Audiometry is a diagnostic test used to evaluate a person’s hearing ability. The test is typically performed by an audiologist, a healthcare professional who specializes in hearing and balance disorders.
During an audiometry test, the audiologist will present a series of tones or sounds at different frequencies and volumes to test the patient. Audiometry is a valuable tool for diagnosing and managing hearing loss, and it is often used to assess hearing in individuals of all ages, from infants to the elderly. It can also be used to monitor hearing loss over time and to evaluate the effectiveness of hearing aids or other interventions.
Some common tests include.
Pure tone testing (audiogram) — For this test, you wear earphones attached to the audiometer. Pure tones of a specific frequency and volume are delivered to one ear at a time. You are asked to signal when you hear a sound. The minimum volume required to hear each tone is graphed. A device called a bone oscillator is placed against the mastoid bone to test bone conduction.
Speech audiometry — This tests your ability to detect and repeat spoken words at different volumes heard through a headset.
Immittance audiometry — This test measures the function of the eardrum and the flow of sound through the middle ear. A probe is inserted into the ear and air is pumped through it to change the pressure within the ear as tones are produced. A microphone monitors how well sound is conducted within the ear under different pressures.
Tympanometry — A measure of the vibration of the eardrum and middle ear pressure.
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