Hearing Tests

audiologist examining hearing HR4KWY3
Audiologist Examining the Ear for a Hearing Test

Hearing Tests at Potomac ENT

An audiologist will normally start by asking you some questions relating to your hearing, such as how you experience your hearing, if you have been subjected to loud noise or other incidents, if people in your family suffer from hearing loss or whether you hear better in one ear or the other.

Initial examination

An audiologist will start examine your ears with a special instrument called an otoscope. With this examination the audiologist can find out if there are any problems in the ear canal or with the eardrum.

After the physical examination, your hearing is tested. This takes place in a quiet room without background noise or in a special soundproof room.

Pure tone test

The first test is a pure tone test. This tests your ability to hear a number of different pure tones using a pair of soundproof headphones.

Bone conduction test

In some cases, the audiologist will carry out a bone conduction test to measure your ability to hear pure tones, by placing a small bone conductor behind your ear. The bone conduction test will reveal if there is a problem in the middle ear cavity.

Speech test

Next, the audiologist will test your ability to understand speech. The speech test investigates whether there could be problems with the auditory nerve which sends signals from the ear to the brain or whether there could be problems understanding speech and sounds in the brain itself.


The last examination is Tympanometry. Tympanometry tests the condition of the middle ear and the mobility of the eardrum.


The results of these tests are presented in an audiogram, which will show the degree of your hearing loss and if you could benefit from hearing aids.

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