Diagnostic Hearing Test
A variety of tests can be used to identify and diagnose a hearing loss. At Castle Hearing, we use the latest state of the art equipment to perform diagnostic hearing tests. Before a hearing test takes place, we will always begin with an otoscopy to check for wax and any abnormalities in the ear. This is performed by an audiologist, who will examine the outer ear, ear canal and ear drum using an instrument called an otoscope.
Depending on your age and the type of hearing loss you are experiencing, we may carry out up to three different tests. Based on these assessments we can recommend the best hearing device for your needs. Read below for information on each test.
Pure Tone Audiometry
This test is performed by playing pure tones of varying decibel levels into your ear through an earphone. Each ear will be tested individually and you will be asked to signal when you can hear a tone. The tones represent the important range of human hearing and help to establish what level of sound you can hear overall.
You may also be asked to take a bone conduction test. This test is used to determine the nature of the hearing loss you are experiencing. A small vibrator is placed on the mastoid bone behind the ear, which allows sounds to travel straight to the inner ear (bypassing the outer and middle ear) before travelling up to the brain. This allows the audiologist to establish whether your hearing loss in conductive or sensorineural.
High Frequency PTA
This test is carried out in a similar way to a Pure Tone Audiometry test except higher frequency tones are played. It is used to detect the early stages of high-frequency hearing loss associated with noise exposure. This test is important as early diagnosis of noise-induced hearing loss can help to prevent the progression of hearing loss, especially in speech frequencies.
Speech in Noise Testing
This test simulates real-world listening situations to examine how well you can understand speech in a noisy environment, which can not be reliably predicted using other tests. Speech in Noise Testing addresses the most common complaint amongst hearing loss sufferers, which is not being able to enjoy social situations due to not being able to hear other people speaking when background noise is present.
During this test, the audiologist will recite a series of words or sentences and ask you to repeat them as the level of background noise gradually increases. The results will establish how your ability to understand speech is affected by the presence of background noise, which will allow specific treatment recommendations to be made.
Hearing Test FAQs
Q. Do I need to do anything to prepare before the test?
A. If you have a build up of wax in your ear canal, it is a good idea to get this removed before your hearing test so the results are more reliable. We offer a wax removal service, click here for more information.
Also, make a note of any hearing loss symptoms you are experiencing, past or current medical conditions and medications you are taking. It may also be beneficial to write down the situations where you have difficulty hearing conversations.
Q. Should I bring someone with me?
A. Yes, if possible. By bringing a family member or friend along, they can help identify changes in your hearing that you may not have noticed. Also, they can help you to understand and make notes on information the audiologist tells you about your hearing – there is often a lot to take in during the first consultation.
Q. How long does the appointment last for?
A. An appointment for a hearing test will last for approximately one hour.