A Hearing Test is performed by a hearing professional to see how your ear works and determine your overall hearing ability. Typically a hearing loss test will begin with a series of questions aimed at learning about anything in your past that may be the cause of any hearing loss that the hearing test picks up. These questions will include a medical history, a work history, a family history and general questions about your view on how you're hearing.
An otoscopic examination will typically take place next, which allows your health professional to view your ear canal and eardrum, as long as, your ear canal isn't occluded with wax or another foreign body. The audiologist or other hearing healthcare professional is also examining your ear canal for things like overall length, shape and general health.
Once your otoscopic examination is completed and found to be healthy and clear your hearing professional will proceed with an air conduction hearing loss test. If it is found that your hearing falls below 25 db at certain frequencies your hearing professional may decide to follow up the air conduction hearing loss test with both a speech test (sometimes called a phonemic regression test) and/or a bone conduction test. It is the scores of the air conduction testing that are used to program your hearing aids. If you choose to have us send you our hearing aids pre-set they will arrive programmed to the most common pattern of hearing loss associated with noise damage and natural aging.
Bone Conduction Hearing Loss Testing determines which part of the ear isn't working properly. If bone conduction scores match air conduction scores the type of hearing loss is sensorineural and means that the hearing loss is located in the inner ear. This is by far the most common type of hearing loss that we find during our hearing loss tests. If bone conduction scores fall within normal hearing thresholds the type of hearing loss is conductive and means that the hearing loss is located in the outer or middle ear. Lastly, if bone conduction scores don't match air conduction scores and also don't fall within normal hearing thresholds it means the hearing loss is mixed, or a combination of both sensorineural damage and conductive impairment.
Speech tests are sometimes performed to evaluate a person's comfort levels and determine how much speech clarity has been lost. Common tests may include:
SRT: Speech Reception Testing ~ determining the lowest level of speech you can understand
MCL: Most Comfortable Level ~ the decibel level that you find speech the most comfortable for you to listen to in a quiet environment
Speech Discrimination ~ how clearly you can understand speech when it's presented at MCL in a quiet setting
UCL: Uncomfortable Level ~ and finally a test to determine the loudest level of speech you can tolerate before you find it painful
Their are other tests that are sometimes performed on the ears to get more detailed information regarding the function of the eardrum and the inner workings of the middle ear space.
If you've had your hearing tested, we can help you read your audiogram and understand what sections of your audiogram we use to program your hearing aids.