Hearing (Audiometric) Evaluations
Our audiology clinic will conduct a hearing evaluation, which will include a number of specialized tests. The evaluation is used to help assess whether a patient has normal hearing or has a hearing deficit. By using a battery of tests, a health care professional (audiologist) can determine the type and degree of hearing loss. Tests include:
- pure tone audiometry – to determine hearing loss at specific frequencies
- bone conduction audiometry – used to measure sound transmission in to the inner ear by bypassing the middle ear anatomy
- speech reception threshold – to determine a baseline hearing level
- speech discrimination – to determine a patient’s ability to understand speech
This test measures the movement and integrity of the eardrum (tympanic membrane). It also can determine the absence or presence of fluid in the middle ear. It is helpful in measuring pressures in the middle ear with respect to air pressure in the environment. It is also used to determine if the muscles and ear reflexes are performing properly.
Hearing Aid Evaluation and Dispensing
In many cases, an audiologist will evaluate a patient for hearing loss and make a recommendation to the physician that a prescription for a hearing aid would benefit a patient’s quality of life. Similarly, many audiologists also make “fitting” impressions for ear molds as well as minor adjustments to a hearing aid, if necessary.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
ALDs are used when hearing aids are not sufficient to improve a patient’s hearing problems. ALDs include devices for television, telephone, and FM and infrared amplification for classrooms or theaters.
For swimmers, or individuals in noisy environments or those in the music profession, custom ear molds can provide protection from hearing loss or prevent further loss.