According to WHO, approximately 63 million people suffer from significant auditory impairment and hearing loss in India, which makes the percentage of people with hearing challenges 6.3%. Hearing loss can occur for numerous reasons, the most common being a disease, ageing, exposure to loud noise, hereditary, poor diet, head trauma, accident, etc. Though in many cases curing hearing loss cannot be possible, interventions like hearing aid can at least restore the ability to hear. Early diagnosis can prevent further degeneration. Therefore it is advisable to get your condition diagnosed by an ENT specialist who may advise you to visit an audiologist for some hearing loss tests. One reliable hearing loss test that gives accurate results is the Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA) test.
In this article, you will find a detailed discussion on a PTA test, its methods, and the best test centres in India.
What is a PTA Hearing Test?
PTA, or the Pure Tone Audiometry test, is a behavioural test to assess a person’s hearing sensitivity. It is the most common hearing test; however, there are some other tests as well, which are listed below:
Speech Perception and Word Recognition
During this test, your audiologist will ask you to repeat a series of words that will be played through headphones or speakers. The audiologist can also speak it. The audiologist would analyse how well you can recognise the correct words in different situations like low voice, amplified voice, and background noise.
Tuning Fork Test
It differentiates between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. A tuning fork is a metallic device that, when tapped on a hard surface, produces a sharp, specific tone. The audiologist may use it after tapping it and holding it at various places near your head to assess if you can hear the voice. The tuning Fork test is generally used to diagnose the type of hearing loss.
This test assesses the normal functioning of eardrum movement and the signs of problems in the middle ear.
However, the PTA test delivers highly accurate results among all these tests.
Why Should You Undergo a PTA Hearing Test?
PTA test is a diagnostic procedure to measure the threshold of a person’s hearing ability, the level of hearing loss in a person, and the type and configuration of hearing loss.
It is also used to assess balance issues and other defects in the inner ear. Hearing loss can range from mild to moderate, moderately severe, and severe to profound hearing loss. The PTA hearing test measures the degree of impairment.
How is a PTA Hearing Test Done?
PTA hearing test is a painless procedure that takes around half an hour to an hour to finish. The following steps are involved in this test:
- First of all, you will be asked by your audiologist to wear earphones attached to the audiometer.
- Then the audiologist will deliver pure tones of a specific frequency and volume to both ears.
- You would be expected to show a signal when you hear a sound.
- Based on your response, your minimum hearing threshold would be measured and depicted on a graph to assess the percentage of hearing loss in either of the ears.
Benefits of the PTA Hearing Test
The PTA hearing test is the gold standard of hearing function tests and the most preferred hearing test among hearing professionals because of its high accuracy.
Here are some of the benefits of the test:
- It allows the audiologist to measure the least audible and softest sound a person can hear.
- It helps in analysing the configuration of the hearing loss by measuring the ear-specific thresholds and using specific tones to examine the place-specific hearing responses.
- It enables both air and bone conduction audiometry which allows measuring the type of hearing loss via the air-bone gap.
Some Aspects to Consider Before a PTA Test
There is no significant preparation and caution needed before going for the test. However, there are some basic things which the patient must keep in mind:
- The result of the PTA test depends on the responses of the patient. Hence, the patient must be responsive while testing.
- You can check if you have any ear wax in the ear, and after discussing it with the ENT specialist, the audiologist can clean it before coming for the test.
- Avoid the test if you have a cold as the mucus builds in the ear can deviate the results.
- You should ask the audiologist about the test procedure and if they have specific instructions for you.
Suppose your hearing loss is progressive due to diseases like Meniere’s disease. In that case, you might be advised to take this test regularly to know the further decline in the hearing level and to manage the debilitating nature of the disease in a better way.
In many cases where your loss of hearing ability cannot be restored, hearing aids can help you manage the problem in a better way. And at the Center for Hearing®, we offer expert advice and consultations to help you choose the right hearing aids for yourself. Our wide range of hearing aids comes with an extensive warranty.
Also, with our pan India network of hearing centres and 50+ expert audiology professionals, we ensure that you get the best assistance related to hearing loss issues and audiometry tests.
Find your nearest Center for Hearing® clinic and get started with the necessary procedures today!