Hearing Testing - Audiologic Evaluation for Adults
Dr. Janie P. Barnett, Au.D., who is a highly trained doctoral level audiologist, performs state of the art audiological evaluations in our office daily. She has many years of experience performing diagnostic hearing evaluations for our youngest pediatric patients to our oldest geriatric patients, from the most basic of problems to the most complicated medical/surgical hearing conditions that Dr. Hammerschlag treats.
ADULT AUDIOLOGICAL SERVICES THAT WE PROVIDE INCLUDE:
Basic comprehensive audiograms
- Pure tone threshold testing: This includes obtaining air conduction and bone conduction pure tone thresholds, which indicate whether the hearing loss is conductive, mixed or sensorineural – delineating the location of the hearing loss: outer ear, middle ear, inner ear or a combination of the parts.
- Speech reception thresholds: The softest level at which speech is heard.
- Word recognition (speech discrimination): How clearly the person can understand phonetically-balanced words designed specifically for this test.
- Impedance Testing includes three tests:
- Tympanometry (acoustic immittance): An objective test of middle ear function used to test the condition of the middle ear and mobility of the eardrum(tympanic membrane). A probe is placed in the ear canal, generating a tone, and variations of air pressure in the ear canal are produced. This test further distinguishes between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
- Acoustic Reflex testing (stapedius muscle): This is accomplished during the tympanometric test. The acoustic reflex is a muscle contraction occurring in the middle ear in response to loud sound; the presence or absence of this reflex yields more information about the severity, location and cause of the hearing loss.
- Acoustic Reflex Decay Testing: this tests how long the stapedius (acoustic) reflex can be sustained. A loud tone is presented for 10 seconds through a probe in the ear canal, and the muscle response is recorded. This test gives helpful information on the location of the hearing problem.
Specialized Audiological Tests
An OAE is a sound, which is generated from the outer hair cells of the inner ear. This sound can be evoked and recorded in the office. A probe is placed in the ear canal through which sounds of varying frequencies, or pitch are heard for 1 1/2 minutes. The presence of OAEs indicates good outer hair cell function, which is in agreement with normal or near normal hearing. The absence of the OAE reveals outer hair cell dysfunction, indicating a probable hearing loss. This test is used for the difficult-to-test population, some patients with tinnitus, and also assists in the differential diagnosis of cochlear (inner ear) vs. higher level auditory problems, such as auditory neuropathy.