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Hearing Tests

Reviews & Information

Even with our convoluted and expensive medical care system, most Americans feel it is necessary to regularly get their teeth checked, get an eye exam, or even get an overall physical exam, yet hearing tests seem to be a bit more intimidating.

A recent poll found that under 20% of Americans had ever had a hearing test. Yet it is crucial to test your hearing frequently. Similar to any affliction, the sooner a hearing problem is detected, the better able a doctor will be to fix the problem.

The best hearing test will of course come from your doctor or audiologist. There are however some It is possible to some hearing tests online that can be somewhat informative and even entertaining. Though these tests must never be a replacement for a doctor and should all be taken with a healthy dose of salt.

Noise Addicts is a website dedicated to hearing loss for musicians and they have a very interesting test on the site which plays a number of frequencies to see if you can hear them.

When I was doing the test on myself, I initially thought the site was broken because for over half of the frequencies, I couldn’t hear anything. Yet, I was shocked (and a little worried) when both my wife and daughter could hear them. It was fairly depressing and very eye opening. I am going to get my ears tested immediately.

Adults often lose the ability to hear higher frequencies. My friend is a middle school teacher and he recently told me that kids in his classes were setting their ring tones to be in the upper frequencies, so that they could ring during class, but the teacher couldn’t hear it!

When an official hearing test is done, a bone conduction hearing test is done using a tuning fork. The key to this test is that once the patient can no longer feel vibrations, the tuning fork is moved in front of the ear. If there is no sound audible to the patient, there is hearing loss of the conductive variety.

A speech test may also be administered by an audiologist or a hearing aid vendor. This is a process in which the patient is asked to repeat words that are said to them.

The Weber and the Rinne are the names of the most famous hearing aid tests. The Weber test, developed in the 1800′s, is the one which utilizes a tuning fork. The Weber hearing test should always accompany the Rinne and is key in comparing sounds as transmitted by air versus bone.

It is crucial to realize that both of these tests are great ways to get an indication of hearing loss but they do not replace audiometry. A hearing test utilizing audiometry goes beyond simply testing frequencies and includes testing the ability to recognize pitch and to distinguish speech from the other noises in the environment.

It can be a confusing world – that of hearing tests – so have fun researching online and taking the sample tests but always leave the real stuff to an audiologist! 

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