You will be placed in a sound treated room. Your ear canals will be examined with an otoscope to ensure that they are not blocked by cerumen (ear wax) or other debris before testing begins.
Head phones will be placed on your ears and the audiologist will leave the room to complete the testing. You will be able to see the audiologist through a window in the bound booth. You will be asked first to repeat Spondaic Words (baseball, hotdog, for example) that are spoken by the audiologist. This is called Speech Reception Threshold testing or SRT. The volume of the words will gradually get softer until you can no longer hear them. The softest level in decibels (dB) at which you can understand the words is your SRT for that ear.
The next step is to determine how softly you can hear tones, called your Pure Tone Threshold. Pitches from 250 Hz (low pitch) to 8000Hz (high pitch) will be tested in octaves. You will be asked to raise your hand or push a button every time you hear the sound. We are again looking for the softest dB level at which you can hear each sound in each ear.
The final step is to determine how well you understand words in each ear at a comfortable loudness level. This is called your Speech Discrimination score. The audiologist will again ask you to repeat words, but the loudness will stay the same throughout the test. The words used are single syllable words from special lists that were developed to contain the sounds that occur in typical everyday speech called Phonetically Balanced Word Lists. You will receive a percentage correct score for each ear.
We can provide onsite or in office OSHA compliant hearing testing. Contact our office for further details.
Tympanometry tests how well your eardrum moves at different air pressures. You will hear a hum, and with some equipment you will also hear several beeps. There will be a slight pressure change in your ear. This test lasts about 10 seconds per ear. A graph will be displayed to show the movement of your eardrum. This is a routine test that gives the audiologist information about the pressure behind the eardrum and whether the eardrum is moving normally. It is also used to determine if there is a hole in the eardrum, or if a pressure equalization tube (PE tube) is open.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing:
Otoacoustic Emissions Testing is sometimes used to obtain information about the functioning of the hair cells inside the inner ear (cochlea). A soft probe tip is placed in the ear canal and tones are presented at medium volume levels. The computer takes readings of echoes or “emssions” that the hair cells in the cochlea produce in the presence of sound. The test usually takes about 5 minutes and requires the patient only to sit quietly.