A hearing assessment is much more than listening to sounds through a pair of headphones. A complete hearing assessment by our hearing professionals is a comprehensive test resulting in useful, detailed knowledge about your hearing.
It aims to determine how mild or extreme a hearing loss is, not only if you have a hearing loss. A comprehensive hearing test can also help define the form of hearing loss you have: conductive, sensorineural or mixed, and whether it will better respond to medical treatment, hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing devices, or cochlear implants.
After reporting for your hearing test at our office, our patient care specialist will ask you to fill in multiple forms. Please be prepared to include your contact information and medical records, and to check the coverage of your health benefits.
A hearing health history
You’ll consult with one of our hearing professionals before taking any hearing tests. We will be exploring your medical background, as well as that of your relatives. We’ll ask whether you are still on some medicine if you have had a cough or ear infection lately and whether you have been subject to high levels of noise lately. Such factors can play a role in your hearing abilities.
Your hearing specialist will also ask you about your career, your everyday life, and your hobbies. Bear in mind that the more you share with your hearing specialist about your lifestyle, the more details they’ll have to help you overcome your hearing needs.
An ear exam: We need to conduct a physical ear examination before doing any hearing tests. We will use a device called an otoscope to look into the ears to see if any anomalies or medical conditions are present. We will also check to see if you have an earwax buildup that can be a quick and easy cause for hearing problems.
Tympanometry: This test measures the eardrum’s reactivity to light pressure (also called the tympanic membrane). We’re looking for anything that may hinder the eardrum’s motion, such as blood, perforation, or infection, and this way, we can decide if your hearing loss stems (at least in part) from your eardrum.
A pure tone audiometry test determines the softest or least audible sound a person can hear. You must wear earphones during the inspection and hear a variety of sounds that are aimed at one ear at a time.
The sound loudness in decibels (dB) is measured. A whisper is around 20 dB, 80-dB for loud music, and 180 dB for a jet engine. The sound tonality is expressed in frequencies (Hz). Low bass tones vary from 50-Hz, high-tones ranging from 10,000 Hz or higher. The standard hearing range at 25 dB or below is 250-Hz.
The ability of a person to understand speech from background noise is measured by a word recognition test (also called speech discrimination test). If you are unable to distinguish between speech sounds, words of other people can become very difficult to comprehend. Word recognition scores can help in predicting a hearing aid’s usefulness.
When the hearing tests are complete, an audiogram will be available for analysis immediately. The audiogram is a visual explanation of how well you can hear. The tests will be shared with you by us to help you better understand how you hear and where your hearing difficulties are present.
We should be able to determine how to deal with any hearing problems by looking at the findings of your hearing tests and physical examination. We will help you understand what treatment is available and how it will support your life and hearing if you have a hearing loss that requires attention.