What should I expect during the hearing test evaluation?
There are specific tests that will be done in order to determine the degree of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss, the status of the ear canal and middle ear. The three most common tests that are done during a diagnostic evaluation include pure-tone testing, bone conduction testing, and speech testing.
Otoscopy is performed by the Audiologist looking in your ear with an otoscope. This inspection allows the Audiologist to assess the health of the ear canal, as well as determine the status of the eardrum. Otoscopy also is done to ensure that the ear canal is clear of debris and wax before performing any testing.
Pure-tone Air and Bone Conduction Hearing Testing
Pure tone air conduction testing determines that softest tones a patient can hear at many difference frequencies. Bone conduction is like air conduction testing, only that a different type of headphone is used. Bone conduction testing evaluates the function of the inner ear and hearing nerve, rather than the whole auditory system.
Speech testing is obtained by asking the patient to repeat words. This test will determine the patient's ability to recognize speech in a quiet environment.
Tympanometry is a test that is performed to determine the health of the middle ear. This involves inserting a probe into the ear canal and applying a sweep of pressure into the ear canal.