If you failed a hearing screening or think you might have hearing loss, it’s essential to have a complete diagnostic audiologic evaluation.
This combination of visual examination and hearing tests determines if you have hearing loss. If hearing loss is detected, the severity and nature of the loss will be identified. This information provides the framework for your hearing loss treatment.
The hearing health care specialists at Professional Hearing Aid Service encourage you to bring a friend or family member with you to your diagnostic support. While hearing tests are painless, the thought of a hearing loss diagnosis may make you feel anxious, and a companion may reduce any stress you feel.
Types of hearing tests
The types of hearing tests performed are determined by what is already known about your hearing and your age. Before the exam begins, the hearing specialist will review your medical history and any medications and supplements you are taking. You’ll also be asked to identify any situations in which you find it particularly difficult to hear.
The hearing health care specialist will begin with a visual examination of your ears. A small, lighted instrument called an otoscope will be inserted into each ear to examine the ear structure and to check for any obstructions.
Pure-tone audiometry determines the quietest tone you can hear at different frequencies. Your threshold of hearing may be different at different frequencies. This test will be performed on each ear independently, and the results plotted on an audiogram.
Speech reception threshold
If pure tone testing identifies hearing loss, speech reception threshold testing may be used to further refine the hearing loss diagnosis. This test is used to determine the faintest level of speech that can be heard half of the time. Since many people complain of trouble hearing in noisy environments, this test may be performed in quiet and with background noise.
The audiogram records the results of this test as well.
Acoustic reflex measure
If hearing loss is indicated, the hearing care specialist may take an acoustic reflex measurement to test the function of the middle ear. The test evaluates the level of sound at which a muscle in the middle ear contracts in response to noise.
This common test of the middle ear may be performed if you have a history of ear infections. A small puff of air is moved into the ear canal to vibrate the eardrum. Tympanometry detects fluid in the ear, earwax build-up, a perforation in the eardrum or an eardrum that moves too much or too little.
After the tests, the results will be reviewed with you. Plan on at least 30 to 40 minutes for a complete audiologic evaluation. If hearing tests indicate hearing loss, options for treatment will be discussed with you.
The beginning of a lasting relationship
The hearing health care professionals at Professional Hearing Aid Service treat every diagnostic audiologic evaluation as the beginning of a relationship. Feel free to ask any questions you have about hearing loss and share any concerns you may have.