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Comprehensive Adult Hearing Test

Comprehensive Adult Hearing Test

The Comprehensive adult hearing test is a holistic hearing test meant for adults that tests for the listening ability, comprehensive ability, and speech intelligibility of a patient.  

It is like a physician examination in its purpose to understand the overall health and well-being of your ears without being invasive. 

The importance of this test is that the earlier we can track your hearing health history the better prepared audiologist can be to understanding the nature of your hearing loss and why that may be the case, so they can prevent the worsening of your condition or find a solution to it.  

They do this by performing various tests listed below: 

Pure Tone Test 

This test uses pure tone sounds based on frequency to understand your listening ability by playing pure tone sounds ranging from 250 Hz – 8000 Hz.

These tests results are displayed in an audiogram and give a more objective understanding of your listening ability.

There are two ways they perform this test.  

  • Air- conduction (uses headphones or earphones) 
  • Bone-conduction (uses bone oscillator) 

The reason for these two methods of testing is for the audiologist to get a better understanding of the nature of a person’s hearing loss, as the type of hearing loss is determined by whether there is a big difference in hearing between air conduction and bone conduction 

Tone exposure Air conduction 

Using headphones or earphones, pure tones in the range of 250 Hz to 8000 Hz are tested.

With this, the audiologist tracks at what intervals you can hear the sounds and where you cannot. This testing procedure determines whether sound is able to be conducted normally through the ear to the hearing organ. 

Tone exposure Bone-conduction- bone  

Using a bone oscillator, Pure tones are presented by vibrating the temporal bone behind the ear and stimulating the casing of the hearing organ directly. 

The reason for this method is to check the health and ability of your hearing organs directly and to see if there is a hearing discrepancy between both air and bone conduction methods. 

Speech Reception Threshold (SRT) Test 

In this test, the audiologist asks the patient to repeat known words played at different volumes gradually getting softer. 

The purpose of this test is for the audiologist to understand the lowest volume a patient can hear and recognize speech. With the pure tone test the SRT test helps validate the patient’s hearing ability. 

Word Recognition Score (WRS) 

In this test, the audiologist asks the patient to repeat a list of unknown single syllable words back to them at speech recognition threshold. 

The purpose of this test is for the audiologist to understand the speech intelligibility of the patient. 

With this test the audiologist can get a new understanding of comprehension of the patient when sound is presented to them at a known, audibly clear level 

Most Comfortable Loudest level (MCL) 

In this test, the audiologist finds the most comfortable volume for the patient by increasing and decreasing the volume of the clinician’s voice until the client reports the volume is at its clearer and more comfortable. 

The purpose of this test is for the audiologist to understand the comfort level related to a patient’s hearing ability. 


In this test, the audiologist will use a special machine to add pressure into the ear, move the ear drum with positive and negative pressure. 

The purpose of this test is for the audiologist to see if there is To determine if there is any pathology or irregularity in the ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear system.  


In this test, the audiologist uses an otoscope to look in the patient’s ear to visually observe the health of the eardrum. 

The purpose of this is so that the audiologist can get a visual understanding of any issues in the ear canal itself that may be contributing to a hearing loss, as it can be as simple as having too much ear wax which the audiologist can solve or having an ear infection which the audiologist can direct you to a doctor to address.  

Acoustic Reflex 

In this test, the audiologist checks the reflex of the stapedius muscle by playing a loud tone to the patient.

The purpose of this is so the audiologist can check if important reflex muscles in the ear contract and stiffen the eardrum properly to protect the ear from loud impulse sounds. This is very similar to how physicians do a knee reflex check. 

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