Audiometric Testing

An audiometry exam tests your ability to hear sounds. At Wake Forest Baptist Health, hearing tests are customized for each individual patient and may include one or a combination of the following tests:

Standard Audiometry Test

During a standard audiometry test, a speech reception threshold (SRT) is obtained by asking you to repeat familiar bisyllabic words (e.g. baseball) at gradually decreasing intensity (loudness) levels, until the level of the softest words that can be repeated is identified.

Then, pure tone audiometry begins. You will be asked to push a button or raise your hand when a tone is heard. A pure tone audiogram is generated, which is a graph indicating thresholds at the various pitches tested, from low to high.


This specialized test is used to assess inner ear function for patients with dizziness. During this hearing test, electrodes are placed in the ear canals near the eardrums and on the ear lobes. Sounds are presented to the ear as responses are recorded. Results can provide information regarding a possible imbalance of fluids in the inner ear.


A tympanometry is a test to check middle ear function. A common cause of hearing loss is middle ear dysfunction. Problems such as fluid in the middle ear, a hole in the eardrum, or issues with the small bones in the middle ear can result in conductive hearing loss that generally can be treated medically or surgically.

To obtain a tympanogram, a small earphone is placed in the ear canal, and eardrum movement is measured in response to small changes in air pressure. The acoustic reflex test checks the function of the small muscle in the middle ear.

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Test

This hearing test can be used to determine if the tiny hair cells in the inner ear are functioning normally. The procedure is painless and can be performed at any age. To measure OAEs, a miniature earphone and microphone are placed in the ear canal. Sounds are presented and a response, or "emission," from the inner ear is recorded. You do not need to respond in any way. You simply need to remain quiet for a few minutes.

Multidisciplinary Hearing Team

At Wake Forest Baptist, our experienced audiologists use the latest hearing test technology to evaluate hearing function and determine what part of the ear may be causing hearing loss. They work closely with ENT/head and neck surgeons at Wake Forest Baptist, providing specialized diagnosis and treatment when needed.