Hearing loss in adults can be inherited or acquired from illness.
Continue reading for information on the hearing tests we perform on adults at Beacon Audiology.
Video otoscopy allows the examination of the ear canal and ear drum. The image (which can be printed) is displayed on a screen for you to see and can be of assistance in identifying physical abnormalities related to your hearing loss.
Tympanometry is used to evaluate the movement of the eardrum and status of the middle ear. It is useful in determining if the middle ear has abnormal air pressure, detecting the presence of fluid that may be related to a variety of conditions including certain ear infections or even allergies (glue ear), a perforation or dislocation of the ossicular bones in the middle ear.
Tympanometry is not a hearing test and the results of this test should always be viewed in conjunction with pure tone audiometry.
Pure-tone Audiometry. A comprehensive hearing assessment consists of several tests. First, we determine the softest sound that can be heard using ear phones. This is called air conduction testing The next test performed is bone conduction testing. A bone vibrator is placed behind the ear to determine the softest sound that can be heard when stimulating the inner ear directly (bypassing the outer ear and middle ear).
Information obtained from these two tests helps to determine the type of hearing loss.
This may include a conductive loss (hearing loss due to problems in the outer and/or middle ear), a sensori-neural loss (hearing loss due to problems in the inner ear—cochlea and auditory nerve), or a mixed loss (a combination of both conductive and sensorineural). The information from these two tests also allows the audiologist to determine the severity of the hearing loss
Otoacoustic emissions (OAE)
Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing is used to assess the integrity of the outer hair cells in the cochlea (inner ear). A probe tip is placed in the ear and a series of sounds are presented.
No behavioural response or co-operation is required. Responses produced by the cochlea are recorded and the test only takes 20-30 seconds. This is a quick, easy and objective test used to assess cochlear function and to rule out the possibility of a hearing loss.
Speech audiometry in conjunction with pure-tone audiometry can aid in determining the degree and type of hearing loss. Speech audiometry provides information regarding an individual's speech discrimination abilities at various intensities as well as the impact that the hearing loss has on audibility and clarity.
It also provides information regarding discomfort or tolerance to speech stimuli and recognition abilities. Speech-in-noise (SIN) testing is also an important component of speech audiometry. Speech- in-noise testing is relevant as listening to speech in the presence of ambient noise is one of the most common complaints that individuals have, particularly when there is a hearing loss present.
Speech-in-noise testing also give the audiologist valuable information when deciding what hearing aid technology should be recommended for each and every individual patient. Speech-in-noise testing is quick and easy This information can be helpful in predicting success of hearing aid use.
Cortical Evoked Response Audiometry (CERA)
Cortical Evoked Response Audiometry (CERA) is an objective test used to estimate the auditory (hearing) threshold.
Neurological responses in response to a sound stimulus are recorded by placing electrodes on the head. The presence of the response and the response characteristics, assists in the estimation of the individual’s hearing ability.
No response from the patient is required. The test is completely objective.