Better hearing and success with wearing hearing aids begins with a careful and thorough evaluation of your ability to hear. A diagnostic hearing exam determines the type of hearing loss, the degree of hearing loss, and the treatments possible to assist in hearing better. The hearing health care professionals at Hear Again America use the latest in methodologies and technologies to expertly assess your hearing ability using a variety of hearing tests.
What to Expect from Your Hearing Screening Appointment
Diagnostic Hearing Exam
Diagnostic hearing exams are in-depth evaluations of your hearing. This process may include a review of your medical history, a list of the medications and supplements you take, an examination of the structure of your ear with an otoscope and pure-tone audiometry. In addition, specialized tests are conducted to determine the nature of your hearing loss.
Tympanometry/Acoustic Emittance Test
This isn’t a true hearing test but is a test of the function of the tympanic membrane (the eardrum). Tympanometry may make clear the distinction between conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss when the standard Rinne and Weber tests are not conclusive. This painless procedure involves placing a probe in the ear canal, changing the pressure in the ear, generating a tone and measuring how the tympanic membrane reacts at different air pressures.
Speech testing assesses your ability to hear and comprehend speech in a variety of settings. You may wear headphones and be asked to repeat the words you hear. This test may be performed with and without background noise and the results compared.
Bone Conduction Test
This test is similar to the air conduction test. A tuning fork is struck and then held to your mastoid bone. You indicate when you can no longer hear the tone. Next, the other ear is measured in the same manner. This test is also known as a Rinne Test. If you have conductive hearing loss, the amount of time you hear the tone will be longer than the air conduction test. If you have sensorineural hearing loss, the amount of time you hear the tone with the air conduction test will be longer.
Air Conduction Test
Health care professionals use an air conduction test to determine how your ears respond to sound in the air around the ear. This simple and painless procedure is also known as the Weber test. It involves striking a tuning fork and hold it close to your head. The amount of time you can hear the sound is recorded and compared to the results of your bone conduction test. The specialist may also hold the tuning fork in the middle of your head and then ask if you hear from one side or the other once the fork is struck.
Industrial Hearing Screening
Hearing screenings are pass/fail tests that determine if hearing loss is a possibility. If you work in a noisy environment, the federal government and some states require you undergo regular hearing screenings, and your employer may also have to maintain a hearing conservation program. Hear Again America helps companies comply with these requirements. In addition to industrial screenings, children may be given a hearing screening at school or as part of a regular physical exam. Many times, community health fairs include a free hearing screening. If you fail a hearing screening, you will be referred for a complete diagnostic hearing exam.
If you suspect you have hearing loss or have failed a hearing screening, the hearing health care specialists at Hear Again America are ready to help you with an expert assessment and diagnosis. Call today to schedule your free hearing test.