Diagnostic Audiologic Evaluation
Our audiologists have extensive experience working with children and adults. We take a detailed case history and an inventory of your communication difficulties and goals. Diagnostic audiometric testing, including testing for middle ear problems, is conducted in a sound test booth. We provide our patients with a review of the test results, hearing aid consultations, dispensing, verification and post-fitting counseling. Long term follow-up maintenance and adjustments are provided.
Diagnostic Audiologic Evaluations
A comprehensive diagnostic hearing evaluation is completed to determine if a hearing loss is present, and if so, to detail the type and severity of the hearing loss. The components of the evaluation are:
We do a visual inspection of your ear canals. This allows the audiologist to examine if there is an accumulation of ear wax that needs to be removed by the audiologist, or if there is infection or damage to the ear canal or eardrum that must be evaluated by a physician before proceeding with the hearing test.
Pure tone audiometry
Pure tone testing takes place in our large sound-treated booth. The goal of this test is to determine the softest sounds that you can hear at different pitches or pure tones. Air conduction testing is done via regular earphones or with small foam inserts. Bone conduction testing is done with a special head phone placed behind the ear. The graph of these test results constitutes an audiogram. The results help the audiologist determine if the hearing loss originates from the outer, middle ear or the inner ear. The audiogram helps us see which pitches are not audible, and it forms the basis of our explanation of how you hear in the real world.
Testing for young children or adults with cognitive disabilities
Visual reinforcement and conditioned play audiometry are used during hearing tests for children and adults with cognitive disabilities who may not be able to consistently respond to typical adult test procedures. Your audiologist will work with the referring physician and school system to provide for appropriate follow-up care when a hearing loss is detected.
Word lists are presented in each ear via earphones. The Speech Reception Threshold (SRT) is the softest level you can repeat familiar words. Word Recognition testing is conducted in each ear with lists of words presented at an audible, comfortable level. The results--measured in percentage--give us an indication of how clearly you discern words when they are fully audible in a quiet environment. We use these results to assess the integrity of your hearing ability in quiet before hearing aids are fit. Some patients experience 100% recognition when words spoken in a controlled environment. Others have poorer clarity regardless of how loud words are. These scores help us choose the best technology for your hearing and guide our counseling before and after fitting hearing aids.
Tympanometry (Immittance) and Acoustic Reflexes
Tympanometry is completed to assess the function of the middle ear. We measure how well the ear drum vibrates by creating variations of air pressure in the ear canal. A series of moderately loud tones are then presented to check muscle reflexes in each ear. This gives us information about the mechanical functions of the ear. A referral to a physician may be made if these tests are outside of the normal range.
We use a curette to remove cerumen. A curette is a slender tool with a tiny loop at the end that is used to gently lift the cerumen from the wall of the ear canal. If the wax is too hard, or if it clings to the canal wall, we may have you see your physician or ENT to use irrigation and suction.
If you experience pain or discomfort as a result of earwax, or suspect you have a blockage, it's important that you see your doctor as soon as possible to address the issue. Removing earwax doesn't have to be painful and should bring you relief.