Sometimes, when you're watching TV, you can not hear the sound very well. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo are rescuing Princess Leia, blasters are booming, the Wookie is howling and you can not hear anything. Maybe Luke said “I'm here with Obi-Wan Kenobi” or maybe he said, “Would you like fries with that?” You just can not tell. So you turn up the volume and turn it up and turn it up but you still can not hear it and now your husband is yelling that it's too loud. Finally, you begin to wonder if maybe it's something else. Maybe your hearing is not what it used to be. But there's still one question: how do you find out if your answers really are the problem?

There's a simple solution. You can take a hearing test. There are a lot of different types of hearing tests and they come in many different shapes and sizes.

A tried and true method that you can use to measure your hearing is the audiometer test. It's usually given to people as they sit in a soundproof room. This booth is a lot like the room musicians use to record their music because it's completely soundproof. The person receiving the procedure will wear a set of headphones that are connected to an audiometer. A licensed audiologist plays a series of tones at specific frequencies and volume levels to each ear independently. As you take the exam, you will indicate by either raising a hand or pressing a button wherever or not you heard the sound. The results are plotted on a graph and, by the end of the procedure; the audiologist will be able to determine what degree of hearing loss you are experiencing.

Another hearing test is called the tympanogram. In this exam, the air pressure in your ear canal is varied using a small probe placed in your hear. This will tell your audiologist how well your eardrum and other muscles and tissues and structures in your ear are working. In this case, if there is a perforation in your tympanic membrane, you'll be able to tell and you can take action to correct it. This measures your actual ear and whether or not all the parts of your ear are functioning properly.

The last hearing test that might be administrated is an acoustic reflex exam. A probe is placed in your ear and a loud tone is played. This will estimate whether or not your stapedius muscle is working and able to contract to protect your ears against loud noises. You want to be sure that there is not a problem here as it might indicate a lesion in your ear or a faulty reflexive contracting that could be preventing your ears from working correctly.

There are a lot of hearing tests that you can take to figure out why you are not hearing at optimal levels. So get your results back today and enjoy Star Wars in full volume!