According to a study from 2016, an estimated 23% of Americans ages 12 and older have some degree of hearing loss. If you are among this population, you could be missing out on important sounds, like what your conversation partner is saying to you at Venture Kitchen & Bar. The first step toward better hearing is to undergo a hearing test at Hampton Roads ENT ~ Allergy. We review what types of hearing tests we offer below.
Pure Tone Audiometry
During pure tone audiometry testing, you’ll sit in a soundproof booth and wear a set of headphones. A series of tones at various pitches and volumes will be played, and you’ll indicate which ones you can hear.
Speech testing is very similar to pure tone audiometry, except instead of tones, words will be played or spoken, which you repeat back to the audiologist. The test may be conducted with background noise playing as well.
Bone Conduction Testing
For bone conduction testing, a conductor is placed behind the ear, and tiny vibrations are sent through the skull bone directly to the inner ear. Machines then measure how your inner ear responds to these vibrations.
Tympanometry tests measure how your eardrum moves in response to changes in air pressure. This test can help your audiologist determine whether you have fluid or wax built up, or if there is a perforation in the eardrum.
Acoustic Reflex Testing
Acoustic reflex testing measures the involuntary muscle contractions in the middle ear. It’s used to determine which part of your ear is causing the hearing problem as well as what type of hearing loss you have.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)
OAEs are the tiny sounds generated by the vibrations of the hair cells within the inner ear, known as stereocilia. This test entails placing a tiny probe with a microphone and speaker within the ear to stimulate the cochlea and measure its response to sounds. The test indicates whether there’s a blockage in the ear or damage to the hair cells.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
ABR screens for sensorineural hearing loss, or hearing loss caused by damage to the nerves or stereocilia within the inner ears, usually for newborns. During this test, you’ll wear electrodes on your head and a set of headphones. The electrodes measure the brain’s activity in response to sounds played through the headphones. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call Hampton Roads ENT ~ Allergy today.