If you failed a basic hearing screening or have been referred to Norriton Hearing Center for a diagnostic audiologic evaluation, you may have hearing loss. A complete diagnostic evaluation, including various hearing tests, will determine if you have hearing loss.
If hearing loss is detected, the evaluation will identify the degree of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss and whether the condition is chronic or temporary. In the case of permanent hearing loss, the audiologist at Norriton Hearing Center may recommend the use of hearing aids to improve your listening experience and your quality of life.
What tests are included?
The number and type of hearing tests to be conducted as part of your diagnostic audiologic evaluation will depend on your medical history and what is already known about your suspected hearing loss.
Not every test will need to be performed for each patient. The Norriton Hearing Center audiologist will use pure tone audiometry (also known as pure tone testing), bone conduction testing and speech testing.
In addition, the audiologist will use an otoscope to examine your ears.
All hearing tests are painless and do not require any advance preparation.
Pure-tone audiometry or pure-tone testing determines the lowest level you can hear both high and low-frequency tones. During this hearing test, you will wear headphones and the audiologist will test each ear independently. The results are recorded on an audiogram, which creates a visual representation of your ability to hear.
At the end of the hearing tests, the audiologist will interpret the audiogram as part of a review of your hearing tests.
Bone conduction testing
If the pure tone testing indicates that you are experiencing hearing loss, the audiologist will perform bone conduction testing to identify where the hearing loss is occurring. You will wear a different sort of headgear for this exam. This headgear includes a small box that fits behind each ear. The pure tone testing is repeated, and the results compared.
When the results of the two tests are similar, this indicates that sensorineural hearing loss is present. When the results differ, conductive hearing loss must be further investigated.
Speech threshold testing
When hearing loss is discovered, its important to determine how this affects your ability to hear and process speech.
Speech threshold testing determines at what levels you can comprehend speech and may also compare your ability to hear speech in a quiet environment with your ability to hear and process speech with background noise.
The audiologist at Norriton Hearing Center may perform other tests to evaluate your hearing. This may include:
- Otoacoustic emissions
- Auditory brainstem response
Using the latest technology, Norriton Hearing Center can perform hearing tests on people of all ages, from infants to seniors.