Workplaces can be noisy and detrimental to one's hearing health. That's why OSHA requires workers to have their hearing tested annually. One test that is most common is a basic audiometric screening. In order to perform a screening, you need an audiometer. What is an audiometer, you ask? We're here to explain!
What are industrial audiometers?
Industrial audiometers are occupational health tools that are used to diagnose hearing loss. They have the ability to test the severity and the degree of hearing loss an individual has experienced.
Most devices consist of a testing control unit that is connected to a pair of headphones. The patient wears the headphones and uses a feedback button to respond to the audio signals that are sent by the audiometrist.
What is an audiometric test?
An audiometric test consists of a series of hearing benchmarks that help determine the level of hearing loss a patient is experiencing. It also determines if one or both ears are experiencing loss.
To determine if a patient needs an audiogram, a patient will be given a series of sounds, from whispers to spoken words, that are tested on each ear individually and then both ears together.
Another aspect of the audiometric test is minimum intensity or volume. For this aspect of the test an oscillator is placed against the bone of each ear and helps graph the volume at which a patient can first hear a sound. This is also known as bone conduction.
Why do workers need audiometric tests?
Audiometric tests can be used to detect early hearing loss and loss cause from a specific event or injury. Sound is often measured in decibels (dB). When a person is exposed to sounds above 85dB for a prolonged period of time, they will usually experience hearing loss.
Some common reasons for testing include:
- Acoustic Trama
- Chronic Ear Infections
- Diseases of the Inner Ear
- Head Injury
- Inherited Conditions
- Medicines and antibiotics that can harm the inner ear
- Occupational Hearing Loss
- Ruptured eardrum
How to become an audiometrist
Many audiologist positions require you to have a doctoral degree from an institution that is approved by the state board of the state that you intend to work in. In addition to your degree, you may also be required to complete a supervised clinical placement and show proficiency over an extended period of time in handling the duties of an audiometrist.
Interested in industrial audiometers? Check out our wide selection today!