A diagnostic audiologic evaluation is how the audiologist at the Hearing Wellness Centre determines if you have hearing loss. The tests used will provide information regarding the degree and type of hearing loss you are experiencing. This information is then used to identify the appropriate treatment. This typically involves the use of hearing aids.
What happens during a diagnostic hearing evaluation?
The evaluation appointment takes about an hour. During this time, Dr. Macari will review your medical history and talk to you about your hearing concerns. She’ll ask about situations in which you find it most difficult to hear and any problems you have with tinnitus or balance. Next, pure-tone testing, bone conduction testing and speech recognition testing will identify the sounds you hear clearly and those that you are missing. She will then review the test results with you.
Because hearing loss is often a family issue, the Hearing Wellness Centre encourages you to bring a family member or close friend to this appointment. A diagnostic hearing evaluation is completely painless and doesn’t take any preparation. If you think you have hearing loss, you should schedule a diagnostic hearing evaluation right away.
What tests are conducted?
At a minimum, pure-tone testing, bone conduction and speech recognition tests will be performed.
Pure-tone testing determines the softest tone at which you can hear both high and low frequency sounds. It is common for a person to lose the ability to hear high frequency sounds before lower frequencies.
Bone conduction tests are similar to pure-tone tests, but are used to determine the cause of the hearing loss: whether it is conductive or sensorineural as this can affect treatment.
Speech recognition tests your ability to perceive and process speech in a variety of situations.
What other hearing tests are performed?
If hearing aids are prescribed, a highly specialized test will be performed to fine tune the programming of the hearing aids. This is called live speech mapping. Live speech mapping increases the accuracy of your hearing aid programming and results in fewer follow-up appointments to adjust your hearing aids.
What happens during live speech mapping?
You are encouraged to bring a family member or friend to participate in the live speech mapping Process, so the voice used to fine tune your hearing aids is a voice that is intimately familiar to you. Dr. Macari will place small microphones placed in your ears as well as inserting your hearing aids. She will then use these microphones to measure how your hearing aids are working with your ears and your hearing loss. You and your companion will see a visual representation of your hearing and your hearing aid adjustments. This will help you both better understand how your hearing aids help with your hearing.