Child development programmes contain hearing tests. These tests do not cause discomfort or pain. Audiogram or audiometry is nothing but a hearing test. Response to different pitches and volumes of sound is tested to assess the hearing impairment. When sound waves enter into the ear, the nerves in the inner ear transmit them to the brain for interpretation. Tall sound waves are loud. Decibel is the unit for measuring loudness. The pitch is expressed in Hertz. Pitch or tone is the interval between two waves. Closer the waves are, higher the pitch is.
When hearing tests are performed
Babies are tested regularly within 48 hours of birth. For children, routine hearing tests are organised by the school. These tests are used to rule out other health conditions too. If a child suddenly loses the hearing sense, it can be diagnosed in many ways. The doctors check for behavioural problems or physical problems. In the same manner, adults can also have hearing test, irrespective of the severity of the hearing impairment. Adults usually suffer of hearing loss if they have exposure to loud noises. Ear infections can cause hearing impairment in them.
You should visit your GP if you have hearing impairment in any of the ear, or in both ears. You should visit the doctor if you have ringing or buzzing sound in the ear. Other conditions include dizziness, vertigo, persistent severe pain in the ear and discharge of a fluid or blood from the ear.
You should have a hearing test if you have suffered a head injury, as precautious step.
Why should I undergo a hearing test
The main purpose of a hearing test is to check hearing loss. All are aware of their hearing impairment. Either they are very young to recognise it or it would have crept in gradually. Therefore, hearing tests only can reveal about the absence or presence of hearing impairment.
If auditory nerve or brain suffers damage, the hearing impairment can be permanent. Congenital hearing impairment is permanent. Certain causes such as glue ear and accumulation of earwax lead to temporary hearing impairment. A proper diagnosis with hearing tests is useful in detecting the type of hearing impairment.
When we grow old, our hearing sense weakens. This happens as the nerve cells die in older ages. These cells are replenished. Old people cannot hear high-pitched sounds. The hearing tests detect this deficiency.
If the initial hearing tests indicate hearing impairment, you have to undergo further tests to find out the root cause. If needed, your doctor may refer you to an ENT specialist or an audiologist. The tests performed by them may include a brain scan too.
Only after finding out the cause of hearing impairment through the above tests, the doctors can decide on the treatment you require. This is the reason why you should have these tests performed immediately. For the children, an early diagnosis facilitates giving additional support to them in the schools. Older people can get support through hearing aids. Three months after fixing the hearing aid, they should have further hearing tests to confirm that they can continue with the same arrangement.