What is an audiometry exam?

An audiometry exam is a painless, diagnostic test to evaluate your ability to hear sounds.  Sounds vary, based on their loudness or intensity and the speed of sound wave vibrations (tone).  Hearing occurs when sound waves stimulate the nerves of the inner ear. The sound then travels through the air into your ear canal or through bone behind your ears to an area of the inner ear where they are converted to nerve impulses that are “heard” by your brain. 

What can I expect at an audiometry exam?

The person will sit inside hearing booth where sounds of various frequencies are transmitted to headphones.  The person being evaluated presses a button each time a tone is heard.  The pattern of tone recognition depicts hearing deficits by plotting the results on a graph called an audiogram.  A hearing test can determine the origin and the severity of hearing loss. It can also be used to measure progression of hearing loss over time or improvement of hearing loss with a specific treatment.