Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA)
This is the basic hearing evaluation procedure to measure the hearing loss and to quantify the degree of hearing loss. This is done in a soundproof environment. The audiologist instructs the client to identify the minimum hearing level for pure tones using headphones at major six frequencies such as 250Hz, 500Hz, 1KHz, 2KHz, 4KHz, 8KHz. Bone conduction hearing threshold is also measured using a bone conductor transducer which is placed behind the ear. Based on all these measures audiologists identify the degree of hearing loss, pattern of hearing loss and type of hearing loss. This result has been plotted as a graphical representation known as an audiogram. This is used for deciding the treatment options for various hearing /ear/balance disorders. Clients with conductive hearing loss are referred to ENT doctors for treatment. Usually, clients with sensory neural hearing loss are given trials with hearing aids which help to improve hearing issues.
PTA plays a crucial role in diagnosing and monitoring hearing loss, enabling professionals to suggest suitable interventions such as hearing aids or medical treatments. It is an essential tool for evaluating someone's auditory skills and developing interventions to enhance their quality of life. Pure tone audiometry (PTA) offers several benefits in evaluating hearing abilities. Initially, it serves as a reliable method for evaluating different types and degrees of hearing loss.
PTA comprehensively evaluates auditory function by systematically testing hearing thresholds at various frequencies. PTA has the advantage of distinguishing various types of hearing impairments. It can identify if the hearing loss is conductive, sensorineural, or a mix of both. Differentiating is vital to identify the best treatment, be it medical, surgical, or through hearing aids or assistive devices. Furthermore, PTA ensures consistency and accuracy in results by conducting a standardised and reliable procedure in a controlled environment. It is appropriate for all age groups, including infants and young children, due to its non-invasive nature, allowing for early identification and treatment of hearing problems.