Audiology has developed several ways to evaluate hearing over the decades. Today, there is far more than one way to gauge the hearing condition of any particular individual, no matter the age. Audiologists provide specialized hearing treatment that helps people find tailored hearing solutions, and the first step is using any one of these types of hearing evaluations.
Pure tone testing evaluates a patient’s ability to hear based on his or her response to different sounds played. The patient might wear headphones and hear different tones at different pitches and frequencies in one or both ears. If the patient cannot wear the headphones, an audiologist might use a sound booth instead. The test will show the quietest sounds the person can hear at any given pitch.
Speech is perhaps the most crucial type of sound that people can hear. A speech test will show what the patient’s speech reception threshold is, otherwise known as the SRT. The patient will wear headphones and repeat speech in a quiet or noisy atmosphere. One of the top hearing issues people with hearing loss have is the ability to hear speech over background noise.
The outer, middle, and inner ear make up the full structure of the human ear, plus the inner ear’s connection to the brain where signals are translated. The middle ear consists of three tympanic bones called the malleus, incus, and stapes. Young children are most likely to get a middle ear infection, which is where middle ear tests come into play. Middle ear tests include tympanometry, acoustic reflex measures, and static acoustic impedance.
An Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test focuses on evaluating the inner ear. The audiologist will attach electrodes to the patient’s head and see how the brain reacts to different sounds. One does not have to do anything but lie back; a patient can even take the test in his sleep! This hearing evaluation can also be applicable to newborns.
An Otoacoustic Emissions test also measures the inner ear, focusing on the very soft sounds that the vibratory hairs in the cochlea make when they process sounds. A probe placed within your ear will pick up those OAEs if your hearing is regular.
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that are personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.