HEARING EVALUATIONS

Accurate assessments of your hearing today

On your first visit, the audiologist will take your case history. This includes talking about your medical history and the hearing problems you have.
Next, the audiologist will look into your ears using a light, called an otoscope. This is to check if there is anything in your ear that will make it hard to test your hearing.
The audiologist will then do different tests to find out the following information:

  • If you have a hearing loss
  • Why you have a hearing loss
  • How bad your hearing loss is in each ear
  • What the best treatment options are for you

Your audiologist will go over all of your test results with you. This will tell you about how well you hear and what problems you have. Your audiologist may recommend that you do any of the following things:

  • Do more testing or see a doctor to look into some of the problems you have.
  • Begin using a hearing aid.
  • Get help with hearing at school.
  • Try using assistive listening devices.
  • Work on hearing skills with an audiologist.
  • Have your speech and language tested.

As you can see, a hearing evaluation is much more than “just a hearing test!”

Types of Tests Used to Evaluate Hearing in Children and Adults

A variety of tests can be used to identify and diagnose a hearing loss. The method used depends in part on the age of the individual and other factors.

  • Pure-Tone Testing
  • Speech Testing
  • Tests of the Middle Ear
  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
  • Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)


Pure-Tone Testing

You may have had your hearing tested in school or at the doctor’s office. You might remember putting earphones on and raising your hand whenever you heard the “beep.” This is pure-tone testing. It is also called air conduction testing since the sounds go through your outer and middle ear. This test helps find the quietest sound you can hear at different pitches, or frequencies. Having earphones on lets the sounds go to one ear at a time.

Sometimes, it is not possible to use earphones. An example is when a child refuses to wear them. In these cases, sounds come through speakers inside a sound booth. This is sound-field screening. The sounds go into both ears at the same time. This type of testing does not show if there is a hearing loss in only one ear.


Speech Testing

An audiologist may do a number of tests to check your hearing. Speech testing will look at how well you listen to and repeat words. One test is the speech reception threshold, or SRT.

The SRT is for older children and adults who can talk. The results are compared to pure-tone test results to help identify hearing loss.


Tests of the Middle Ear

Your ear is made up of three parts—the outer, the middle, and the inner ear. A problem in the middle ear makes it hard for sounds to go from your outer ear to your inner ear and brain. Your audiologist may do tests to find out how well your middle ear works. These tests include

  • Tympanometry;
  • acoustic reflex measures; and
  • static acoustic measures.


Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)

Your ear is made up of three parts—the outer, the middle, and the inner ear. The auditory brainstem response (ABR) test tells us how the inner ear, called the cochlea, and the brain pathways for hearing are working. You may also hear it called an auditory evoked potential (AEP).

The test is used with children or others who cannot complete a typical hearing screening. The ABR is also used if your symptoms might be due to hearing loss in the brain or in a brain pathway.


Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)

Your ear is made up of three parts—the outer, the middle, and the inner ear. The OAE test is used to find out how well your inner ear, or cochlea, works. It measures otoacoustic emissions, or OAEs. These are sounds given off by the inner ear when responding to a sound. There are hair cells in the inner ear that respond to sound by vibrating. The vibration produces a very quiet sound that echoes back into the middle ear. This sound is the OAE that is measured.

Health is the most important thing you have in life!

Contact us now to schedule an appointment.