What does audiometry measure?
An audiometer is used to measure the test subject's response to different sounds depending on different sound levels, as well as distinguishing speech with or without background noise at different sound levels.
If a person has a sudden loss of hearing ability, a noticeable hearing loss in one or both ears, has a history of ear infections or has recently had surgery to the head, then it is recommended to see a medical professional for a hearing test to check their hearing health is ok.
In audiometry, what are screening and diagnostic tests used for?
A screening hearing test is used to determine if there are signs of a hearing loss, it will record a patient’s reaction to pure tones played. The results of the screening test will then allow the hearing health professional to determine if further examination or tests are required.
A diagnostic test is performed after a failed screening test. It is conducted to find out the extent of the hearing loss. A diagnostic audiometer is used by the audiologist to assess the hearing ability and provides a full evaluation of the patients hearing ability. It will measure how well the patient hears pure tones and understands speech. The test duration usually takes longer than a screening test.
How do audiometry tests work?
With the use of an audiometer, an audiologist or healthcare professional will be able to measure a person’s hearing ability by playing different sounds (for instance tones or speech) with the aim to diagnose a hearing loss which may have been caused by disease or injury. These results are usually displayed or printed on an audiogram.
A hearing test is usually carried out by a specifically trained medical professional like a doctor or nurse, an audiologist or a qualified occupational health professional. These professionals have an excellent understanding of the biology of the ear, the science of hearing and the knowledge to measure and diagnose a patient’s hearing ability.