Comprehensive Audiologic Evaluation

All audiological decision making starts with completion of a thorough audiological evaluation, the results of which are referred to as an audiogram. The audiogram is a written summary of these results which is not only utilized in our facility, but can also be forwarded to physicians, employers, and attorneys as needed.

  • Annual audiological evaluations are covered by most health insurance companies.
  • Depending on your plan, a small co-pay may apply.

The Process

Case History

The hearing test begins with collection of data about your hearing loss and history, including but not limited to questions about:

  • Perceived difficulty hearing
  • Family history of hearing loss
  • History of noise exposure (recreational and/or occupational)
  • List of current medications
  • History of ear surgery

Informal Otoscopy

Prior to testing the ears are examined with an otoscope to make sure the ears are free of wax, that the ear drum is intact and that there are no signs of infection.

Tympanometry

A small probe is placed in the ear and the pressure in the ear canal is changed.  This allows for assessment of middle function and ear drum mobility.

Pure tone audiometry

This is the typical “hearing test” that everyone thinks of.  Calibrated pure tones for a series of frequencies are presented to the patient under headphones (air conduction) and through a bone conduction oscillator which sits behind the ear to determine the softest levels at which the patient can hear (thresholds).  This threshold information is obtained typically from 250 Hz through 8000Hz in each ear and provides information about the degree or severity of the patient’s hearing loss.  The differentiation between bone and air conductions thresholds allows for determination of the type of hearing loss (conductive, sensorineural, or mixed).

Speech Audiometry

During the last portion of the test, tests of speech threshold and speech discrimination are used to assess comprehension of complex speech signals. The patient is asked to repeat words that are recited to them at a comfortable level (speech discrimination) and at the softest level at which speech can be recognized (speech reception threshold). Speech discrimination scores allow the audiologist to predict possible outcomes with use of amplification. This is a very useful counseling tool for establishing realistic expectations for performance with hearing aids.

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Yesterday Braden Baker celebrated his 11th birthday in Panajachel, Guatemala while seeing first hand the hearing devices he helped provide through his donations. Stay tuned as we sit down with Braden...

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