Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA) is a hearing test that is commonly used to measure a person’s hearing ability. This test is performed using an audiometer, which is a machine that produces pure tones of various frequencies and intensities. In this article, we will discuss what PTA is, how it is performed, and what the results mean.
What is Pure Tone Audiometry?
Pure Tone Audiometry is a hearing test that measures the hearing threshold, which is the softest sound a person can hear at each frequency tested. The test is performed by presenting pure tones at different frequencies and intensities to the patient, who is wearing headphones. The patient is asked to indicate when they can hear the sound by pressing a button or raising their hand.
How is Pure Tone Audiometry performed?
The test is typically performed in a soundproof booth to eliminate any external noise. The patient sits in a comfortable chair and wears headphones. The audiologist or hearing healthcare professional conducting the test sits outside the booth and controls the audiometer. The test begins with a series of tones at different frequencies and intensities.
The frequencies tested range from 250 Hz to 8,000 Hz, which includes the frequencies important for speech perception. The intensity, or loudness, of the tones is measured in decibels (dB) Hearing Level (HL). HL is the sound level at which the sound is just audible to a typical person with normal hearing. The softest sound the person can hear at each frequency is called the hearing threshold.
The results of the test are plotted on an audiogram, which is a graph that shows the person’s hearing thresholds at different frequencies. The audiogram can provide information about the type, degree, and configuration of hearing loss.
What do the results mean?
The results of the PTA test are interpreted by an audiologist or hearing healthcare professional. The test results are plotted on an audiogram, which shows the person’s hearing thresholds at different frequencies.
Audiograms are divided into four quadrants based on frequency and hearing threshold levels. The vertical axis of the graph represents the hearing threshold level in decibels, and the horizontal axis represents the frequency of the pure tone in Hertz.
The four quadrants are:
Normal hearing: If the hearing thresholds are within the normal range, the person has normal hearing. The thresholds are typically less than or equal to 25 dB HL.
Conductive hearing loss: If the hearing thresholds are elevated in the low to mid frequencies (250-2000 Hz), the person has conductive hearing loss. This type of hearing loss occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer and/or middle ear.
Sensorineural hearing loss: If the hearing thresholds are elevated in the high frequencies (above 2000 Hz), the person has sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the neural pathways that transmit sound from the ear to the brain.
Mixed hearing loss: If the person has both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, they have mixed hearing loss.
The degree of hearing loss is also indicated on the audiogram. The degree of hearing loss is classified as mild, moderate, severe, or profound, based on the hearing threshold levels.
In conclusion, Pure Tone Audiometry is a hearing test that measures the hearing threshold at different frequencies. The test results are plotted on an audiogram, which provides information about the type, degree, and configuration of hearing loss. The test is commonly used by audiologists and hearing healthcare professionals to assess a person’s hearing ability and to determine the appropriate course of treatment.
If you’re looking for pure-tone audiometry, then Hope Enterprises Audiologists, can help. We offer a range of diagnostic and testing equipment to assess your hearing accurately and help you get the right treatment for your needs. Call us at 9711871168 to find out more.