Pure Tone Audiometry: What You Need To Know!

pure tone audiometry

What we hear and how much we hear defines the quality of our hearing senses. It plays an integral role in communicating, yet we take it for granted. Loss of hearing can lead to depression, frustration and isolation. Sufficient attention must be paid in noticing and detecting hearing loss in the primary stages, else it can turn out to be critical in the long term. Consider visiting a good audiologist, who will conduct hearing tests to diagnose any sort of hearing disorder. Pure Tone Audiometry is one such procedure.

What Is Pure Tone Audiometry?

In order to determine the threshold level of an individual’s hearing ability, Pure Tone Audiometry test is conducted. It helps the audiologist in gaining a deep insight into the type and extent of hearing loss the patient is suffering from. Being a subjective test, physical presence of the patient is required. During the procedure, the respective responses against stimuli are recorded.

How Is It Carried Out?

The patient is made to sit in a soundproof room, during the PTA test, with the headphones on. The Audiologist is usually outside the room controlling the audiometric equipment being used in the process. The patient is first exposed to different types of pitches, and he/she has to respond by either pressing an indicator button or raising the hand. The subsequent step includes testing of the bone and air conduction in the ears, which is followed by testing the results. All the parameters are analyzed by the audiologist, ascertaining which portion of the ear is damaged, and what needs to be done.

It can take roughly 20 minutes to complete a typical Pure Tone Audiometry test. Generally, an audiogram is used to capture the tested results. However, the most important thing here is the fact that a behavorial test requires response by the patient, without which, it would be impossible to determine accurate findings. The future course of the treatment is based on the degree of damage done, and if any hearing device is required, it must be suitable to amplify the hearing levels of the concerned person.

What Are The Different Variations Of PTA?

In some cases, conventional PTA may not be an effective or appropriate technique of threshold testing. Slight changes in the process may be required to obtain the desired results. For patients who can’t wear earphones, sound field testing may be more suitable. The downside with this process is that the results are not ear specific, although thresholds can be tested. Also, response to stimuli may be restricted, since the sound intensity within the sound field is altered, by the creation of standing waves. Hence, for sound field testing, it may be required to use some other stimuli, like warble tones. You may find different versions of conventional audiometry testing that are particularly designed for infants and young children, such as play audiometry, behavioral observation audiometry and visual reinforcement audiometry. Consult Dr Samadi for all the issues related to hearing loss in your child, and what appropriate treatments you can opt for.