Audiometric Testing - What And Why It Is Important!
What Is It?
Audiometric testing is an air conduction test that measures one's ability to hear pure tones/pitches at different frequencies. A baseline measurement of somebody's hearing is established, and the testing is repeated regularly to determine if there are any changes in someones ability to hear!
How Does It Work?
The person being tested is seated in a sound-proof or treated room, and has a set of headphones placed over or inserted into the ears. Next the audio technician will play a sequence of tones through the headphones. The person being tested signals through a hand switch or by raising their hand when they hear each tone. The results are recorded onto an audiogram for interpretation, and a copy if provided to the person being tested.
Why Have This Done?
Noise can be a serious health hazard, especially prolonged exposure to loud noise. This prolonged exposure over time can lead to a common occupational disease in Canada known as "Sensory Neural Hearing Loss". According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, this is damage to the structures and/or nerve fibers in the ear (specifically the inner ear) that respond to sounds and vibrations, and can result from a one-time exposure to a very loud noise, or repeated exposure to loud sounds.
How Can You Protect Your Ears?
Wearing hearing protection is the easiest way to protect your ears - Anywhere from concerts to jobsites, it is incredibly important! Ear protection can include the following:
Ear Muffs - these are reliable and common, but can be hot, heavy and feel uncomfortable and often are not first choice for workers
Foam Ear Plugs - these are an excellent form of hearing protection if worn properly, but if not they will not protect your ears
Standard Ear Plugs - These are easier to put in then foam plugs, but do not work as efficiently. Cool, comfortable and inexpensive option
Ear Bands - These semi-aural protectors look like earplugs with a headband, and are convenient for short periods of use where they come in and out frequently, not intended for long-term use