Apart from testing hearing, part of the function of audiometry is in assessing or evaluating hearing from the test results. The most commonly used assessment of hearing is the determination of the threshold of audibility, i.e. the level of sound required to be just audible. This level can vary for an individual over a range of up to 5 Decibels from day to day and from determination to determination, but it provides an additional and useful tool in monitoring the potential ill effects of exposure to noise. Before carrying out a hearing test, it is important to obtain information about the person’s past medical history, not only concerning the ears but also other conditions which may have a bearing on possible hearing loss detected by an audiometric test.
The hearing loss is usually bilateral, but variations in each ear can also be observed. Wax in the ear can also cause hearing loss, so the ear should be examined to see if syringing is needed; also to determine if the eardrum has suffered any damage which may reduce the ability of sound to be transported to the cochlea.