Michigan Avenue Hearing Health has the systems and expertise in place to properly diagnose and assess the type and severity of any hearing-related issue you may be experiencing.
Learn more about what a hearing evaluation entails below and make sure to schedule a consultation at our downtown Chicago office on Michigan Avenue to speak with one of our qualified hearing specialists today.
What is a Hearing Evaluation?
Commonly called a hearing test, a comprehensive hearing evaluation determines how well a person hears by measuring the sensitivity to sound at different frequencies or pitches. Hearing evaluations are performed in a sound-proof booth using an audiometer that produces different frequencies at varying levels of intensity of loudness (decibels). This test will determine the severity of hearing loss as well as the type of hearing loss. There are many tests that can be performed during a hearing evaluation and Michigan Avenue Hearing Health provides a comprehensive evaluation to ensure accuracy in the diagnosis.
What Happens in a Comprehensive Hearing Evaluation
Our doctor of audiology at Michigan Avenue Hearing Health uses state of the art equipment to conduct a diagnostic, comprehensive hearing evaluation that will determine the type and degree of hearing loss and evaluate the general health or status of the middle ear. The test includes: pure tone air and bone conduction testing, speech testing and may include tympanometry and acoustic reflex testing.
Pure Tone Air Conduction Test
Pure tone air conduction audiometry is used to identify hearing threshold levels. The sound is delivered by inserting earphones or headphones to assess each ear individually. Pure tone air conduction testing assesses the entire auditory pathway. It is commonly used in hearing screenings and provides the audiologist with useful information about the degree of hearing loss.
Bone Conduction Test
Hearing loss can have a variety of causes which is why a variety of tests should be conducted. Bone conduction audiometric testing uses a bone vibrator to transmit sounds through bone vibration to the inner ear. This eliminates any possible interference from the middle or outer ear and provides a better picture of the type of hearing loss so that it can be properly managed.
A comprehensive hearing evaluation also includes speech testing which measures the softest a person can hear speech (speech reception threshold-SRT) as well as word recognition ability, which is how well a person understands speech at a comfortable listening level. The speech reception threshold also serves as a cross check for reliability of the pure tone air conduction results. Speech testing is conducted in a sound-proof booth using an audiometer with insert earphones or headphones.
A more advanced test used in hearing evaluations, tympanometry tests the middle ear, the eardrum and the bones in the middle ear. The test creates variations of air pressure in the ear canal and can be highly effective in diagnosing middle ear fluid, eardrum perforation or ossicular disarticulation and eustachian tube dysfunction.
Acoustic Reflex Testing
Another important test that can be run within the office of Michigan Avenue Hearing Health is the Acoustic Reflex test, which monitors a patients’ response to loud sounds. This test measures involuntary muscle contraction in the middle ear to external sound stimuli. The reflex may be elevated or absent in the presence of middle ear pathology, retrocochlear pathology and or hearing loss.