What to Expect
To determine the type and severity of your hearing loss, our audiologists will complete a thorough hearing evaluation. The specific tests depend on the patient’s age and symptoms. Our audiologist may use any of the following during your examination:
- The audiologist will look into your ear canal to determine if there is wax or a foreign body in the ear canal, and to establish the health of the ear, canal walls, and ear drum.
- Tympanometry is a pressure test that determines if the ear drum is moving like it should or if there are any holes in the eardrum.
- Pure-tone air and bone conduction. Pure-tone air conduction testing determines the quietest tones that you 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.
- Speech testing. Speech discrimination testing is often used to determine how well you can understand speech when it is presented at a volume that is comfortable. The results help create a prognosis for hearing aid success.
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE). This is a test predominately used for children who are too young to complete pure tone testing. OAEs evaluate how well the inner ear or cochlear cells respond to sound and do not require a behavioral response from the patient.
- Visual Response Audiometry (VRA). The audiologist teaches your child to look toward the location of sound. When your child looks in the direction of the sound, he or she sees a moving toy or flashing light. This rewards the child for looking toward the sound. Both ears are tested at the same time.
- Conditioned Play Audiometry. This type of testing is good for toddlers and preschoolers, ages 2 to 5. The child will do something each time he or she hears a sound. The child might put a block in a box, put pegs in a hole, or put a ring on a cone.