What happens during an evaluation? |

A hearing evaluation will begin with a discussion between you and the audiologist about your hearing concerns. We will ask about any history of ear surgeries, ear infections, or excessive noise exposure that you may have had. We will use an otoscope to look in your ear. In doing this, we are checking to see the overall status and health of your ear canal and eardrum and being sure that there are no blockages in the ear canal prior to testing.

Next we will conduct tympanometry. This is a test of the middle ear status. It is a very simple and easy test in which a probe is placed in your ear and air pressure is increased and then decreased. This allows us to see in graph form how mobile your middle ear is. Through this test we can diagnose middle ear fluid or pressure and also determine if an ear drum is intact.

You will then be directed in to a sound booth. This allows you to take your test in an environment that is free from distraction. The audiologist will place earphones in your ears and give you some basic instructions. Throughout the test you will be instructed to repeat words back and also to respond when you hear tones. Each ear is tested individually. You will indicate when you hear a tone by raising your hand or pushing a button. You will also be tested by bone conduction. A small bone vibrator will be placed behind your ear. With this device the sound is transmitted through the bone to the cochlea, bypassing the middle and outer ear. This will determine the type of hearing loss present.

With these measures, an audiogram is generated. An audiogram is essentially a graph of your hearing. It represents, from low pitch to high pitch, the lowest possible sound you can detect. The audiogram shows us the type, degree, and configuration of the hearing loss. With this information, we are able to make the proper recommendations for you.