There are various hearing conditions that a person can suffer from at some stage in their life, with hearing loss being the most prominent. For the most successful results, hearing specialists use a range of different testing and assessment methods in order to identify any hearing issues.
Here are some of the main types of hearing tests in Melbourne that an audiologist or hearing specialist can use to assess your condition and determine its severity.
One of the most common hearing tests in Melbourne is a hearing screening, which is the first method of assessing your doctor will use to identify your condition. This gives an insight into your particular problem and will help your doctor to decide whether further treatment is required. A screening is essentially a hearing test that will indicate your level of hearing ability and dictate the severity of hearing loss if it’s being experienced. If you fail the hearing screening, the next step is generally a comprehensive hearing evaluation.
Another common and effective hearing test, a hearing evaluation is conducted if there seems to be a hearing condition or a decline in hearing. During this evaluation, a hearing specialist will run you through a more extensive process than the initial screening. The evaluation will also involve an inspection of your ears, including your ear canals and ear drums. At this stage, your hearing specialist might discover that something as simple as excess earwax is impacting your hearing ability.
Audiograms are used to identify more severe hearing conditions, and they’re typically conducted in a soundproof room so that the hearing specialist can interpret the results. Audiologists or hearing specialists will use high-quality equipment at this stage, carrying out a series of different tests that will assess your ability to hear different frequencies, levels and patterns. Through these tests, they’ll be able to discover whether you’re losing your hearing or experiencing a certain type of hearing loss.
Speech assessments are another form of commonly used hearing tests in Melbourne and are often used when children are being tested. Speech tests and assessments often help to confirm the results from other testing methods and involve a process where you’ll be asked to repeat words or phrases back to your hearing specialist at various different sound thresholds. This form of testing is used as a way to identify whether your hearing is impacting your communication and language.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
A more intense test than the others, an ABR is a form of test used to identify whether your ear pathways are working adequately. With earplugs placed in each of your ears and electrodes placed on your head, an ABR assesses and measures the amount of time it takes for sound to travel from your ear to the part of the brain that processes sound (the auditory brainstem). This test is often used in combination with other hearing tests in Melbourne, including otoacoustic emissions, acoustic reflex measures and more.