Hearing examination

Synoynms in a broader sense

Medical: Audiometry hearing test, hearing loss, sudden deafness, tinnitus English:

Definiton Hearing test

If hearing loss or other hearing disorder is suspected, an ENT physician will perform a hearing test. During this examination, various tests are carried out to determine the location of the damage and its extent. All tests of the hearing examination are painless and require only the patient’s cooperation. Some tests are performed with a simple tuning fork and allow a rough orientation whether it is a conductive hearing loss (conductive hearing loss; originates in the outer or middle ear) or a sensorineural hearing loss (originates in either the inner ear or the auditory nerve).

Forms of hearing testHearing test

There are basically different forms of hearing testing. Frequently used hearing tests are: Weber test with the tuning fork Rinne test with the tuning fork Sound audiometry Weber test with the tuning fork Here, the ENT specialist examines your hearing with a simple tuning fork which he holds in the middle of your skull. The skull bone transmits the vibrations of the tuning fork to your ear.

If you are completely healthy or if you have the same hearing loss in both ears, you will feel the sound at the same volume on both sides. If the sound is perceived louder in one ear, there is either a sound conduction disorder on that side or a sound sensation disorder on the other.

  • Weber experiment with the tuning fork
  • Gutter test with the tuning fork
  • Sound audiometry

Gutter test with the tuning forkThe gutter test consists of two steps.

The ENT specialist will first hold the tuning fork on the mastoid process behind your ear and you will hear the sound of the tuning fork clearly. You perceive the vibrations through your bone, which is why this is called bone conduction testing. As soon as you no longer hear the fork and you tell the ENT specialist, he will hold the fork in front of your ear without striking it again.

The person with normal hearing can now hear the fork again. This second step is called air conduction testing. If, in the second step, you should have hardly heard the tuning fork in front of your ear or not heard it at all, there could be a sound conduction disorder (cause is in the outer ear or middle ear).

If you did not hear the tuning fork in front of or behind your ear when you put it on, this could be due to a sound sensation disorder (cause is in the inner ear or in the auditory nerve). Sound audiometry Sound audiometry is used to check your hearing with electroacoustic means. You are put on headphones and hear different sounds one after the other.

The moment you hear a sound, you signal this by pressing a button on a device. Tones of different frequencies are detected, which you can just hear. After the test, a hearing curve is shown in a diagram in which the frequency (in Hertz, Hz) is plotted on the x-axis and the volume (in decibels, dB) on a y-axis.

A standard curve in the same diagram shows the hearing ability of a normal hearing person. If sounds are only perceived at high volumes, their hearing curve deviates upwards from the norm curve.