An audiometer is a subjective device used to assess a person's hearing threshold. An audiologist or other trained personnel uses an audiometer in conjunction with special audiometric testing techniques to determine the hearing threshold and to identify and quantify the degree of a person's hearing loss. Based on these results, the appropriate referral for medical treatment or possible fitting of a hearing aid can be prescribed. With the audiometer, tones of different frequencies are presented at different levels in the patient's ear. The threshold of hearing is the level at which the person can hear the stimulus.
What kind of audiometers are there?
Audiometric testing uses a variety of equipment to perform different types of tests. In audiometers we differentiate between screening audiometers, diagnostic audiometers and clinical audiometers. A screening audiometer is used to identify possible hearing impairment. A failed screening test would require a referral for a full diagnostic test battery. A diagnostic audiometer would be the first device used in the full diagnostic test battery. It is used to identify and quantify hearing disorders as well as their possible origins and therefore has more features and flexibility than the screening audiometer.