A diagnostic hearing evaluation is the first step in determining your hearing capability. If you have a hearing loss, it will detail the extent, type, and specifics of your particular hearing loss. The diagnostic hearing evaluation will be performed by an audiologist.
The diagnostic hearing evaluation consists of a variety of tests to determine the unique aspects of your hearing loss, as well as the level at which you can detect and understand speech. This evaluation can be conducted on people of any age, from new born infants to seniors.
A pure-tone test determines what range of pitches an individual can hear. The test will pick out the faintest tones a person can hear at multiple pitches, or frequency. The test is not painful and shouldn’t cause anxiety for the patient.
During the test, the patient will wear headphones. A sound will be played through the headphones. Should the patient hear the sound, they will respond by raising a hand, pressing a button or saying, “yes.” Each ear will be tested individually in order to get the most accurate results.
During a speech test, the patient will be asked to listen to conversation in quiet and noisy environments. To determine an individual’s speech reception threshold, the audiologist will record word recognition or the ability to repeat words back.
To determine how the middle ear is functioning, an audiologist will get measurements such as tympanometry, acoustic reflex measures and static acoustic measures. During a middle ear test, the audiologist pushes air pressure into the canal, causing the eardrum to vibrate back and forth. Acoustic reflex measures provide information regarding the location of the hearing issue. Acoustic reflex is the contraction of the middle ear when introduced to a loud sound. Testing for acoustic measure enables an audiologist to identify a perforated eardrum and check the opening of the ear’s ventilation tubes.
The auditory brainstem response test gives an audiologist data about the inner ear and brain pathways needed for hearing. During the test, electrodes are placed on the head to record brain wave activity.
Otoacoustic emissions, or sounds given off by the inner ear when the cochlea is stimulated by sound, are measured to narrow down types of hearing loss. These emissions can be measured by inserting a small probe into the ear canal. The probe measures the sounds produced by the vibration of the outer hair cells, which occurs when the cochlea is stimulated.
About 50% of children with hearing loss do not have any of the above risk factors. Therefore it is important to observe the behaviour of your child in response to their environment:
If you answer YES to one or more of the following your child should be assessed by an Audiologist.
Hearing Loss can develop at any time. Sudden changes in hearing are usually quite obvious, however, many hearing problems develop slowly over time and other people may be aware of your hearing difficulties before you are.
If you answer YES to one or more of the following you should be assessed by an Audiologist