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A Guide to Your Hearing Test Results

hearing test equipment in hearing clinic

Have you ever had your hearing tested? There are many reasons why someone might want to get their hearing checked out. For example, you may have noticed that the volume on the TV has been gradually getting louder and louder over time or maybe your loved ones have been telling you that they don't think your hearing is as good as it used to be. Whatever reason you may have for wanting to get a test done, a few steps should be followed before going in for your hearing appointment. In this post, we will walk through those tips from a hearing health professional.

What to Expect During Hearing Tests

During your test, the hearing care professional will be using a computer connected to equipment that allows them to do different things based on what they are testing for. Here are some of the tests you can expect during your appointment:

  • Pure-tone audiometry
  • Speech discrimination
  • Tympanometry

Other hearing tests, including word recognition and speech in noise, may not always be required every time someone goes in for an evaluation. Depending on why your doctor or physician has referred you, it may only require one type of assessment over another depending on what they need to be explicitly tested.

Purpose of a Hearing Test

The purpose of a hearing test is to determine if you have any issues with your ears or hear better in one ear than the other. If there are problems, a hearing health professional will note and suggest treatment options for your condition accordingly. Common problems that people face include high frequency sensorineural hearing loss, where individuals struggle to detect sounds in higher frequencies like s or th.

Another common problem is low-frequency conductive hearing loss, which may be related to an issue with the eardrum not allowing sound waves into the inner ear properly. Hearing tests can also help identify whether someone has tinnitus and certain types of balance problems depending on what kind of test is required.

What Do the Results Mean?

Hearing results are noted with different symbols depending on what type of condition is being identified. Let's take a look at some typical hearing test results and their meaning:

Normal Range

Results fall within the normal range for an individual who does not have any issues with high or low-frequency loss, which may affect one ear more than another resulting in binaural hearing loss.

Bilateral Sensorineural Loss

This result points to bilateral sensorineural loss where both ears show signs of damage related to aging, head injury, noise exposure or other unknown factors that cause this type of issue. If you see this result pop up during your assessment, it might be time to meet with your hearing care professional!

Unilateral Conductive Loss

This result notes a unilateral conductive loss where one ear is typically identified as having an issue with sound entering.

If you are worried about your hearing or the hearing of a loved one, it's essential to get tested by an expert. Different types of tests can be used depending on what kind of problem is being identified and they will help determine if there is any treatment required for it.