1. Do you have difficulty hearing in noisy restaurants?
2. Do people sound like they are mumbling?
3. Do you have difficulty understanding speech on the telephone?
4. Can you understand men better than women or children?
5. Do you seem to hear better out of one ear than the other?
6. Do you have difficulty hearing someone who is speaking in a whisper?
7. Do you find yourself turning up the volume on the TV?
8. Do your family members make comments about your ability to hear?
9. Do you frequently ask people to repeat themselves?
10. Have you been or are you frequently exposed to loud noises?

If you've answered yes to one or more questions above, it may indicate possible hearing loss. Contact us to schedule an appointment with our Doctor of Audiology to learn more.

 


Diagnostic Audiological Evaluations

The Doctor of Audiology will perform a thorough evaluation of the hearing mechanism, beginning with a history interview. History questions will focus on the following areas:

  1. Conditions at birth or during adolescence that may have an impact on hearing.
  2. Exposure to workplace, military, or recreational noise.
  3. Medications prescribed for medical conditions.
  4. Past surgeries.
  5. Family traits and hereditary anomalies that may be associated with hearing loss.

VISUAL INSPECTION OF OUTER EAR AND EAR DRUM

Following the history, the Doctor of Audiology will examine the outer ear with an otoscope or video otoscope. The audiologist can observe any damage caused by the use of cotton applicators ("Q-tips"), trauma, or chronic infection. The doctor can also observe the condition of the eardrum and determine whether the ear canal may have a buildup of earwax causing a hearing loss.

AUDIOLOGICAL EVALUATION

After considering a patient's history and performing a visual inspection of the outer ear, the doctor will perform an audiological evaluation composed of a series of tests. These tests may include but are not limited to:

TYMPANOMETRY

The first test is Tympanometry. Tympanometry is an examination used to test the condition of the middle ear and mobility of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and the conduction bones, by creating variations of air pressure in the ear canal.

PURE TONE

The second test that is conducted is the pure tone hearing test. This is conducted in a soundproof booth. The Doctor will place insert headphones that are connected to an audiometer into your ear. The audiometer transmits a series of tones at a variety of volumes into your ears to determine the exact point or "threshold" at which you can hear various frequencies of sounds. When you hear a sound, you will press a button. Other testing strategies are used when testing young children and infants.

SPEECH TESTING

Next is speech testing, where you will listen to a series of one and two syllable words at different volumes and be asked to repeat them. This will determine the level at which you can not only detect, but understand, speech. Another test that may be conducted is a speech in noise test. This will determine how well you hear sentences in a noisy environment.

OAEs

Acoustically evoked otoacoustic emissions testing allows the Doctor to understand how the outer hair cells of your inner ear are working.

The results of your tests will be recorded on a form called an audiogram, which the Doctor will review with you. The audiogram reflects your hearing loss in frequencies and decibels. You will be shown the type, pattern, and degree of hearing loss, as well as the percentage of normal conversational speech that you are still able to hear. Your Doctor will then relate these results to your concerns about hearing. The next step is to consider treatment solutions.