Comprehensive Hearing Testing
If you suspect you may have hearing loss, it is important to seek proper testing and evaluation by an audiologist. The purpose of an audiological evaluation is to determine whether a hearing loss exists, and if so, the type and severity of your hearing impairment.
The audiologist uses a variety of sounds and test equipment such as earphones and speakers to evaluate your hearing. This process is painless, comfortable and safe. Total testing time is less than 30 minutes.
- The evaluation begins with an exam of the outer ear using an otoscope to check the eardrum and measure pressure in the middle ear.
- The next step is a thorough hearing test to assess your ability to recognize familiar words at different volume levels and to hear different tones.
- You listen to a series of pure tones (simple sounds) using headphones. The tones range from 250 Hz through 8000 Hz (frequencies most relevant to hearing sounds in everyday living).
- You signal when you hear each sound.
- As the sounds begin to decrease in intensity (loudness), the audiologist observes where it becomes difficult for you to hear (your hearing threshold).
- The results are recorded on an audiogram.
- A third component of the testing process is to determine how well you understand speech.
- Comprehensive Audiometric Evaluations -- pure tone air and bone conduction, and behavioral testing to determine the degree and type of hearing loss.
- Tympanometry and Impedance Assessment -- for evaluation of middle ear function.
- Central Auditory Processing Testing -- to identify problems with understanding speech, following directions or listening.
- Otoacoustic Emission Testing -- to detect cochlear damage.
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