Many adults report that the last time they recall having a hearing assessment is sometime in elementary school, yet hearing loss is the third most common medical complaint in older adults. Diagnostic hearing assessment is a combination of tests to determine whether hearing loss exists, severity of the loss, pitches affected, impact on communication abilities, and identification of the portion of the auditory system that has been affected.
Hearing assessment can be completed even for newborn infants and preschoolers as well as school-age children. Do not worry if your child is unable to answer questions or identify sounds or objects, there are physiologic test methods to provide information regarding hearing sensitivity that require no active response from the patient. Concerns regarding your child’s responsiveness to voices or environmental sounds as well as delayed speech and language development warrant scheduling a hearing assessment.Below, you’ll find a list of tests offered by DMG Hearing & Audiology along with a description of each.
Audiometric testing is individualized and may be conducted in various ways depending on the age and ability of the patient. Typically, air conduction audiometry is completed in addition to bone conduction audiometry in order to determine the type and severity of the hearing loss. Test results will allow the audiologist to diagnose conductive, mixed or sensorineural hearing loss.
Otoacoustic Emissions Testing
This type of test is an objective evaluation of the hearing organ, the cochlea, and the outer hair cells within it. Sounds are conducted through the middle ear to the inner ear, stimulating the outer hair cells which emit a response called an otoacoustic emission. These measured responses provide information regarding hearing sensitivity.
This study may include various testing including Tympanometry, Acoustic Reflexes and Decay. Tympanometry is responsible for evaluating the function of the middle ear; this includes the eardrum and middle ear bones. This test can be helpful in confirming medical problems in the ear such as fluid build-up, ear infection or issues with the ear bones. Acoustic reflexes and decay evaluate origin of hearing loss.
Eustachian Tube Function (ETF)
In some instances, ETF may be completed as part of the Immittance testing to ensure proper function of the Eustachian Tube.
A VNG may be ordered to assist your Otolarynologist in determining the origin of dizziness or vertigo. An audiologist will conduct the testing and provide a report for your otolaryngologist. The process consists of several tests in which the your eye movements are recorded by camera.
Auditory Brainstem Response Testing (ABR)
An ABR is another type of objective evaluation tool used to obtain information regarding a patient’s hearing. In addition to adults, this test is used in diagnosing hearing problems in newborns, toddlers and preschoolers or patients who cannot answer questions or identify objects. The ABR test relies on the brain’s responses to different types of stimuli presented at various sound levels to assist in diagnosis hearing loss. This type of testing is ordered when traditional audiometry cannot be completed or when further information is needed to rule out possible medical issues.
This type of test is used to assist in diagnosing Meniere’s Disease. The audiologist will use a pair of sticker electrodes and special earphones to study how the ear canals present sounds. The results will determine if the sense organs of each ear responds appropriately when stimulated.