Speech Audiometry is another type of hearing test performed by audiologists to assess a person's ability to hear and understand speech. This test complements Pure Tone Audiometry and provides additional information about how well a person can comprehend spoken language in different listening conditions.
During the Speech Audiometry test, the patient may still be seated in a soundproof booth and wear headphones or earplugs. The audiologist will play recorded speech materials at varying volume levels and ask the patient to repeat specific words, phrases, or sentences. The test may involve different speech materials, such as spondee words (two-syllable words with equal stress, like "baseball" or "cupcake"), phonetically balanced words (a set of words designed to include all the speech sounds of the English language in proportion to their frequency of use), or sentences.
The results of the Speech Audiometry test are used to determine the patient's Speech Reception Threshold (SRT), which is the lowest level at which the patient can understand speech. It also provides information about the patient's Word Recognition Score (WRS), which indicates how well the patient can identify individual words correctly at a comfortable listening level.
This test helps the audiologist assess the patient's ability to hear and understand speech in quiet and noisy environments, providing important insights into how hearing loss may impact communication and speech understanding. The results of Speech Audiometry, combined with Pure Tone Audiometry, assist in tailoring appropriate treatment options, such as hearing aids, assistive listening devices, or other interventions to address the individual's hearing needs.