Diagnosis

In order to be able to help a patient with hearing impairment it is vital to know where the hearing loss is located, its severity and which frequencies (pitches) are affected. It is the aim of audiometry (hearing testing) to provide answers to these questions. There are generally two ways to conduct hearing tests. The first method requires the patient to cooperate (pressing a button to indicate that a tone was heard or repeating words back which were read aloud). This type of test is called ‘subjective’. The second method does not require the patient to cooperate. Measuring equipment is used in order to investigate the patient’s hearing. These tests are called ‘objective’. They are used for special examinations and also for babies and young children who are unable to cooperate. It is recommended that hearing tests be performed in babies immediately after they have been fed, and that young children be provided with visual distraction such as videos.