Have you ever wondered what sound and speech audiometry is? Do you know what it is used for? This article explains the differences between the two examinations and when these are used.
If a person thinks they may be suffering from a hearing impairment, the ENT specialist may recommend an audiometry to assess the hearing performance. Tonal audiometry, which comes in two types, is used for this purpose.
It's important that an audiometry is conducted by a hearing specialist, such as an ENT specialist, an audiometrist, or a hearinng specialist.This risk-free hearing test is suitable for individuals of all ages, including children and seniors.
An audiogram is a graphical representation of a person's hearing ability, which is determined by the results of the audiometry test. During the test, the patient's hearing threshold is established, which is the minimum intensity at which they can perceive auditory stimuli in different frequency ranges.
The audiogram is created using standard forms that record various frequencies, or pitches, and their respective intensities, measured in decibels. A measurement of zero on the chart indicates normal hearing.
The audiogram includes two values that describe the two ways in which sound can enter the inner ear. The first value refers to air conduction, the most common method of hearing, in which sound waves travel from the outer ear to the inner ear. The second value refers to bone conduction, in which sound vibrations reach the inner ear through the bones of the skull.
The audiogram is composed of two axes: the vertical and horizontal axes. The vertical axis represents the intensity of sounds in decibels, while the horizontal axis displays the lowest sounds.
The aim of speech audiometry is to assess the patient's ability to comprehend speech spoken at a specific volume. This non-invasive hearing test is suitable for individuals of all age groups, including children and the elderly.
A speech audiometry is done as follows:
Similar to a sound audiogram, a speech audiogram displays the results of the speech audiometry test.
At the end of the test, the administrator calculates the percentage of correct responses and plots them on the speech audiogram.
Are you interested in learning how to correctly read and interpret a speech audiogram? The speech audiogram is evaluated in a similar manner to the sound audiogram, with the examiner recording the percentage of correct responses provided by the individual during the hearing test. The speech audiogram is categorized into three different comprehension thresholds.
In the speech audiogram, these three comprehension thresholds are connected by the auditory threshold curve, an S-shaped curve that indicates a person with normal hearing in the speech audiogram. Responses are assessed by determining how far the hearing threshold deviates from the 100% threshold.
If you notice your hearing deteriorating, it's best to undergo sound and speech audiometry tests.
Additionally, if your tinnitus symptoms are worsening, the aforementioned hearing tests can help pinpoint the severity and causes of your hearing problems. Thanks to sound and speech audiometry tests, hearing care professionals can determine a person's hearing perception (in relation to different frequencies), identify hearing impairments and suggest the appropriate solution in the next step.
Avoiding a hearing test is strongly discouraged, as it can have serious repercussions. Hearing loss doesn't just impact the elderly but also children, for whom hearing difficulties can lead to language development and learning problems. Therefore, prevention is vital. That's why we recommend visiting your nearest Amplifon centre and having your hearing checked by our experts.