Audiology is a branch of science which deals with the sense of hearing. We mostly observe that there are people around us who can only hear loud voices or ask us to repeat our sentences several times. This is referred to as hearing loss. Audiologist is a professional in the field of audiology who evaluates and treats patient with hearing loss. The treatment involves many tests which is known as audiology assessment test. These tests are conducted to know the degree and cause of hearing impairment and accordingly treatment is suggested. The audiology test process is for children and adult. With minor differences the test conducted on children and adult is same.
Below are the various forms of Adult Audiology Assessment Test: –
Otoscopy is the process of using a device known as Ostoscope and magnifying glass to check the person’s ear with the help of a torch. This method provides the initial diagnosis and checks if anything has blocked the ear canal which has affected the hearing.
Audiogram is the hearing test. In this test, the patient is given headphones and different sounds of different intensity are played. The patient is provided with a response button which he has to press when he hears the sound; depending on his response the audiogram is plotted. This gives an idea of the degree of impairment the person is suffering from.
- Speech Audiometry
This is a different form of Audiogram. In this test headphones are provided to the patients. Certain words are pronounced through an audio system which the patients need to hear and repeat the word. This test is used to detect the hearing loss in the patient.
This test involves the ear drums and the parts associated with it. This test needs to be performed very carefully. A small rubber tip is inserted into the ear and the air pressure and sound is initialized in the patient ear. This is a small test and lasts only for 10-15 seconds. The patients experience different sensation in the ear. This test needs to be performed with utmost care to avoid any discomfort to the patient.
- Otoacoustic emission testing
In this test a small foam based tip is inserted into the patient’s ear. The patient will feel a tickling sensation and some sounds will be generated. The patient need not react to these sounds and need to sit still for 30 seconds. This test measures normal hearing or impaired hearing.
Children Audiology Assessment Test is same as Adults except for few different methods which are as follows:-
- Virtual Response Audiometry
This test is mostly used for children below 2 years of age. In this method the response of the children is recorded when they hear different sounds. This test can be conducted in open without any earphones or if the child is comfortable an earphone can be used. The thresholds are obtained and an audiogram is plotted which detects the child hearing status. This is a visual exercise as the child’s reaction is taken into account.
- Play Audiometry
This test is performed for children above 2 years. Lot of toys are placed in front of the child. Earphones are fitted and different sounds are played. The child hears the sound and identifies the toys and plays with them. The hearing threshold are noted and plotted on the audiogram to detect the hearing status of the child.
Audiology assessment tests are critical for detecting hearing loss. The test must be conducted under a professional, who can determine the degree of hearing loss, and suggest proper treatment to the patient. You must take your child only to a registered or an expert audiologist, to conduct the test properly.