When sound waves stimulate the ear nerve, the message is transmitted to the brain, and hearing occurs. The intensity of sounds is measured based on decibels. If the sound waves are more than 85 decibels, it can lead to hearing loss after a few hours.
The tone of the sound is also measured in cycles per second or hertz. In general, the normal range of human hearing is between 20 and 20,000 Hz.
What is the audiometric exam and how is it done?
Audiometry is a routine screening to prevent hearing loss. Hearing loss usually occurs for the following reasons:
- Chronic ear infections
- Continuous exposure to loud noise
- A ruptured eardrum
- Chronic ear infections
If hair cells in the cochlea do not work properly sensorineural hearing loss occurs. The cochlea converts sound vibrations into nerve impulses that are sent to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss damages nerves that send sound information to the brain and is usually considered permanent damage.
We can say that audiometric testing is a painless and non-invasive hearing test which measures your ability to hear different sounds, pitches, or frequencies. The other names of this test are Audiometry, Hearing test, and Audiography (audiogram). This test will let you know how well your hearing function is performing. It will also test the balance issues, tone, the intensity of sound, and other related functions.
The audiometry types are:
- Pure tone testing (audiogram): In this test, you must wear earphones connected to the audiometer. Then you will be asked to signal if you hear a sound. A device called a bone oscillator is placed behind your ear to test bone conduction.
- Speech audiometry: your ability to detect and repeat spoken words at different volumes heard via a headset is tested.
- Immittance audiometry: In this test, the eardrum’s function and the flow of sound in the middle ear are measured.
Finally, worker’s thresholds are recorded graphically for each ear, called an audiogram.
The audiogram shows how loud a tone must be that it is difficult for the worker to hear at a number of different pitches or frequencies. If the person is in the early stages of noise-induced hearing loss, an audiogram indicates hearing loss for high-pitched sounds. In advanced stages, the audiogram shows a hearing loss for many pitches.
You do not experience any pain during the test and the test process will not take more than 1 hour.
Why is audiometry performed?
If your hearing is at risk in the workplace, you need to know the requirements for audiometry. Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA obligates employers to make audiometric testing accessible free to all employees who experience high noisy circumstances level of 85 dB or above.
The audiometric exam evaluates an employee’s hearing during the period. Employees are also educated about the importance of audition and how to protect it.
Although hearing loss usually occurs in old age, it can affect anyone at any age group.
The Audiometric exam is also being performed to determine how well your ears can hear. The test can also be done as a part of your routine hearing checkup.
Any damage to your ear or more exposure to loud sounds for a longer period can negatively affect your hearing function. So if you do not hear the sounds around you properly, you must think about getting through the proper examination. The audiometry will let you know whether you have a problem that needs to be treated, or it is nothing to be worried about.
Do I need any special preparation before doing this test?
No special preparations are needed.
Who performs the audiometric examination?
This test should be performed by an audiologist or a trained person who is qualified to perform the test.
How is the test result interpreted?
In general, the audiometry test results are presented as normal and abnormal. A normal result means:
- Your ear has the ability to hear whisper, normal speech, and ticking watch.
- Your ear’s ability to hear the tuning fork through the air and bone is normal.
If the test results are normal, no further evaluation will be performed until the next scheduled test.
The following factors may affect the test result:
- Age-related hearing loss
- Chronic ear infections
- Ongoing exposure to loud noise
- Abnormal bone growth in the middle ear
- A ruptured or perforated eardrum
If the test result is abnormal, the technician will ask the worker to provide his/her medical records. He/she is also asked to seek an appropriate medical professional for further follow-up.
After the test
After performing the test, the results will be provided to you. Depending on how well you hear the volume and tone, you may be offered preventative measures. For example, you may be asked to wear earplugs where there is loud noise. Even in some cases, using hearing aids may be necessary.
Side effects of audiometry
This is a non-invasive test with no special risks.
Hearing test in Las Vegas
SNOHC has been providing occupational health services for +15 years in Las Vegas. Audiometric testing services are done by our team of trained audiologists. To get any further information about services performed at SNOHC, you can navigate through the menu of this website.
Frequently Asked Questions about Audiometric Exam
What is audiometry test?
The audiometric test is a painless, noninvasive hearing test which measures your ability to hear different sounds, pitches, or frequencies
How is audiometry done?
This test will let you know how well your hearing function is performing. Pure tone testing, speech audiometry, and immittance audiometry are done in the test.
What is a normal hearing test result?
- Your ear can hear whisper, normal speech, and ticking watch.
- Your ability to hear the tuning fork through the air and bone is normal.
What are the types of audiometry?
Following tests are performed during audiometry:Pure tone testing (audiogram), Speech audiometry, Immittance audiometry.