This is the traditional hearing test that people have had in the past. We ask the patient to raise his hand or press a button in response to ever softer tones in order to determine the softest sound the patient can hear at a variety of pitches. We also ask the patient to repeat words at a comfortable listening volume in order to measure the ability to understand speech.
Speech in Noise Testing
We ask patients to repeat sentences presented in increasingly louder levels of background noise. This test helps us to determine how much difficulty the person has hearing in background noise and helps us better recommend appropriate hearing aids or other devices.
This is a test of the ear canal and of middle ear function. A probe is placed in the ear canal and the equipment measures ear canal volume, tympanic membrane movement and middle ear pressure. This test is used to diagnose or rule out middle ear disorders.
Acoustic Reflexes and Reflex Decay
The equipment measures a middle ear muscle reflex in response to a loud tone and the ability of the muscle to sustain the reflex over a period of time. In addition to information about the middle ear, we also are testing the neural response to tones.
A probe is placed in the ear canal and the patient hears clicking or tonal sounds. The computer is measuring emissions coming from the inner ear. This is not a test of hearing, but rather a test of physiologic function. Otoacoustic emissions are absent if a person has more than a mild hearing loss.