Difficulty hearing can be frustrating and isolating at times. Hearing loss can be caused by several different medical issues. An Audiological evaluation will help to rule out hearing loss and provide other forms of examination. You may be administered or referred to have this evaluation done if you fail a standard hearing test or bring up your difficulty hearing to your doctor.
An Audiological evaluation will help you and your doctor understand the kind of hearing loss you have and how severe it may be. The information discovered by your doctor will allow for a more educated method of treatment. It may also provide you with the cause of your hearing loss.
What tests should I expect?
Audiological testing is administered to determine the severity, type, and condition of the hearing loss. This testing will allow the doctor to better understand the issue. Normally, they will begin with an Otoscopic examination to assure it is not an outer ear or cerumen (ear wax) issue.
Audiological testing begins with you entering a closed off room that is referred to as the “booth”. To determine the severity of your hearing loss, different noises must be played through buds or headphones. These noises will be in a variety of frequencies and will let us know what ranges you are unable to hear. The final step in your evaluation is speech testing. Speech testing allows your doctor to understand your reliability and auditory processing ability.
When the test has concluded the Audiologist should be able to determine what kind of hearing loss you are struggling with: conductive (middle or outer ear) or sensorineural (inner ear or central processing difficulties).
Infants or young children may need different kinds of testing to determine their hearing loss. Play Audiometry or Visual Reinforcement Audiometry may be administered. These tests will be beneficial to determine the severity and type of hearing loss present.
Middle ear testing can also help determine the kind of ear disorder you may have. This testing will consist of tympanometry and acoustic reflex testing and last about 30 minutes. The results of these tests can help the doctor determine if you have a middle ear or eardrum disorder. The doctor should be able to review their findings with you at your visit and explain to you the results. They may refer you to our ENT doctors.