Hearing Test: What Does an Audiologist Use?

We’re talking about what does it look like to get your hearing tested. I think the portion everyone thinks of with a hearing test is maybe back in grade school when you pushed the button and heard certain sounds.  While we certainly do some of that but the most important thing is that we have a sound treated enclosure. Obviously things need to be quiet to do a hearing test.

We use really light, easy headphones. We want to kind of block your ears up to block out all sounds, and then we close a big steel door to make it very much sound treated and conducive for a hearing test.

For those of us that are claustrophobic, we are able to test you outside the booth.  Then typically we need to use some headphones that are a little bit more bulky.  So as long as you don’t mind sitting in an enclosure, we can just use a really light little headphone which accomplishes the same thing.

Most people hear some sounds better than others. Maybe you’ve heard of tone deafness. With he way hearing loss works is, most people can hear, we just lose our abilities to lose certain sounds called sound points.  Most people think, “Gosh if I could just just pick up the little bits and pieces of what people say, I would hear great.” 

And you know what, you’re exactly right. Most people can hear, it’s not a hearing issue for them, it’s more of a clarity and understanding issue.

So by letting us put you in a sound booth here we test a summary in about an 8000 different tuning forks.  Now I know that sounds cumbersome. We take a sampling, so it takes about 10 or 15 minutes in the sound booth. We really want to know where those sound voids come from.  Then we can ascertain what’s too loud for you. There’s a phenomenon called recruitment, where people have an abnormal loudness growth. People that have hearing loss, even though sometimes they need certain sounds to be a little louder, they can have a lower tolerance for those loud sounds.  We certainly don’t want to make things too loud for those patients.

Lastly, we want to be able to ascertain how you can hear a noise too.  Most people don’t have a hard time just hearing one on one. It’s when they’re in social environments and restaurants and parties.  Our testing procedures allow us to really identify what that means for you and what your potential is to hear in noisy situations.

That all helps us to ascertain what types of products that we should be fitting you with, to be able to help you in those environments that best achieve your lifestyle.

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