Hearing tests for Adults

Audiometry hearing tests for adults (and children over the age of seven years) are conducted using headphones and a wide range of sounds. The tests check the individual’s response to sound tones; the ability to discriminate speech at different volumes; and the health of the middle ear by testing the ear drum’s ability to move (tympanometry).

How do hearing tests for adults work?

This test is completely painless and is used to check for hearing loss. The results may also be used to help diagnose medical conditions associated with hearing loss. The test usually requires 30 minutes to perform.

If you have other symptoms such as a ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness or hearing loss in only one ear, then we may also perform a test called Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR). ABR tests the auditory neural pathway all the way to the brainstem. It is also completely painless and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Hearing Awareness Week 2021

A recent article published by Macquarie University highlights the importance of regularly hearing tests in our adult years

As Hearing Awareness Week begins, Macquarie University researchers say strong links between hearing loss and ageing poorly highlight an urgency for better health screening of older Australians.

The launch of the WHO World Report on Hearing on March 3, 2021, World Hearing Day, will point to the urgency for Australia to prevent and address hearing loss across the course of people’s lives, says Professor Catherine McMahon, Macquarie University’s Director of Audiology who is leading the Australian launch of the report.

“Australia leads the world in newborn hearing screening, but then we fall short in addressing hearing loss for people’s remaining life stages,” she says.

“Early identification is critical to successful outcomes in people with hearing loss. This report highlights the importance of addressing hearing loss within national health plans.”

McMahon is a co-author on recent research investigating links between successful ageing and loss of vision and hearing, which found that people who experienced hearing impairment aged less successfully over five years.

The landmark research was led by Professor Bamini Gopinath – a Macquarie University epidemiologist whose research focuses on trends in sensory loss in communities, including health outcomes.

“In this study we defined successful ageing as the absence of a range of chronic diseases (cancer, coronary artery disease and stroke), and the absence of depression, cognitive impairment and functional disability,” says Bamini.

Hearing loss a modifiable dementia risk

The study looked at health assessments on more than 1000 adults aged over 55 taken five years apart under the longitudinal Blue Mountains Eye Study.

The researchers found that 248 study participants (22.9 per cent) had aged successfully and 243 (22.4 per cent) had died.

Those who began the study with moderate and severe hearing handicap at baseline had reduced their likelihood of successful ageing over five years by 50 per cent and 61 per cent respectively.

Click here to continue reading this article.