• The simplest type of hearing test is the whispered voice test. The doctor whispers words or numbers at different distances from your ear and asks you to repeat them. It is a quick, easy way to find out whether you can hear normally, but more specific tests are needed if there is any doubt.
  • In pure-tone audiometry, sound is played to one ear at a time through headphones. You are asked to press a button each time you hear a sound. The volume and pitch of the sound are varied to find the quietest sounds that each ear can hear at different pitches.
Hearing Tests, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon
  • In bone-conduction audiometry, the sound comes through a tight headband resting behind the ears and is heard by conduction through the bones of the skull. This reveals how well the inner ear is working.
  • Audiometry takes about 15 minutes. You will not feel any discomfort and there are no side effects.
  • Tympanometry measures how well the eardrum moves (fluid in the middle ear may stop the eardrum vibrating). A probe seals the ear canal and measures the pressure changes in the canal in response to a loud noise that lasts a few seconds. It is not uncomfortable.
  • Other hearing tests may be used in special situations. Békésy audiometry is used in industry, and distraction testing or play audiometry is used to test young children or people with learning difficulties.