Hearing Testing â€“ Identify and Diagnose Problems Hearing testing is an important and effective way to determine if a patient is undergoing any type of hearing loss or problem. Here are some of the more common types of testing and how they are administered. Hearing testing is a way of evaluating the hearing function of a person. These tests can help to find out if there are problems with different parts of a personâ€™s ear. There are several types of hearing tests used. These can include the following: Bedside testing of hearing. These are simple tests to help determine any problems. They can be as simple as whispering to see if the patient can hear that to playing sounds from a tuning fork. These tests can often uncover a problem which needs further review. Audiometric tests. These tests are typically administered by a trained person. The patient wears a set of headphones and tones of different frequencies and volume are played. As soon as the patient hears these tones, he is supposed to notify the technician by raising his hand. This type of test can identify different types of hearing problems in more detail and help to provide the audiologist with better information so he can make good decisions regarding treatment. Tympanometry is a test which measures the stiffness of the eardrum and can therefore evaluate the middle ear effectiveness. It can also help to detect fluid in the middle ear, negative pressure in the middle ear, perforation, or otosclerosis. The test is administered by playing a loud sound and determining if the eardrum stiffens sufficiently based on this sound. Otoacoustic emissions test is relatively new. It can help to assess the hearing response in newborns and also provides a method for determining if the cochlea is functioning properly. The test entails placing a probe into the ear canal. This probe contains a tiny speaker and a tiny microphone. When a sound is generated by the speaker it is transmitted to the inner which stimulates the hairs in the cochlea.
When these hairs are stimulated, they create their own low small sound which is detected by the microphone. If there is a problem the hairs in the cochlea will not generate these ultra low volume sounds. The use of these hearing tests can help to identify potential problems and potentially help prevent them from getting worse.