Hearing Tests for Adults

A hearing test, commonly referred to as an audiogram, is one component of the hearing evaluation at the Georgia Hearing Clinic. The audiogram is a graphical representation of the softest level one an hear frequency-specific tones. This component of the hearing evaluation is conducted in a sound-treated booth which is a controlled environment for optimal listening. While wearing headphones, insert earphones, or a bone oscillating headband, you will be asked to respond to a series of soft sounds varying in pitch from low-frequency bass tones like a rumble of thunder to high-frequency terrible tones like a bird chirping. Your responses are marked with a Ο for the right ear and an X for the left ear. These markings will indicate your configuration (or shape), degree, and type of hearing loss.

Another element of a hearing evaluation is speech audiometry which is comprised of two components, speech recognition threshold, and speech discrimination ability. A speech recognition threshold is obtained by asking you to repeat a list of pre-recorded, two-syllable words. The presentational level of the words is decreased incrementally to determine the softest level you can hear, recognize and repeat the word presented. Your speech discrimination score is also obtained by asking you to repeat a list of pre-recorded words. However, this list is presented at a comfortable listening level to determine how clearly you understand novel words.  This testing is obtained in the sound booth and represents ideal listening conditions.

Speech in noise testing is a variation of speech discrimination testing used to simulate your ability to hear in the noisy world. For this type of testing, you may be asked to repeat single-syllable words, non-sense words, or short sentences in the presence of background noise. The noise often mimics several conversations spoken concurrently near the listener.

The final and often most important element of the hearing evaluation is a communication assessment. In addition to determining your type, degree, and configuration of hearing loss, we want to know how our hearing loss is impacting your day-to-day life. Are you retreating from activities you once enjoyed? Are you unable to hear crucial information at medical appointments? Do you smile and nod during dinner conversations when you miss a significant portion of the conversation? Your perception of how your hearing loss impacts your life is vital in determining your goals. This assessment allows us to tailor our recommendations to your perceived challenges.