The conventional battery of tests includes:
Pure tone hearing tests are conducted in a sound treated room. Either earphones or insert phones are used. You will hear various tones at different pitches and at different loudness levels. Every time you hear one, you will be asked to press a button. Threshold is measured when you can hear the tone 50% of the time.
Speech tests will be conducted to measure your ability to understand one-syllable words. Speech thresholds are also measured using phonetically balanced words. You will be asked to repeat words.
Results are recorded on a graph called the Audiogram. The round / O / is for the right ear and the / X / is for the left ear.
“A typical audiogram comparing normal and impaired hearing. The dip or notch at 4 kHz as shown, or at 6 kHz, is a symptom of noise-induced hearing loss.”
Acoustic Immitance will be measured by an inserted probe tip. The test is automatic and you have nothing to do. Stapedial reflexes will also be measured. The main purpose is to assess middle ear function. Results are plotted on a graph called Tympanogram.
Type A tympanogram. Type AD has a high peak height. The middle curve is normal. Type AS has a reduced peak height.
How Do We Test Children?
For children, it is important to have a diagnostic audiological evaluation whenever a hearing loss is suspected. Early identification and management of a hearing loss is the key to successful communication, social and educational development for the child.
Audiometry is used with children aged approximately 6 months to 2 ½ to 3 years. Sounds are presented to the child either through small earphones or speakers and their responses are observed by the audiologist.
Play Audiometry is used with children aged approximately 3 years to 5 years. Sounds are presented to the child through small earphones and they are taught to complete a play action (such as placing a peg in pegboard) whenever they hear a sound.
The audiologist may also perform otoscopy (examining the ear canal) and tympanometry (test of the middle ear) to determine the health of the ear canal and the middle ear.
Other specialized tests may be used for infants and young children, as well as children and adults with developmental and cognitive impairments. These more-specialized tests are automatic and allow the audiologist to test patient's hearing when they are not able to actively participate in the tests or evaluation.
Other tests may include:
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR)
- Otoacoustic emissions (OAE)
These test are used for children up to approximately 6 months of age and require a referral through the provincial Ministry of Health Infant Hearing Program.
After the evaluation, you should generally expect to have time to review the results with the audiologist. He or she can interpret the tests for you, answer your questions, provide you with information and referrals as needed, as well as begin planning for treatment, if indicated.
Audiologists are specialists in hearing and hearing rehabilitation. Never hesitate to ask your audiologist for clarification or further information on anything you do not understand