should match the sound and visual representation on the computer screen. Test report is generated based on the child’s performance.

Older children and adults

Different hearing tests are performed for children above 5 and adults up to 80 years to identify their hearing capacity.

Pure tone audiometry

Pure tone audiometry is measured in two ways: Air condition and Bone condition

In this method, headphones are placed over the ears, and test the hearing by producing sound. Doctors will examine how the sound travels through the ear canal

In this method, a vibrating tuning fork is placed behind the ear and measures how the sound conducts through bones to the inner ear

The Air condition and Bone condition test results are marked in an audiometer. The graphical representation of the results of an audiometer is called an audiogram. Doctors suggest the treatment based on an audiogram.

Tympanometry

Tympanometry is the most common hearing test recommended by ENT specialists. It is performed by inserting a soft earplug into one ear, and the soft plug present at the end will create an air-tight seal. The probe will create a pressure difference in the ear and emit sound. An audiologist will gradually increase the volume and record the eardrum movements. A graphical format called a tympanogram is used to record this data. This test can be completed in 15 minutes.

Acoustic Reflex Measures

Acoustic Reflex Measures or Middle Ear Muscle Reflex (MEMR) test measures the ear response to different sound intensities. The ear reflection is different for high sounds and indistinct sounds. A tiny muscle present in the ear tightens in response to loud noises. This reflection is called an acoustic reflex.

What should I expect during a hearing test?

Typically, a hearing test is completed in 30 minutes. There are different types of hearing tests, and almost every test is similar in tracking hearing conditions.

  • You will be asked to sit comfortably in a chair in a closed room/ a chamber
  • Audiologist will advise you to wear headphones that is connected to the audiologist’s computer
  • You are advised to inform the sounds you hear and do not hear
  • If you experience any discomfort or disturbance, let the audiologist know
  • Different types of sounds are played from earphones from time to time
  • Pay close attention to low sounds and inform them if you do not hear
  • Sounds from low tone to high tone are played differently in both ears to check your hearing capacity

How to interpret the results of a hearing test?

The results of an Audiometry test will be shown in a graphical representation. An ENT specialist will observe the results and inform you if you have any hearing loss. The sound is calculated in decibels(dB). Calculated hearing loss for different types are:

  • 26- 40 decibels(dB): Mild hearing loss (whispering is 30 dB)
  • 41- 55 dB: Moderate hearing loss
  • 56- 70 dB: Moderate to severe hearing loss (Normal speech is 60 dB)
  • 71- 90 dB: Severe hearing loss
  • 91- 100 dB: Profound hearing loss

FAQs

How accurate are hearing tests?

Audiologists conduct hearing tests in different methods. The results are reliable and infallible. The accuracy of the hearing test may vary depending on the type of test and equipment used. By using advanced equipment, audiologists are minimising errors and providing accurate results. Book your Audiometry test at the best hearing clinic in Hyderabad.

Can hearing tests damage your ears?

A hearing test or Audiometry test is a simple and painless procedure. Moreover, hearing tests are performed under audiologist supervision. Hearing tests do not need any surgical intervention. They are safe and do not damage your ear or hinder your hearing. Visit the best hearing test near me.

Can I get my hearing tested online?

Online hearing tests can be done at the convenience of the user. One should need a good headphone computer with a reliable internet connection. Some online applications and websites provide online hearing tests, but they are not recognised or authenticated. Technically, they are speech-in-noise tests where users can hear sounds with background noise. The major problem with online hearing tests is reliability and genuinity. Solely relying on them will create a problem. Consult the best audiologist in Hyderabad for your hearing and get an Audiometry test.

Can I test my hearing at home?

Hearing tests or Audiometry test can be conducted at home with portable hearing testing machines. The test results’ accuracy may differ from the hearing test done at the hospital. Consult an ENT specialist and get a hearing test done at the hospital/ clinic for accurate results. Different factors like the surrounding environment, equipment used, equipment errors caused by equipment, external disturbance, output quality, etc., will affect the accuracy of the hearing test. Dr Rao’s hospital has advanced equipment and is one of the best ENT hospital in Hyderabad.

Can ear wax build up affect my hearing test?

Yes, ear wax build up blocks the sound waves during Audiometry test. Overall, test results will be affected by ear wax. Cleaning it will help the hearing test. Looking for the best hearing clinic near me, consult Dr. Shree Rao best ENT specialist and clear your ear wax before a hearing test.

Why consult EarSurgeon, Dr. Shree Rao?

Dr. Shree Cuddapah Rao is acclaimed as one of the best pediatric ENT specialists in Hyderabad. With 10+ years of deep domain experience in the field of ENT, she is the director at Dr. Rao’s ENT Super Specialty Hospital. She underwent specialized training in Rhinoplasty / Facial Plastic surgery at Singapore General Hospital, Singapore. She also underwent advanced training in cochlear implant surgery under Padmashri Dr. Milind V Kirtane and had a Fellowship in a cochlear implant. Having performed over 200 successful cochlear implants for patients worldwide, Dr. Shree Cuddapah Rao is also the recipient of several prestigious accolades in the domain of ENT. Dr. Shree Rao is one of the best ent doctor in hyderabad, to book an appointment click here.

About Dr. Shree C Rao

MBBS, MS (ENT)

Dr. Shree Cuddapah Rao, an ENT (Ear-Nose-Throat) surgeon, is a superspecialist microsurgeon in Otology and Cochlear implant surgeries. With 10+ years of deep domain experience in medical and surgical ENT, she is quite fittingly, the Head of the Cochlear Implant team at Dr. Rao’s ENT

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