Comprehensive Hearing Exams
As part of our Audiology program, we provide comprehensive hearing testing. These tests account for all parts of the ear and their contribution to overall hearing. In addition, these tests check for speech understanding. Because of our top notch equipment, we can test individuals of all ages and abilities.
Although a hearing exams can alert you to potential hearing problems, a full hearing evaluation performed by a licensed provider is needed to fully understand and address hearing loss effectively. This is because hearing screenings are basic ``pass or fail`` tests that quickly determine if your hearing levels are normal.
You've probably had one of these tests as a student or during a PCP visit. While these screenings can raise a red flag on some problems, they'll never help your doctor determine the type or degree of hearing loss you’re living with.
When do you need Comprehensive Hearing Exams?
That’s where Comprehensive Hearing Exams comes in. Also known as a hearing evaluation or hearing exam, this Comprehensive Hearing Exams is performed by a licensed audiologist or hearing instrument specialist. It includes a review of your case history, several in-depth tests, and a comparison of your results to normal, age-appropriate hearing levels.
The results of the Comprehensive Hearing Exams will determine whether your hearing loss is a result of problems in the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, or a combination. It will also give your provider insight into what your best treatment plan will be.
Are There Different Types Of Hearing Loss?
Yes! Proper audiological testing or Comprehensive Hearing Exams is also helpful in diagnosing specific types of hearing loss, which may include:
- Conductive (which occurs when sound waves cannot travel normally through the ear)
- Sensorineural (which is caused by damage to the inner ear or the nerve from the ear to the brain)
- Mixed (which is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss)
- Audiological exams will also help your doctor decide what treatment to move forward with – medical treatment, hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing systems, or cochlear implants.
How Will I Know If I Have Hearing Loss?
Often, years will go by before you actually realize you have hearing loss. Since the changes happen slowly, most people won’t notice them for a long time. Chances are that if you suspect you might have hearing loss, you probably do – especially if you’ve noticed one or more of the following:
- Turning the TV up louder to hear it
- Struggling to understand people on the phone
- Having to ask others to repeat themselves often
- Complaints from friends or family members
- Avoiding social situations
- Laughing at jokes to try to cover that you can’t understand them
What Kinds Of Tests Do These Exams Include?
The specific tests performed during your Comprehensive Hearing Exams will depend on your age and what is known already about your hearing issues. With that in mind, here are some of the tests that may be needed during an audiological evaluation:
- Air conduction: A test where you listen to various tones through headphones and report on which ones you do – and don’t – hear.
- Pure tone bone conduction: A test where a small vibrator behind the ear sends tones directly to the hearing organs of the inner ear. This is used to help your doctor determine if your problems are coming from the outer/middle ear or from the inner ear.
- Tympanometry: This test assesses the middle ear specifically, i.e. the eardrum and three small connecting bones.
- Otoacoustic emissions: This test evaluates the functioning – or lack therefore – of the outer hair cells in the inner ear.
- Sentence-in-noise (SIN) test: This test evaluates your ability to understand conversational speech in noisy environments. It’s especially helpful in deciding whether or not hearing aids in noisy situations might be needed to improve your quality of life.
- Speech reception: A test to help determine the faintest level at which you can understand spoken words.
Can Hearing Loss Happen Suddenly?
Sometimes hearing loss is severe and rapid. If you notice your hearing deteriorating quickly, we encourage you to get it tested as soon as possible. Potential causes for sudden hearing loss can be due to illness or severe stress. That is why you need Comprehensive Hearing Exam to evaluate those conditions. You can also use your CareCredit Card to pay for the services not covered by your Insurance provider.