Diagnostic Audiological Evaluation
If you or a relative is experiencing difficulty hearing, it is important to know that you do not need a doctors referral to have a baseline hearing test. You can call us directly to schedule an appointment.
If your doctor has suggested that you or your child go for a diagnostic audiological evaluation, it means that hearing loss needs to be ruled out or further examined. The diagnostic audiological evaluation may be indicated for individuals who did not pass an initial hearing screening.
The evaluation is done to determine if hearing loss is present, and if so, to detail the type and severity of the hearing loss. It also may provide insight into the cause of the hearing loss as well as provide guidance for the audiologist in making appropriate treatment recommendations.
What Tests Will Be Done?
The specific tests done during the evaluation will depend on the patient's age, and what is already known about their hearing level. These tests will determine the degree of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss, and the conditions of the ear canal and middle ear. The audiologist will also determine if the hearing loss is conductive (middle or outer ear problem) or sensorineural (inner ear problem or central processing difficulty of the brain).
A diagnostic audiological evaluation includes pure-tone testing, bone-conduction testing, and speech testing.
Pure-tone Air and Bone Conduction Testing
Pure-tone air conduction testing determines the quietest tones that a person can hear at different frequencies, both low and high. Bone conduction testing is similar to pure-tone air conduction testing. A different type of headphone is used during bone conduction testing, and the results help the specialist determine if the hearing loss is originating from the outer/middle ear or from the inner ear.
A speech reception threshold (SRT) test is often used with older children and adults to confirm the results of a pure-tone test. This test determines the lowest level at which the patient can recognize words or speech stimuli. The speech test also determines the word discrimination. Word discrimination is how much the brain understands from the sound it receives from the ear. This test makes a good prediction of how successful the amplification would be when hearing aids are needed.
The audiologist may also perform an otoscopy (examining the ear canal) and tympanometry (test of the middle ear) to determine the health of the ear canal and the middle ear.
Other tests may include:
- Impedanciometry: This test evaluates the middle ear function (Ear drum, eustachian tube and three ear bones).
What Can I Expect During a Diagnostic Audiological Evaluation?
When you arrive at our clinic you will register at the front desk and fill out a short medical history form.
You will then meet Cristina, our Audiologist. She will listen to your hearing concerns and answer any questions you may have.
Your hearing test may take 30-40 minutes.
After Cristina will discuss your results with you. If it is determined that you will benefit from hearing aids, she will discuss your options, as well as do a live demonstration with you. This means you will have a chance to try on the hearing aids and experience the difference in your hearing while wearing amplification.
Ask questions! We want you to be an active participant in finding hearing solutions that work best for you and your lifestyle.