Do you suspect you have a hearing loss? How can you be sure? Hearing loss is something which can happen to anyone and progresses gradually; often the symptoms are not noticed. Hearing loss has far-reaching effects on your health, so getting a baseline hearing test and annual follow-up tests can help you catch it early.
Hearing loss is something that can happen at any age. There are end numbers of reasons why a person has a hearing problem such as due to heredity, medical conditions or loud noise exposure.
The purpose of a hearing test is to determine not only if you have a hearing loss, but how mild or severe it is. A free online hearing test US helps define the type of hearing loss you have: conductive, sensory neural or mixed and whether it will respond best to medical treatment or hearing aids.
Getting A Hearing Test
Hearing tests are painless and non-invasive. Free hearing test Aids Kentucky offers the most comprehensive, sound-treated room (booth) or enclosure designed to keep out any other noises which might affect your hearing exam scores, such as the heater, air conditioner or office environment. You will be asked to wear headphones or soft earplugs with wires connected to an instrument called an audiometer that is used to conduct the test.
The sound-treated booth may also be equipped with specially-placed speakers used for testing infants, small children or people who need to be tested while wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Once in the booth, your hearing care professional will communicate with you and provide instructions through your headphones. You will be asked to listen to tones at different pitches and volumes and push a button or raise your hand when you hear them. You will have to focus and listen intently because you need to respond even if the tone sounds very soft and you can barely hear it. The test measures the very softest sounds you can hear at each frequency tested. This part of the test is called pure tone audiometry.
Speech audiometry is another component of most hearing tests, and it uses recorded or live speech instead of pure tones. The speech portion of the exam evaluates the softest speech sounds (threshold) you can hear and understand. You will then be asked to repeat back words that are presented at a level well above the threshold to see how well you can understand them accurately. Some practitioners use speech sounds to determine your most comfortable listening level and the upper limits of comfort for listening.
If necessary, the practitioner may perform tympanometry and a test of your acoustic reflexes. For these tests, a soft plug that creates pressure changes and generates sounds will be placed in the ear. This will determine how well your eardrum is moving and will measure the reflexive responses of the middle ear muscles.
Understanding Your Hearing Test Results
Test results are presented on a graph called an audiogram that displays the softest sounds you can hear at different pitches or frequencies. The vertical axis of an audiogram represents the intensity or volume of the sounds. The horizontal axis depicts the frequency or pitch of the sound.
These units are unique to hearing testing but are based on the perception of sound pressure levels across all frequencies. For each tone you heard during the test, there will be a mark on the audiogram at the appropriate decibel level. Each ear is plotted separately and represented by two different lines. The lines may be quite similar and follow the same pattern or they may be very different.