What is Bone Conduction Test?
Bone conduction testing is a hearing test used to evaluate the function of the inner ear, specifically the cochlea and the auditory nerve. This test is usually performed by a medical professional who is an expert in hearing loss disorder.
In the test, pure tones are played to the patient, who responds to hearing them, like a pure-tone test. Hearing health experts diagnose and treat different hearing loss types.
What is the process for performing it?
An audiologist places an oscillator behind the patient’s ear via a headband to perform the test. The oscillator transmits sound vibrations directly to the cochlea, bypassing the outer and middle ears. This helps diagnose ear canal or moderate ear issues, such as damage to the eardrum or middle ear bones.
To prevent outside noise interference and ensure accurate test results, the patient is seated in a sound booth again. The hearing health professional plays the same pure tones and asks the patient to indicate when they hear them. The frequencies used are the same as those in the pure-tone test to maintain accuracy and consistency between the two tests.
To ensure accuracy, the patient undergoes testing in each ear as hearing levels may vary. Masking may be necessary during bone conduction testing to prevent the non-tested ear from detecting the tone. This involves placing headphones or earbuds on the patient and introducing white noise to the non-tested ear to mask the pure tone tested in the other ear.
Understanding the Outcome of Test
Bone conduction testing is crucial in identifying the type of hearing loss a patient is experiencing. If pure-tone and bone conduction test results are similar, it indicates a sensorineural hearing loss. Conversely, if the results differ significantly, it could suggest a conductive hearing loss, requiring further investigation to identify its underlying cause.
Evaluation of Hearing
During your initial appointment with an audiologist, they will take your medical history and discuss your hearing concerns. They will then examine your ears using a gastroscope to ensure no obstructions hinder the testing process.
Audiologists perform various tests to determine the type and severity of hearing loss and treatment options. After that, The audiologist will review the test results with you and suggest further testing, hearing aids, assistive listening devices, or other interventions. You can see that it’s more than a hearing test; it’s a comprehensive assessment of your communication and hearing abilities.
Bone conduction testing is a hearing test used to evaluate the function of the inner ear. The audiologist uses pure tones to diagnose and treat different types of hearing loss by playing them through the skull. Masking may be necessary to prevent the non-tested ear from detecting the tone during testing.
If the pure-tone and bone conduction test results are similar, it indicates sensorineural hearing loss. Conversely, if the results differ significantly, it could suggest conductive hearing loss. A hearing evaluation includes a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s hearing and communication abilities, with the audiologist reviewing the test results and suggesting further interventions if necessary.