Comprehensive hearing testing, also known as audiometric testing, is performed to determine a person's hearing sensitivity and to determine the type and degree of any loss. The test checks each ear for its ability to hear certain loudness of sounds and certain tones or pitches of sound.
A hearing test may be requested if you suspect hearing loss, or if you have symptoms of dizziness, unsteadiness or noises in the ear (tinnitus). Certain medications can cause hearing loss, so audiologists may monitor a patient's hearing acuity over time as they take these medications to note any possible changes in hearing.
Other tests that may be performed at this exam include:
- impedance testing
- otoacoustic emissions testing
- air / bone conduction
- speech reception and word recognition tests
- tympanometry to provide information regarding middle ear status
You won't have to wait weeks to get your results from the tests; the audiologist will discuss test results and recommendations with the patient at the time of the appointment. Once the nature of hearing loss is understood, you may need a medical evaluation by an ear, nose and throat physician or you may decide to purchase hearing aids. The decision to use a hearing aid is up to you.