What is a Hearing Test?
A Hearing test by definition is the procedure used to assess one’s hearing. Hearing test can be both subjective and objective. For subjective test like pure tone audiometry, it requires the attention of the person being tested. Objective test on the other hand, like the Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test, it doesn’t. But in general, either of the types of test both will give the impression how well or how bad a person’s hearing is.
Why is hearing test necessary?
Hearing test result is a representation of how good or bad a person’s hearing is. It is very important most especially if the person is complaining of not being able to carry on a conversation. For them, it is important to know the degree of hearing loss, if present, so that the right management can be advised.
When to go for a hearing test?
It is not mandated by any law to go for a hearing test. But for those who want to make sure their sense of hearing is intact, they should be advised to have a hearing test twice or at least once a year. It has been observed that one doesn’t want to visit a hearing specialist unless the problem becomes severe. For people who are exposed to noise (work-related), they should be advised to have an annual hearing test to determine possible presence of hearing loss.
How is a hearing test done?
As mentioned, hearing can either be done subjectively and objectively. For Pure tone audiometry (Subjective), this is usually done by letting the patient enter a soundproof booth. Inside the booth are the transducers (Supra-aural headphones/Bone Oscillator), which is placed on the clients ears/mastoid(bone). This is where the sounds are presented by the tester using an audiometer. The patient will have to respond every time he/she hears the sound being presented. The final output is presented in a graph called the audiogram. For ABR/ASSR, the patient needs to be put on sleep because the brain responses are the ones being recorded. This test usually requires more time than the subjective tests.
Where to go for a hearing test?
Any facility that conducts a hearing test can be approached. But in the Philippines, the usual procedure whenever a hearing problem occurs is to see an ENT first and then if hearing test is necessary, then they (Doctors) will be the one to refer their patients to the hearing testing centers like Active Hearing Center.