Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations
Our Audiologists at Pacific Audiology perform diagnostic hearing tests by using an audiometer to evaluate a person’s hearing sensitivity. There are many other hearing tests used to check the hearing of an individual who has hearing loss or is experiencing hearing related problems.
A diagnostic hearing evaluation is the first step in determining your hearing capability. If you have a hearing loss, it will detail the extent, type, and specifics of your particular hearing loss. The diagnostic hearing evaluation will be performed by an audiologist, usually in his or her office, using equipment called an audiometer.
The diagnostic hearing evaluation consists of a variety of tests to determine the unique aspects of your hearing loss, as well as the level at which you can detect and understand speech. This evaluation can be conducted on people of any age, from newborn infants to seniors.
A diagnostic hearing evaluation may include the following tests:
- Air conduction testing
- Bone conduction testing
- Speech testing
- Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) testing
- Tympanometry or acoustic immittance testing
The diagnostic hearing evaluation is covered by most health insurance policies, though you may need a referral from your primary care physician to qualify for coverage.
Why a Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation is Important
Hearing tests are important as hearing problems can develop without the knowledge of the individual. It is important that these tests be conducted on a regular basis to make sure that you can hear the full spectrum of sound properly.
What Can I Expect During a Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation?
The assessment takes roughly an hour. During the assessment, your hearing ability is evaluated using speech audiometry, pure-tone air and bone conduction audiometry, and acoustic impedance measurements when necessary. Acoustic impedance measures how well the eardrum vibrates when met with sound, and how the ear’s bones transmit that sound to the hearing organ. The results from this evaluation determine the nature and extent of the hearing loss and recommended steps to take for treatment.