Purpose of the testing is to determine if there is a hearing loss present and to establish the type, degree (severity) and configuration of the loss. Our center standardly performs the following tests…
It is completed in a sound treated booth- a room with special treatment to the walls, ceiling, and floor to ensure that background noise does not affect test results. Only those sounds that the audiologist introduces into the room, either through earphones or through speakers located in the room, will be heard. Sounds may also be sent through a special headset “vibrator” that has been placed just behind the ear or on the forehead.
The pure tone test is utilized to find the faintest tones a person can hear at selected pitches (frequencies) from low to high. The test is performed with the patient wearing earphones; insert earphones, or a bone transducer (a small vibrator that is placed upon the temporal bone behind the ear). The bone transducer “by-passes” outer / middle ear blockages (wax, middle ear fluid, etc.) and tests the auditory nerve by vibrating the skull bones. By comparing the results from the earphones versus the bone transducer, the audiologist is able to determine if the hearing loss identified is sensorineural (“nerve type hearing loss”) or conductive (outer or middle ear pathology).
The result of pure tone testing is an audiogram. The audiogram is a chart that graphically represents a patients hearing sensitivity by plotting frequency (tone pitch) and intensity (loudness) on the two axes. Note the example below: results are interpreted in conjunction with other threshold measures.
It includes determining speech reception threshold (SRT) and testing of word recognition. Speech reception threshold testing determines the faintest level at which a person can hear and correctly repeat easy-to-distinguish two-syllable (spondaic) words. A separate SRT is determined for each ear.
Tests of word recognition attempt to evaluate how well a person can distinguish words at a comfortable loudness level. The individual being tested repeats words (or points to pictures). The percentage of words correctly repeated is recorded for each ear.