Hearing loss is one of those conditions that can either develop slowly from an earlier age or develop suddenly later in life. For each of these scenarios there are usually some indicators which can signal that a person has some hearing problems. Usually the first signs may pass unnoticed and most people don’t suspect anything until they really start having troubles hearing and understanding everyday speech. Being unable to clearly discern high-pitched voices or sounds is one of the most common symptoms. Asking people to often repeat themselves and having trouble hearing when there is background noise is also a quite common indicator. Some people may also experience ringing in the ears and frequent headaches. If you’re experiencing some of these conditions, the smartest thing to do is undergo a hearing examination to detect the problem.
Nowadays there are many methods that can help detect any hearing impairment problems. Hearing tests Melbourne experts recommend that people should go to routine examinations since this is the best way to quickly discover whether there are any health issues or not. Hearing tests are performed by qualified audiologists with the main purpose to examine a person’s ability to hear different sounds at different frequency levels. The whole procedure involves various stages that are designed to accurately pinpoint the possible causes as well as the severity of the hearing problem.
Here’s how the procedure goes. First, the audiologist examines the ears with a special instrument called auriscope which is a small hand-held device with a magnifying glass. Then he might use his voice to make soft or loud sounds to determine the extent of the hearing loss. The next stage involves different screenings that determine whether sounds can reach the brain. Reputable hearing tests Melbourne centres offer a variety of screenings for both adults and children, so there should be no problem for you to do the test that you need.
Hearing tests for adults
Pure tone audiometry
This type of test is done with an audiometer – a special machine that makes sounds at different volumes and frequencies. Pure tone audiometry is used to examine the hearing ability of both ears.
Whispered voice test
This is a very simple procedure that is used to check the hearing in each ear separately. The audiologist will tell you to cover one ear and he will then whisper various words and sounds at different volumes.
Also known as speech audiometry, this type of test examines how clear you can hear sounds and words. Speech perception can also help determine your ability to hear speech while there is some level of background noise.
Hearing tests for children
Play audiometry test
This is a simple process that is commonly used for children. The child is asked to do some easy task while listening to sounds in different volumes and frequencies.
Auditory Brainstem Response
This is a quick procedure for which the doctor uses special electrodes to examine how the brain responds to sounds. The sensors or electrodes are arranged on the head and neck, testing the nerve’s reaction to the sounds.
Also known as impedance audiometry, this test is used to examine whether the middle ear is functioning properly or not. With tympanometry the audiologist can check for any changes in the pressure in the ear of the child.