Hearing loss often develops very gradually, making it nearly impossible to detect for many patients in Aberdeen. Hearing exams are the best way to assess your hearing, and they also allow your audiologist to determine the type, location, extent and frequency of your impairment if you are diagnosed with hearing loss.
Your audiologist will develop your personalized treatment plan based on the results of your hearing exam.
Catching hearing loss early is vitally important in successfully treating the condition. Identifying impaired hearing before it has progressed will allow you to continue enjoying the lifestyle you love. Due to this, doctors recommend having your hearing checked once every three to five years for those under 50 and annually or biennially for those 50 or older, even if you feel your hearing is normal.
Common Hearing Tests
A complete hearing evaluation typically comprises several different hearing tests. These tests aim to reveal not only that a hearing loss is present but also what type it is, whether it affects one or both ears, its severity and its frequency. Hearing tests are quick, simple, noninvasive and painless. They typically take about an hour to complete.
Different hearing tests can reveal different things about your hearing. Your audiologist will determine which test to perform based on your medical history as well as personal statements about your hearing capabilities. Some of the most commonly administered tests include:
Word Recognition Test:
This test is very helpful in identifying speech reception problems. Sometimes patients whose hearing tests normal in other assessments still show problems with understanding speech sounds. During the test, you will be asked to identify and repeat words and phrases relayed at normal speech levels in settings with varying levels of background noise.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Test:
ABR testing measures your brainwave responses to a series of clicking sounds delivered through headphones using electrodes attached to the head, earlobes and scalp. This test helps your audiologist differentiate between inner ear-related (sensorineural) hearing problems and middle or outer ear-related (conductive) hearing problems.
During this hearing exam, you will listen to a series of tonal sounds delivered to one or both ears through headphones at varying volumes and frequencies. When you hear a tone, you will indicate this to your technician. The results reveal your volume and pitch hearing thresholds and can be used to determine the severity and frequency of hearing loss.
Acoustic Reflex Test:
Acoustic reflex exams measure the functionality of the middle ear, allowing your physician to identify the area that’s affected by your hearing problem. It does this by measuring and recording the middle ear muscles’ responses to sounds administered at varying volumes.