The first step in diagnosing hearing loss is to undergo a hearing evaluation. A comprehensive evaluation consists of a series of individual hearing tests that will help determine the extent and type of hearing loss. Our certified audiologists are skilled in conducting a number of hearing tests to help figure out a solution to your condition.
The Importance of Hearing Tests
Not all patients who experience hearing loss are aware of their condition. Symptoms tend to develop gradually over an extended period of time.
Hearing tests may help detect a problem early, improving your chances of successful treatment.
Even if you do not suspect hearing loss, regular hearing tests should be considered a necessary part of your overall health screening once you reach the age of 50. And they’re not just for older adults; babies and toddlers should have their hearing tested in order to prevent delays in speech and language development should a hearing impairment exist.
Hearing tests are completely safe and painless. They are performed in a soundproof booth, and results are plotted on a graph that shows your hearing response at different frequencies. This is called an audiogram, and will help the audiologist determine the best way to treat your hearing loss.
A typical hearing evaluation is comprised of a number of separate hearing tests, including:
Air Conduction Test
In this test, sometimes referred to as Audiometry, you will be given headphones and asked to respond to pure tones of varying volume and frequency levels by raising a hand, pressing a button, or giving a verbal reply. Your responses will determine how well you can hear at different frequencies, and can indicate whether your hearing loss is conductive or sensorineural.
Bone Conduction Test
If there is damage or a blockage in the outer or middle ear, bone conduction audiometry testing may be used. Instead of sending the tones through the ear, this type of testing is able to bypass the outer and middle ear and send the tone directly to the inner ear. A small vibrator is placed behind the ear. The device sends out a vibration that passes through the skull bone to reach the inner ear. If the results of this test are different than the air conduction test, your audiologist can use this information to determine whether you have a conductive or sensorineural hearing loss.
Speech testing is used to measure your speech reception and word recognition abilities. You are asked to repeat words and phrases delivered at normal conversational levels. Testing may be performed in quiet or noisy backgrounds.