This semester, I’m in an audiology class for my major, where we learn all about how to test people’s hearing and the different types of hearing problems they might have. I’m really interested in audiology, so I was already excited to take the class. But I was even more excited to find out that we’d actually get to test someone’s hearing as part of the class! Here’s the story of how I completed what will hopefully be the first of many audiograms I do throughout my life!
Pressey Hall on Ohio State’s west campus is home to the speech and hearing department, and includes the lab where I completed the hearing test. I signed up with another classmate, and we got to test each other’s hearing by presenting beeps at different intensity levels and frequencies to see what we were able to hear. This was a good way to get practice using the audiometer (that big machine pictured above) and to learn which buttons you have to press in order to present certain sounds. We also recorded the results on an audiogram, which is a special chart that shows you the softest sound you can hear in each ear.
The trickiest part of the process for me was trying not to get into a “pattern” of when I presented the beeps–because, for example, if you were to present one beep every two seconds, the listener knows when to expect a beep and will know to raise their hand every two seconds, even if they didn’t actually hear anything. But I’m glad I got practice with that now, so that when I do hearing testing in the future, I’ll remember not to do that!
It’s so great that Ohio State gives their speech and hearing science majors the opportunity to have real-life experiences with the equipment and testing we’ll be using in the future, instead of simply teaching it in a lecture hall. Now I feel more prepared to do hearing testing in grad school and beyond. Like I told some of my friends, now I have one audiogram down, 10,000+ more to go!