Ask the Expert: Understanding the Different Types of Hearing Loss Tests

Ask the Expert: Understanding the Different Types of Hearing Loss Tests

Close to 50 million people in the United States have some form of hearing loss. This can be quite a frustrating experience, to the point that you're missing out on major parts of life.

If you are dealing with any form of hearing loss, hearing care professionals and audiologists can provide you with the treatments that you need. Before this, however, you need to get extensive testing done to verify your hearing loss. But what types of tests are available? We're glad you asked.

These tips will help you when you want to learn more about your hearing loss test options.

The Auditory Brain System Response (ABR) Test

There are a variety of different kinds of hearing loss that people experience. Some forms of hearing loss deal with the bones in the ear or from irreparable damage to the ear drum. Other forms of hearing loss are more deeply ingrained.

With an auditory brain system response (ABR) test, professionals are examining nerves and connections that help your brain and inner ear communicate. You might have to get this test if you have encountered hearing loss from a brain injury. The professional that administers this test will connect nodes to your scalp to measure brain activity in response to triggers.

It's a type of exam that is commonly administered to newborns while they are in the hospital but can also be given to people of any age. Once test results are given, the professionals will be able to provide you with the assistance that you need.

Knowing the benefits of hearing aids will help you fix your hearing if your tests come back indicating hearing loss.

Pure Tone Hearing Test

The pure tone hearing test is another common examination that people receive in order to pinpoint issues. With this examination, the tester plays a faint sound in your headphones, and you will need to indicate whether or not you hear it, and out of which ear.

With this test, the professional measures the lowest sound that you are able to hear. This gives an indication of whether or not your hearing is working and whether you need a hearing aid or other help. Your ears will be checked to see whether you can pick up sounds of a variety of volumes and pitches. The tester will ask you to either raise your hand or hit a button to indicate that you are hearing the sounds clearly.

Tympanometry Testing

Your eardrum is an integral piece of the puzzle when dictating how well you can hear, if at all. Your eardrum will need to shake and vibrate in order for you to register sound.

With tympanometry testing, the audiologists will examine your eardrum in order to see how well it is moving. There could be a number of reasons that your eardrum performance is hampered. For instance, you might have a ruptured ear drum or could be contending with fluid inside of your eardrum. This could also be an issue if you have a lot of hardened and compacted earwax inside of your eardrum.

A professional can help you out with tympanometry testing so that you can remedy these issues.

Bone Conduction Hearing Test

Next, bone conduction hearing is another type of testing that tests for obstructions. Professionals use this test to see if you have buildup, fluid, or ear wax creating an issue. However, this test checks to see if you have any of these blockages in the middle or outer areas of your ear.

With a bone conduction hearing test, professionals will attach a conductor behind your ear to send pulses into your ear. The results that you get from this exam will let you know what kind of hearing loss you are dealing with.

Speech Testing

One of the main gifts of your hearing sense is the ability to have conversations with people. The only way this happens is by picking up speech patterns in sensitive detail. A speech hearing test will gauge your ability to hear and register certain kinds of words.

You will be played a series of words at different volumes in order to measure your speech reception threshold (SRT). The professionals will be able to measure this threshold either in a quiet room or a loud and busy setting. This is one of the most practical and useful forms of hearing testing since it gauges how well you are able to use your hearing for human interactions.

Speak to an Hearing Care Professional

Keep in mind that you won't necessarily know what kind of hearing test you need until you speak to a professional who specializes in hearing loss and hearing loss treatment. Once you do this, they will ask you questions about the types of hearing issues that you're having, and from there, will administer the appropriate test to help you get the results that you're looking for.

They will likely prescribe you a hearing aid or other treatment that will give you the chance to regain your hearing. A new pair of hearing aids could cost you anywhere between $900 and more than $6,000 depending on what type you get.

Get a Professional Hearing Test

These tips are worthwhile when you're looking into getting a professional hearing loss test that can help your well-being and your entire quality of life. Do your due diligence in getting professional help so that you can regain this crucial sense.

Beltone is happy to help you when you need to fix your hearing issues. To request an appointment, contact us online or call us at (800)371-4327 for more information.