Adult and Pediatric Hearing Evaluations
If you or your child has been referred for a diagnostic audiologic evaluation, it means that hearing loss needs to be ruled out or further examined. If hearing loss is present, it will determine the type and severity of the hearing loss. It may also provide insight in to the cause of the hearing loss as well as guidance for the audiologist in making the appropriate recommendations for treatment.
Your evaluation may include the following:
The ear canal will be examined for any wax, foreign bodies or abnormalities that may be causing difficulty hearing or preventing a proper hearing evaluation.
This is a test to determine the status of middle ear. If this test is not normal, the audiologist may refer you to the ENT or your primary care physician prior to testing your hearing.
Pure-tone Air Testing
This determines the quietest tones a person can hear at different frequencies, both low and high.
Bone Conduction Testing
This is similar to pure-tone air except a different type of headphone is used which helps the audiologist determine if the hearing loss is originating from the outer/middle ear or from the inner ear.
Speech Reception Testing
This determines the lowest level at which the patient can recognize words or speech stimuli approximately 50% of the time. It is often used to confirm the results of a pure tone test.
Word Recognition Testing
This is a test to determine if you hear speech clearly or if it has any degree of distortion when sounds are presented at a level that should be comfortable based on the pure tone air results. This test helps the audiologist determine candidacy and potential success for amplification.
Conditioned Play Audiometry
This is where a child places a block or other object in a bucket as soon as she hears the pure tones. This is typically done when a child in unable to be conditioned to raise her hand or say “yes” for the pure tones.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry
This is administered to young children or individuals who are not able to verbalize a response. Speech or a sound is presented from a speaker with the intention of obtaining a head turn response to the stimulus. If the patient responds, she is rewarded with a visual reinforcer such as an elephant or bunny playing the drums. This is typically done to obtain the hearing levels for at least the better ear.
Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) are sounds that are produced in the cochlea (the organ for hearing) but are detected and measured in the external ear canal. A small tip placed in the ear canal is searching for a response. Otoacoustic emissions are present in nearly all people with normal hearing.