If you have trouble hearing or understanding those around you, you might have hearing loss. Hearing loss can progress slowly over time, which can delay your treatment as you might not notice it right away. Often, we lose our ability to hear high pitch sounds or higher frequencies. Therefore, a hearing test can be beneficial.
The test allows a hearing care specialist or licensed practitioner to evaluate your hearing. Your hearing test results will determine any next steps that are needed. Regular hearing tests are essential for your hearing health.
What is a pure tone hearing test?
A pure-tone hearing test or, sometimes called a pitch hearing test, is an evaluation of your hearing sensitivity across a wide range of frequencies (measured in hertz (Hz) or kilohertz (kHz)). Frequency tells us the pitch of a sound so that a high pitch sound corresponds to a high frequency.
There are two possible parts of a comprehensive hearing test where test sounds will be played for you to react to: pure tone audiometry and speech audiometry.
In pure tone audiometry you will hear sounds like a small beep or tone. When you hear the sound, you need to press a button to let the specialist know you heard it. This process is completed for each tested frequency, or pitch, for both the left and right ears. The responses are plotted on an audiogram to show the graphical representation of your hearing.
Speech audiometry is another part of a comprehensive hearing test.
Why are hearing tests important for daily life?
Hearing plays an integral part in your day-to-day life. If you have hearing loss, you might feel left out of activities or no longer enjoy them because you have difficulty understanding others. It can cause you to rarely take part in social events and therefore increase social isolation.
A hearing test is a simple way to monitor your hearing health and helps keep you active in life.
What are the signs I may need a hearing test?
There are many possible signs that you can look out for, which may suggest a pitch hearing test is required. These can include:
- difficulty hearing in crowded rooms or restaurants
- thinking that people mumble a lot
- friends or family commenting on you not hearing well or asking ‘what?’ frequently
- having to ask others to repeat what they said
- others noticing the TV volume is too high.
There are also other circumstances where it might be good to get a hearing test regularly, for example if:
- you work in noise
- you have loud hobbies such as shooting or using loud equipment
- you often listen to music or other sounds at a loud level (live or recorded)
- you have a family history of hearing loss
You can also try our free, online pure tone hearing test here.
I have my hearing test results, what next?
If a hearing loss was measured in the comprehensive hearing test, your hearing care specialist or licensed practitioner will recommend a possible treatment.
There is no cure for permanent hearing loss, but many hearing aids and devices help compensate for hearing loss. If hearing aids are required, your hearing care specialist can help find the best hearing aid to fit your needs. Discover Philips HearLink hearing aids here.