For those who may have some loss in the ability to hear, doctors will run a hearing test to determine if there is any loss occurring. It is hard for an individual to notice this loss often because it is happening gradually. Yet, even a small problem can lead to bigger concerns later on. For that reason, doctors often will give you a wide range of tests over a period of time to determine what is occurring. One of the tests given is called a tuning fork screening. It is not painful and most often it is very quick.
What Is This Screening?
A tuning fork hearing test is one of the more common types. As you may know, a tuning fork is a device that has two prongs at the end. These metal instruments will produce sounds when someone strikes them. This type of screening uses this process to work. When the doctor strikes them, he or she can observe what is occurring within the ear, more specifically with the eardrum. This is a simple test. It does not provide a lot of detailed information to the doctor, but it can help to determine if there is a problem or not.
During this screening, doctors will be able to determine if there is damage to the eardrum by watching what happens when the sound occurs. It will cause the inner portion of the ear to vibrate. The damage occurs on the nerve endings and cells of the eardrum. If they do not respond properly, this is an indication of damage to them. That damage can be the cause of loss of the ability to hear.
Is It Enough?
Doctors can use this type of screening as a first step in determining if there is a problem. Often times, though, it only provides for basic information and not nearly enough detail to enable an individual's diagnosis to occur. After having it, if there is cause for concern, the doctor may recommend a more thorough evaluation from an audiologist, or a specialist in this area. This will include more testing, which will reveal details about what you can hear as well as what sounds or frequencies you can not. From there, help may be available in the form of a device that can make sounds louder to you.
If you are wondering if your ability to hear is being affected by your job or lifestyle, or just because you are getting older, it is a good idea to use this type of tool to learn more. A hearing test is a process of testing the limits of the ability to hear, and it can take some time to learn what is happening.