Is a hearing test reliable?

Giganews Newsgroups
Subject: Is a hearing test reliable?
Posted by:  zbrn…
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008


For the past eight months or so I've had the feeling that my hearing
is deteriorating, so I have recently had two hearing tests. I live in
Turkey, and both tests were done in Istanbul. Both tests were the
same: I had to sit in a booth with a trigger button, and press the
trigger every time I heard a sound through the headphones.

Frankly I was surprised by the test itself. Basically I was hearing
evenly-spaced sounds getting quieter and quieter until I couldn't hear
them any more. It's the evenly-spaced thing that bugged me: at my
hearing threshold, it was easy to *imagine* I heard a sound just
because one was supposed to be there, in the regular sequence. In a
second part of the test, the technician said a number of words aloud
that I had to repeat back, but since they were all food-related words,
the potential for guessing the right answer from some partial sounds
was quite high.

I'm assuming that hearing tests are pretty much the same around the
world, and obviously the experts know more about their reliability
than I do. And since I've been told I need an aid anyway, it's not
critical I suppose if my hearing showed up better than it is. I'm just
interested to know if anyone has any comments on how reliable hearing
tests really are.