It is wisely said, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. The same principle also applies to those with hearing loss circumstances. The earlier the illness is detected, the better the treatment can be. There are various types of hearing loss tests that an individual suffering from hearing impairment or hearing loss can undertake. For those who do not know what exactly does hearing testing involve, this article will definitely give you an insight into the concepts and take you through the various types of hearing loss tests and assistive listening devices.
Hearing testing is done for new born babies, for school age children as well as for adults suspected of having hearing loss. There are four different types of hearing loss tests that individuals suffering from hearing loss may undertake. Assistive Listening Devices are yet another option for those who want to enhance their hearing experience in different situations. But, let us first take a look at the types of hearing testing.
The most basic is the Weber Test which is used to detect hearing loss. It makes use of a tuning fork, which when struck on a surface produces vibration. It is placed on the top of media lateral skull of a person who is suffering from hearing loss. This type of hearing loss test is beneficial to detect two types of losses: unilateral conductive hearing loss and unilateral sensorineural type.
Rinne Test is just like a Weber test. It also uses a tuning fork and compares how sound is perceived as conducted through the mastoid. The only difference is that the fork is stuck on the mastoid instead of lateral skull. Although these have been quite popular, they still don’t stand the comparison of the hearing loss test called audiometry.
Audiometry is basically the formal testing to check the individual’s hearing ability. This test is performed using an audiometer, which measures the hearing level of a person. In audiometry, otoacoustic emissions and acoustic reflex are also be measured. Therefore, it can be used to determine if subject has hearing loss or other ear problems. This type of hearing testing is usually performed in a special soundproof room.
The fourth type of hearing loss test is used to detect conductive hearing loss. Most doctors prefer using this test when nothing obvious is detected through the Rinne and Weber Test. It uses an otoscope to ensure that nothing; neither foreign object nor earwax is blocking the path to the eardrum. This is a foolproof method o test hearing loss. The main target of this test is the eardrum's mobility, middle ear condition and conduction of bones.
A person suffering from hearing impairment can also make use of assistive listening devices. These devices are used when just wearing hearing aids is not enough. The assisted listening devices amplify the centre sound without affecting surrounding noise. These devises are usually used in noisy circumstances, and even when a hearing impaired person is at a great distance from the speaker. There are different types of ALD’s like Frequency Modulation (FM) Systems which reduces the background noise and allows the speaker's voice to heard as if he were speaking in front of you.
Then there are Infrared Systems (IR), which are used in conjunction with the TV. You also have a Telephone Amplifying Device, which allows you to talk to persons over the phone. You can adjust the volume and tone of the speaker. There are many other types like Amplified Telephones, Cochlear Implants and Alerting Devices, which help you hear better.
Hearing Loss Test – Prevention is better than Cure