How It Is Done continued...
A tuning fork is a metal,
two-pronged device that produces a tone when it vibrates. The health
professional strikes the tuning fork to make it vibrate and produce a tone.
These tests assess how well sound moves through your ear. Sometimes the tuning
fork will be placed on your head or behind your ear. Depending on how you hear
the sound, your health professional can tell if there is a problem with the
nerves themselves or with sound getting to nerves.
Speech reception and word recognition tests
reception and word recognition tests measure your ability to hear and
understand normal conversation. In these tests, you are asked to repeat a
series of simple words spoken with different degrees of loudness. A test called
the spondee threshold test determines the level at which you can repeat at
least half of a list of familiar two-syllable words (spondees).
Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing
emissions (OAE) testing is often used to screen newborns for hearing problems.
In this test, a small, soft microphone is placed in the baby's ear canal. Sound
is then introduced through a small flexible probe inserted in the baby's ear.
The microphone detects the inner's ear's response to the sound. This test
cannot distinguish between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
Auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing
Auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing detects sensorineural hearing
loss. In this test, electrodes are placed on your scalp and on each earlobe.
Clicking noises are then sent through earphones. The electrodes monitor your
brain's response to the clicking noises and record the response on a graph.
This test is also called brain stem auditory evoked response (BAER) testing or
auditory brain stem evoked potential (ABEP) testing.
How It Feels
There is normally no discomfort involved
with a hearing test.
There are no risks associated with hearing
A hearing test is part of an ear
examination that evaluates a person's ability to hear.
Hearing test results
- You are able to hear whispered speech
- You can hear tones at equal loudness in both
- You are able to repeat 90% to 95% of the words in a word
- The microphone detects emissions from the inner
ear in otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing.
- The values recorded on
the graph for auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing show that the nerves
in the brain responsible for hearing are working normally.
- You are not able to hear the whispers
during a whispered speech test, or you are able to hear with one ear but not
with the other.
- You hear the tone more loudly in one ear than in
- You can only hear certain sounds at high decibel
- You can hear sounds but you cannot understand
- No emissions are detected from the inner ear in otoacoustic
emissions (OAE) testing.
- The values recorded on the graph for
auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing show that nerves in the brain
responsible for hearing are not functioning normally.