Audiology Hearing Test
An audiology hearing test, also known as a hearing assessment or hearing evaluation, is a medical examination conducted by an audiologist to assess an individual's hearing ability. The primary purpose of this test is to determine the nature and degree of a person's hearing loss, if any, and to identify the specific areas of the auditory system that may be affected.
The gold standard test for hearing is known as an audiogram. It tests how well you hear. It can also help diagnose balance problems and other issues related to the function of the inner ear.
The results of an audiogram show the softest sound you can hear at different pitches (or frequencies). Your results are represented on a graph and on this graph, the closer the mark is to the top, the softer the sounds are you can hear – and the closer to “normal” hearing you might have.
The audiogram can also help show the type of hearing loss you might have. This could be conductive (sounds having trouble getting to the inner ear), sensorineural (trouble in the inner ear or in the nerves to the brain) or mixed (both conductive and sensorineural).
Who should have hearing test?
Many Americans undergo hearing screenings or evaluations at some point in their lives. Newborns in the U.S. typically receive hearing screenings shortly after birth. Children may have screenings during well-child appointments or at school, especially if there are concerns about their hearing. Adults often undergo hearing tests if they experience difficulties hearing or if those around them observe such challenges.
How often should one have hearing test?
The frequency of hearing checks depends on your circumstances. For instance, those working in loud environments might require annual screenings, while others may not need an evaluation until their 50s or 60s when age-related hearing loss becomes more common. If you suspect hearing difficulties, consult a healthcare provider who can recommend a formal hearing evaluation, possibly referring you to an audiologist.
What are hearing tests called?
Hearing assessments can be either screenings or evaluations. A hearing screening checks for normal hearing, and if unsuccessful, a comprehensive hearing evaluation or audiologic assessment is recommended. Audiologists conduct these evaluations to determine the type and severity of hearing loss.