Hearing Checks vs. Assessments
Contrary to common belief, hearing loss is more complicated than just an inability to hear sound loudly enough…
There are no shortage of online hearing tests that can be performed, in the form of questionnaires or auditory tests that fall well short of the full assessments performed by qualified hearing professionals. Online test results are generic in nature and give no consideration to individual requirements or medical causes that can be detrimental to well-being if untreated.
Contrary to common belief, hearing loss is more complicated than just an inability to hear sound loudly enough, hearing difficulties come in four main forms that can be overlooked when performing an online test, these included…
Having your hearing checked is quick, comfortable and completely painless.
You will be required to wear headphones and respond to each sound that you hear. The sounds vary in pitch and loudness with the softest sounds you hear marked on a graph called an Audiogram. Hearing loss levels are then described as either mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe or profound. Hearing checks should always be performed in a controlled environment with calibrated equipment.
This results of a hearing check provides valuable information to your hearing professional on the type of hearing loss you are suffering and to what degree.
Proceeding with a full hearing assessment is recommended if a hearing check indicates hearing difficulties.
A variety of test can be used to determine the degree, type and configuration of your individual hearing difficulties.
Pure Tone Audiometry
Is the key hearing test for identifying ear specific thresholds, and involves listening to frequency specific beeps and whistles (called pure tones)and signalling when you can hear them. Pure Tone Audiometry uses both air and bone conduction audiometry
An extensions of the hearing check, also marked on an Audiogram, pure tone audiometry involves listening to a range of beeps and whistles, called pure tones, and signalling when you can hear them.
Air Conduction – is measured by pure tones played through headphones. The sounds go via the air, down the ear canal, through the middle ear and to the very delicate cochlea in the inner ear.
Bone Conduction – tests the sensitivity of the cochlea by placing a small vibrator on the mastoid bone behind the ear. Bypassing the middle ear sounds travel through the bones of the skull to the cochlea and hearing nerves.
Both Air and Bone conduction tests will indicate if hearing loss stems from inner, middle or outer ear or in technical terms sensori-neural or conductive hearing loss.
Tympanometry is not a hearing test but is an examination used to test the condition of the middle ear, eardrum mobility and conduction bones through creation of air pressure variation in the ear canal. Because Tympanometry can indicate the location of a blockage responsible for hearing loss and if medical treatment is required.
Speech discrimination tests
A Speech Discimination test assesses how well you understand words; when hearing is damaged often more than sound volume or quality that is affected, in many cases the sound quality can be distorted. This test measures the level of distortion, poor speech distortion means voices are distorted and not loud enough.