Hearing loss is a major public health issue that is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease. Typical adult hearing testing includes:
There are several tests that done together or in separation to determine condition of outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. These tests also help us diagnose the condition and predict whether a hearing loss can be treated medically or need amplification devices.
Otoscopy is the first and most important step in hearing evaluation. It makes sure that outer ear canal is healthy, and free from earwax or infections. In case of plugged ear canal, the rest of the testing is postponed until the earwax clears out as it can affect the test results.
Immittance Testing evaluates middle ear function by assessing how well the eardrum and middle ear bones move. Pathology in this portion of the ear are can cause temporary conductive hearing loss and be treated medically in most of the patients. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent hearing loss.
Pure Tone Audiometry helps identify hearing threshold levels of an individual, enabling determination of the degree, type and configuration of a hearing loss. Speech Recognition Testing determines how well speech is understood and helps detect problems that might exist beyond the hearing nerve. It also gives insight as to how well hearing aids can help.
Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) is a testing that picks up the sound, which is generated from within the inner ear. OAEs are often used as a clinical measure of inner ear health. Inner ear pathologies can cause sensorineural hearing loss and are most common among elder population. Pathologies here are usually permanent and require amplification or surgical assistance.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR) Testing is an objective neurological function test used to estimate hearing levels in difficult-to-test patients. It measures how well sound is transmitted from the hearing nerve to the brainstem. This test is also useful in detecting VIIIth nerve tumour or retro cochlear pathologies.
Other Special testing includes:
- Eustachian Tube Function Test (ETF)
- Alternate Binaural Loudness Balance (ABLB)
- Short Increment Sensitivity Index (SISI)
- Tone Decay Test (TDT)
- Speech in Noise Test (SPIN)
- Reflex Decay Test
Hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to develop communication, language, and social skills. The earlier children with hearing loss start getting services, the more likely they are to reach their full potential.
If you are a parent and you suspect your child has hearing loss, trust your instincts and speak with a hearing professional.
Newborn Hearing Screening is done at the local hospitals as prescribed by a Physician. Those who are referred from the screen must go on to more detailed audiological assessment (usually before 3 months of age) which will include BOA, Tympanometry, OAE and ABR tests.
Behavioral Observational Audiometry (BOA) test will test how a child responds to sound overall. Behavioral Audiometry Evaluation tests the function of all parts of the ear. The child being tested must be awake and actively respond to sounds heard during the test.
Tympanometry Testing evaluates middle ear function by assessing how well the eardrum and middle ear bones move. It also makes sure that sound ear canal is free from earwax or any fluid.
Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) is a testing that picks up the sound, which is generated from within the inner ear. OAEs are often used as a clinical measure of inner ear health. It is a quick objective test and can be done while baby is sleeping.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Testing is an objective neurological function test used to estimate hearing levels in children and difficult-to-test patients. It is an objective testing and is done when child is sleeping. It measures how well sound is transmitted from the hearing nerve to the brainstem.
Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) Testing is designed for children that exhibit learning difficulties, memory issues, problems following directions and behaviors, which interfere with auditory comprehension. Depending on the test result, The Audiologist will recommend suitable treatment option for your child.