An audiometry test is conducted to find out how well your hearing abilities are. It focuses on both the intensity and the tone of sounds, issues regarding balance, and other concerns related to the functioning of the inner ear. An audiologist or a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating hearing loss administers this test. As you might already know, the unit for measuring sound intensity is the decibel (dB). A healthy human ear can hear whispers or similar quiet sounds and also loud sounds such as a jet engine which is between 140 and 180 dB. The tone of a sound is measured in cycles per second and the unit for measuring tone is Hertz (Hz). Low bass tones measure about 50 Hz and human beings can hear tones between 20 and 20,000 Hz.
An audiometry test is conducted because of -
Chronic ear infections
Inherited conditions like otosclerosis. This occurs when a bone grows abnormally preventing the structures within the ear from functioning efficiently
An injury to the ear
Inner ear diseases, such as Meniere's disease or an autoimmune disease that affect the inner ear
Daily exposure to loud noises
A ruptured eardrum
Audiometry involves different tests for different purposes. A pure tone test gauges the quietest sound you can hear at a variety of pitches. It involves the use of an audiometer, a machine that plays sounds through headphones. There is another hearing test which allows the audiologist to estimate your ability to separate speech from background noise. A sound sample will be played and you will be asked to repeat the words you hear. A tuning fork may also be used to determine how adequately you hear vibrations. This test is painless and causes no discomfort and takes about an hour.
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