What Is a Hearing Screening Test?
Hearing screening is the assessment used to identify a potential hearing deficiency. Hearing screening is therefore conducted when a hearing loss is suspected, to isolate possible hearing loss in newborn children, in first year schoolchildren, or in industrial hearing screening. Pure tone audiometry is the most common choice to evaluate hearing at a number of set frequencies. With the help of an audiometer, the tester (a doctor, a nurse or a health professional) presents a tone to one or both ears of the patient. The tester increases and decreases the intensity of the stimulus at various frequencies and records the patient’s response. During screening audiometry, tones across the speech spectrum — mostly between 500 and 4000 Hz — are presented. For adults, a hearing threshold of 25 to 35 dB is expected, while children typically lie between 15 and 20 dB. The screening test determines the softest sound the patient can hear and normally starts with the ear which the patient thinks has better hearing.