You’re ready to book your hearing test with us at SLENT. That’s great news. Getting yourself to this point is a big achievement. Recognizing and accepting that you may be struggling with hearing loss is difficult but now that you’ve taken that first step, we’re here to let you know that things can only get better. And we’re going to help with a thorough assessment of your hearing.
There are lots of different tests we can do. Our audiologist will sit down with you and discuss your concerns and symptoms. You’ll have the chance to ask any questions as we explain which tests we’ll need to carry out for you, how they work and what they’ll tell us.
So you know what to expect before you arrive, below is a quick rundown of the tests we perform. The names of the tests can be quite a mouthful but the tests themselves are straightforward to carry out.
Pure tone audiometry
A special type of sound called pure tones will be played through headphones connected to a bone oscillator, which is just a small square-shaped piece of kit that sits against your head behind your ear. We’ll play these pure tones at different volumes and pitches. Every time you hear a sound, you simply raise your hand or push a button. This will help us determine the type and extent of your hearing loss.
We’ll place a small probe into your ear canal and it will start taking recordings. These measurements will tell us about the health of your middle ear, the part that contains your eardrum and 3 small bones that connect the eardrum to your inner ear.
Stapedial reflexes and reflex decay
Using a probe placed in your ear, we will check how well your auditory nerve is working. This is the nerve that sends signals to your brain from your ears so that you can process the sounds that enter your ears. If it isn’t working properly you may need to see a physician for follow-up.
Distortion product otoacoustic emissions
This checks how well special cells in your inner ear called outer hair cells are working. This test is especially helpful in children or other hard to test patients, as well as for checking if you have a condition called tinnitus.
This checks how well you can understand conversational speech when there is background noise. This is a common challenge for those with hearing loss and something that hearing aids can help with.
Hearing aid evaluation
This is how we’ll match your hearing needs with a hearing aid system that works best for you and your lifestyle. It involves some of the tests we’ve already covered, such as pure tones and checking how well you can understand speech, but also includes a physical examination of your ears and discussions about what to expect from your hearing aids, as well as a demonstration of how to use them.
We’re almost at the end!
The next section focuses on 3 tests for infants and children.
We use this test to check the hearing of young infants. It is not invasive. We play certain sounds and then look at how they respond.
Visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA)
For infants aged 6 months to 2 years, we play sounds and teach them to look towards the sound when they hear it. Every time they do this they get a ‘reward’, which is usually seeing a toy move or light up.
We play sounds at different volumes and pitches through headphones and then ask your child to point to a toy, or a similar simple instruction, every time they hear a sound. We try to make this as fun as possible.
Now you know what to expect, do you feel ready to book your appointment?
If you have any questions, please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to answer them before booking you in for your hearing test.