What is a Hearing Test?

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  • Written By: Jodee Redmond
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 January 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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A hearing test is a procedure conducted to determine a person's ability to assess how well they can detect certain frequencies. The test is trying to determine the lowest tone that the person can hear. The test may also include a speech component to make sure that the results are accurate. It is conducted by an audiologist, who is a trained medical professional.

The hearing test will likely include a session where the person being examined sits in a soundproof booth. He or she may be asked to wear a set of headphones. A series of sound are played inside the booth, and the person is asked to press a button or raise their hand to indicate they have heard the sound. The sounds are played at a number of different decibels and the audiologist tracks which ones the person can hear by using a graph. Once the hearing test has been completed, the audiologist will be able to tell which frequencies the person is having trouble hearing and diagnose the extent of hearing loss, if any.


The speech portion of the hearing test involves having the person listen to words and repeat them back to the audiologist. This helps to clear up any inaccuracies in the testing process, since the person being examined may be straining to hear at certain frequencies and indicate they have heard a sound when they haven't been able to do so. The speech test may also indicate whether the sounds made by combining specific letters are difficult for the person to hear.

The audiologist will also want to conduct a physical examination of the ear structure to determine whether it is normal as part of a hearing test. A probe is placed in the ear to measure the amount of air pressure in the ear canal. An abnormal level of air pressure may indicate a problem with the structure or functioning of the ear drum.

A buildup of fluid in the ear canal can contribute to hearing problems as well. The audiologist will examine the ear to ensure that fluid is not present during the hearing test process. Antibiotics may be needed to treat fluid in the inner ear.

The hearing test results will either confirm that the person has a normal range of hearing or indicate some level of hearing loss. The information gleaned from charting the different frequencies can be used to offer appropriate treatment for the loss, such as hearing aids.



Discuss this Article

Post 3

@simrin-- Technically, the online hearing tests can give you a good idea about how your hearing is doing and it is a free hearing test which is an advantage.

The problem is that, people have different types of speakers and not everyone's works well with the online hearing tests. Mine for example, doesn't go to a high enough frequency for me to hear all of the sounds in an online hearing test. So it doesn't help me much.

I believe both professional and online hearing tests go from 250 hz to 8 khz. But with the online hearing test, you can't really hear anything above 16 khz. So if you work with loud music, I think you should directly go for a professional hearing test which will give you accurate results.

Post 2

I remember getting a hearing test some years ago. It was a really short test, I just sat in a booth and pressed a button when I heard something. The audiologist said that my hearing was perfect. It's been quite a few years since then though and I've started working with music recently and have to listen to a lot of loud music.

Sometimes I feel like my hearing isn't perfect anymore. Especially during conversations, I misunderstand what people say all the time. I saw that there are online hearing tests available, but are those any good?

I imagine that it can't be as good as an audiology hearing test, but if it can give me an idea of how I'm doing, I can decide to make an appointment with an audiologist or not.

Has anyone tried an online hearing test? What do you think about it?

Post 1

I had to have a hearing test done once. I had traveled by plane and the difference in air pressure while in the plane apparently caused my ear drum to turn. When the plane landed, I started feeling dizzy, and it felt like the ground was being shaken for more than two weeks.

It was a horrible feeling and my mom was really worried about me. The doctor I went to said that my hearing might also be damaged and sent me to have a hearing screening and test done. I sat in a sound-proof room like the article described and motioned when I heard a sound in my headphones. Thankfully everything came out fine and I was

given some nasal sprays to help balance the pressure in my ear.

The symptoms went away on its own after a while. But it was scary to think that I could lost my hearing. I hope no one has to face that ever.

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