A hearing test is an examination, in which the functioning of hearing and the extent and type of hearing loss is measured. The registration takes place in the form of a graph, the audiogram.
A hearing test is usually done when hearing loss is suspected. Hearing starts with collecting sounds in the ear and ends with processing in the brains. A hearing test indicates which part in the chain doesn’t function properly, the extent to which there is a problem and what the cause is.
The most commonly performed hearing test is the tone audiometry. This hearing test is also known as the ‘beep test’. This test measures the sensitivity of the ear to (pure) audio tones and thus an audiogram is obtained. The audiogram shows the degree of hearing loss per frequency (pitch).
People can also do a hearing self-test over the internet or telephone. However, these tests are less reliable. They provide a rough estimate of the hearing capability.
In a special cabin and via headphones, the patient is offered tones at various frequencies and with various intensities during the hearing test. Some tones can't be heard, others can. Each time the patient hears the sound offered, he or she will be asked to show this. Sometimes this is done by pressing a button, but there will also be asked to raise a hand or simply say ‘yes’. With the aid of this hearing test, the hearing threshold at different frequencies is obtained. This is the sound level, at which a tone can just be heard. The examination takes about 10 minutes.