Reasons For Conducting a Pure Tone Audiometry Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Pure Tone Audiometry

This hearing test is useful in determining if a person has hearing loss or not. If a person has hearing loss, then the audiologist can find out the type as well as the degree of hearing loss. In pure tone audiometry, the audiologist uses an audiometer to play different tones through a headphone. The tones are of varied pitches, frequencies that can be measured in hertz as well as of varied loudness that can be measured in decibels. The audiologist controls the volume of the tone and keeps on reducing the loudness, until you cannot hear anymore. Then, he'll increase the tone, till you get to hear it again. You will need to press a button or raise your hand if the tone is very faint. The test is repeated several times with higher-pitched tones. After a while, the headphones will be removed and a vibrating device is placed on the bone located behind your ear. You'll be asked to signal when you hear a tone.

Pure Tone Threshold Audiometry

You will be in a soundproof room during the test and will be wearing your headphones as well as a bone conduction headband. The audiologist will be sitting outside the soundproof booth and will work on the equipment to test your hearing.

There are two parts of the test:

The health care professional checks to see if you can hear the various pitches and you will be requested to raise your hand or press a button when you hear the various tones. Then there is the part that checks bone and air conduction. The headband with the oscillator as well as the headphones for air conduction testing is placed behind the ears. The audiologist compares the results of the tests to find out which part of the auditory system has a problem and responsible for hearing loss.

It takes about 20 to 25 minutes for pure tine audiometry.

Reasons Why It is Conducted

Pure tone audiometry is just one of the tests done to check for hearing problems. When you go to a doctor and complain about hearing problems, then he will ask you about the various symptoms as well as your medical history. He'll also do a physical examination and can find that you have some hearing problems. When that happens, you'll be asked if you have been exposed to any loud noise as well as any medicines that you're taking.

The physician examines the ears with a lighted instrument known as an otoscope. With this they check of there is a problem in the eardrum, ear canal and middle ear. Ear wax can also cause hearing problems and the doctor checks for that. If everything points towards a hearing problem, then the doctor will conduct a standard hearing evaluation. This includes several tests, including pure tone audiometry