Hearing loss is something that affects a lot of people all over the world, children and adults alike. It is a problem that often goes undetected for a long time and becomes irreversible. Some people feel ashamed about their hearing and refuse to go altogether. It is of crucial importance that you get your hearing checked if you notice any signs that you can’t hear things like you used to. Sometimes it can be hard to detect in children so routine checkups are necessary. There are many different ways an audiologist will test hearing in both children and adults. You can easily find audiologists who perform hearing test Melbourne wide, keep reading to find out how they do the testing.
Now before you are tested, your GP or audiologist will have a thorough look at your ears to make sure that it’s not something that can be cured with medicine. You may have symptoms which could include pain, discharge, tinnitus, vertigo, or hearing loss in general. The GP should then go on to examine your ears with an otoscope. This allows the professional at work to see clearly all the way to your eardrum. If you have a bulging eardrum this could mean you have infected fluid in the middle ear, a dull eardrum could mean you have uninfected fluid in the middle ear, a retracted eardrum could mean that the Eustachian tube is not working as it should be, you might have a perforated eardrum, or even something foreign blocking the passageway. After this quick examination, the audiologist may continue testing, or the GP could refer you to an audiologist for further testing. If you are looking for somewhere that does hearing test Melbourne wide you can easily search for an audiologist online near you.
There are plenty of ways the audiologists test the hearing in children, some of these could include:
- AOAE Test – Otherwise known as an automated otoacoustic emissions test, isn’t that a mouthful. This test uses a computer which is attached to a small earpiece or earpieces in which a series of small clicks is played through. This is to roughly measure the response times in your child’s ear.
- Audiometry Tests – This again is similar to the last test but with different volumes and frequencies being played. Your child will be asked to raise their hand as they hear them or something similar to a simple task.
- AABR Test – Which stands for automated auditory brainstem response which is different to the other test because this test the nerves that connect hearing. Sensors are placed on the back of the child’s head and neck as well as headphones. The sensors measure the nerves and how they work to see if there is a problem within them.
Children are difficult to test sometimes because of their age – they might not know how to respond or understand their surroundings. Testing in adults can be a lot easier and much more thorough, some of the ways audiologists test on adults include:
- Pure Tone Audiometry – Sometimes referred to as a PTA test, it has been designed to check the hearing of both ears using an audiometer. This machine produces different sounds at various frequencies and pitches in which you need to respond to.
- Tympanometry – Small plastic piece is used to cover your ear in which the machine starts gently changing the pressure. It is used to test if there is any fluid blocking the sound from going through from behind the eardrum. If the pressure it pushed back then your hearing is impaired or the Eustachian tube is not working correctly.
- Tuning Fork Test – The instrument used is called a tuning fork which emits sound waves at a fixed pitch. This is then placed around your head to determine if you have conductive hearing loss. This is hearing loss that stops sounds from being able to pass into the inner ear.
- Speech Perception – A speech perception test involves the testing of your ability to hear words without any visuals. This is done either through headphones, speaker, or by the audiologist themselves. You are asked to repeat the words you hear and some will have background noise to test the difficulty you hear the words.
- Whispered Voice Test – This is probably one of the most simple tests of which you have to block one ear. The audiologist will begin whispering words at different volumes which you will then be asked to repeat out loud.
- Bone Conduction Test – This is basically a more sophisticated version of the tuning fork test which once again is used to test how well hearing through your bones is. Usually, audiologists will do a whole range of tests to determine where your hearing loss is coming from whether from the middle ear, inner ear, or sometimes even both.