A comprehensive hearing exam is painless and will be conducted by a qualified professional at all times. Some of the major components of an examination include, but are not limited to:
- Otoscopy – A visual examination of the ear canals (our video otoscopes allows you to see inside your own ears)
- Audiometry – Conducted in a sound treated booth, this procedure assesses an individual’s ability to hear various sounds in each ear. Testing with speech is also provided to determine the ability to hear the presence of speech and the ability to understand speech both in quiet and in background noise.
- Tympanometry – This is a quick test that requires no response from the patient. It evaluates both the pressure in the middle ear and the mobility of the eardrum and bones of the middle ear. This test provides a variety of diagnostic information and is a strong indicator of several medical conditions.
- Acoustic reflex – This test identifies a muscle reflex in the ear in response to loud sound. Variations of this test provide a variety of diagnostic information for a variety of medical conditions.
- Oto-acoustic emissions – This test assesses the status of the sensory hearing cells within the inner ear. The patient does not have to respond – this test can be measured with the patient awake or asleep. Various sounds are presented to the ear and a microphone records the responses of the sensory cells.
- Education and counseling – The results of the examination are always explained in easy to understand terms. The need for additional testing or medical evaluation, recommended treatment, the effects of the hearing loss on the individual and their loved ones, and the prognosis for success will also be reviewed. If hearing aids are recommended, a live demonstration is a powerful tool to both recognize the hearing loss and the potential for better hearing.
Other tests will show if you can tell the difference between words that sound alike, such as fin, pin, tin, and thin. This evaluation is performed by one of our four audiologists or two hearing instrument specialists.