Audiometry / Audiography / Audiology / Audiogram

Clinical definition of the Audiometry test
An audiometry or a hearing test is an ear examination that tests a person’s ability to hear sounds. The audiometry technique helps to identify the cause of hearing loss and helps to determine the amount of hearing loss by measuring the hearing sensitivity of the person. This is useful to prescribe suitable medical treatment or appropriate hearing aids for the patient. The most popularly use method is the pure-tone audiometry which measures hearing sensitivity as a graph plotted on an audiogram.

Why is the Audiometry test done?
The audiometry test may be done for the following reasons:

  • For a person experiencing hearing loss
  • To screen for loss of hearing
  • As a part of a routine examination
  • To check for hearing problems in adults, especially elderly
  • To check the hearing sensitivity of a person who is exposed to loud sounds regularly, maybe at his work place (Occupational hazard)
  • To ascertain the amount and kind of hearing loss

What are the common signs/symptoms when the Audiometry test is done?

  • Difficulty in hearing
  • Ringing in ears
  • Pain or discomfort in ears
  • Drainage from the ears
  • Ear infections
  • Dizziness
  • Family history of hearing loss
  • Exposed to a lot of noise at work
  • Often asking people to repeat themselves
  • Difficulties with speech and language development

What should I do before the Audiometry test?

Diagnostic procedure

Preparatory instructions before the test *

Each ear is blocked one at a time

The ability to hear sounds of different intensities is checked

The minimum sound intensity required to hear each tone is recorded on the audiometer as a graph

No special preparations required.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my Audiometry test results?
On completion of the hearing test, it can be estimated how well the person can hear at low, medium and high pitches.  If the person does suffer from a hearing loss, the audiogram would also be able to tell which part of the ear i.e. the outside, middle or inner ear, is causing the loss.
Standard ranges have been established to help to identify how much difficulty the person should expect from their hearing loss. The typical ranges for an adult are:

Reference Range*

Interpretation

-10 dB to 25 dB+

Normal range

26 dB to 40 dB

Mild hearing loss

41 dB to 55 dB

Moderate hearing loss

56 dB to 70 dB

Moderately Severe hearing loss

71 dB to 90 dB

Severe hearing loss

over 90 dB

Profound hearing loss

+ Decibels
‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’                       

Diseases/conditions related to the Audiometry test

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Acoustic trauma
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Alport syndrome
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Meniere's disease
  • Occupational hearing loss
  • Otosclerosis
  • Ruptured or perforated eardrum
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Diseases of the inner ear
  • Head injury
  • Inherited conditions

Other tests related to the Audiometry test

  • Electroencephalogram

Synonyms : Hearing Test
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