The first step in diagnosing hearing loss is to undergo a hearing evaluation. A comprehensive evaluation consists of a series of individual tests that will help determine the extent and type of hearing loss. Our certified audiologists are skilled in conducting several tests to help determine a solution to your condition. Audiology evaluations consist of a series of tests used to determine whether a hearing loss exists and, if so, measure its type, degree and configuration. An audiologist will assess the results of each individual test to develop a treatment plan geared toward that patient’s unique hearing loss.
Types of hearing evaluations
Hearing tests are completely safe and painless. They are performed in a sound treated area with calibrated headphones to determine accurate hearing thresholds and results are plotted on a graph that shows your hearing response at different frequencies. This is called an audiogram and will help the audiologist determine the best way to treat your hearing loss. A comprehensive audiology evaluation consists of a series of individual diagnostic tests that measure different aspects of your hearing. Following a physical examination and a review of your medical history, you will be given any or all of the following:
Pure Tone Testing
Pure-tone testing (also known as pure tone audiometry) uses air conduction to measure your ability to hear sounds of various pitches and volumes. Wearing headphones, you will be asked to identify a series of tones by raising a hand, pressing a button, or responding verbally. The results are charted on an audiogram, a graph that shows the type, degree and configuration of your hearing loss by comparing pitch (frequency) with loudness (intensity). The pattern recorded will help your audiologist determine your hearing threshold.
Bone Conduction Testing
Bone conduction testing is another type of pure-tone test that measures the inner ear’s response to sound. In this case, a two-pronged metal tuning fork is placed behind the ear or on the forehead. When vibrated, it produces a tone that travels to the cochlea via the skull. Your response determines how well sound travels through different parts of your ear, helping the audiologist diagnose your type of hearing loss. Bone conduction testing is often used in place of air conduction testing when an obstruction in the outer or middle ears is present.
Speech (or word recognition) testing is used to measure your speech reception threshold (SRT) or the faintest speech you can understand 50% of the time. This is compared with your pure-tone test results to confirm the diagnosis. In addition, your ability to separate speech from background noise will be recorded. Speech testing may be administered in either a quiet or noisy environment; results are recorded on the audiogram for easy visual reference.
Even if you do not suspect hearing loss, regular hearing tests should be considered a necessary part of your overall health screening once you reach the age of 50. And they’re not just for older adults; babies and toddlers should have their hearing tested to prevent delays in speech and language development should a hearing impairment exist.
If you have problems with your hearing or want to protect your hearing, call 310-906-4447 today to schedule a consultation and let CHG transform your hearing.