Hearing tests can determine the ability of a person to hear sounds of various loudness and pitch. These tests are often performed by professionals called audiologists who chart the results of the tests on a graph called audiograph. This aids in pinpointing the severity and possible causes of hearing problems.
But cynics and people who are hesitant to undergo hearing tests may question the accuracy of hearing tests like audiometry tests to speech discrimination tests. Are these tests really accurate?
Through the years, a lot of studies have been made to assess the reliability and accuracy of hearing tests like audiometry. And most of the time, these researches have proven that these hearing assessments are accurate and dependable.
One study conducted in 2010 tested the reliability, accuracy, and efficiency of automated hearing assessment using a computer-based telemedicine-compliant audiometer.
In the said study, 30 normal hearing and eight hearing-impaired participants underwent an air conduction audiometry hearing test. The normal-hearing group had the test repeated to test reliability and recording time. The researchers concluded that automated audiometry provides reliable, accurate, and time-efficient hearing assessment both for normal and hearing-impaired adults.
Even the whispered voice test has been scientifically proven effective and accurate. In one study, two researchers selected and extracted data on the characteristics, quality, and accuracy of audiometry (which served as the reference test) and whispered voice test. The conclusion was that whispered voice test is a simple and accurate way of detecting hearing impairment both for adults and children.
Audiometry is universally accepted as the standard by which hearing thresholds are measured at various decibels and frequencies. However, there are factors that can affect the validity of the hearing test like the environment. Pure-tone audiometry needs a quiet testing environment with very low levels of background noise, as noise can cause elevated thresholds.
To reduce the number of false-positive results, it is recommended that the testing environment must not exceed requirements set by the American National Standards Institute. It must also have sound-absorptive materials like carpeting, acoustic foam, ad tiles.
However there’s no denying that face-to-face hearing tests like audiometry are the best way to diagnose and assess whether a person has hearing loss. So if you’re still unsure about undergoing a hearing test, you should realize that audiometry and other objective hearing tests are the best way to check if you have a hearing problem.
For more details of our hearing test & assessment, or a hearing aid prescription, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.
HK Hearing & Speech Centre
Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,
and Hearing Aid Prescription