Your journey to better hearing begins with a comprehensive hearing evaluation. The hearing evaluation will help determine the type and degree of hearing loss you are experiencing, as well as focusing on your specific needs to determine the best treatment options. The visit begins with a review of your comprehensive case history. This helps us determine the extent of your hearing impairment and any specific areas requiring further attention.
Prior to the evaluation, we inspect your ear canal with an otoscope to rule out if the hearing difficulty you are experiencing could be caused by an obstruction or damage to the ear canal or eardrum. Dr. Rophie may remove minor cerumen (wax) build up, but patients with significant wax build up will be referred to a physician for earwax removal prior to the hearing evaluation.
The comprehensive evaluation consists of pure tone audiometry and speech audiometry. Additional testing may also be recommended. Once the testing is completed, Dr. Rophie will discuss your audiogram results and discuss the best treatment options for you. If there is any indication that you are in need of medical treatment, we will refer you to a physician for management.
Air conduction testing is performed using insert earphones or headphones. You will listen to tones of various pitches, one ear at a time, to determine your hearing threshold, or the softest level you can detect at each frequency. Air conduction tests the outer, middle, and inner parts of the ear.
Bone conduction is tested using a bone oscillator that is placed behind the ear on the mastoid bone or on the forehead. The bone oscillator transmits the sound through bone vibration to the inner ear.
The Speech Reception Threshold tests for the softest level you can hear and repeat two syllable words called spondees.
The Word Recognition test assesses the ability to understand words at a comfortable listening level.
Tympanometry testings the health of the middle ear system. A probe is inserted at the entrance of the ear canal and records the movement of the eardrum as the pressure varies.
Speech in Noise Testing
Speech in noise testing assesses understanding conversation in background noise. It provides information directly related to communication difficulty in the real world.