A diagnostic hearing evaluation is individualized based on the history, the reason for the test, and the health status of the individual being tested. The test takes place in a large sound booth (wheel-chair accessible) with a very large windown facing the audiologist. The chair in the booth is touted as "the most comfortable" in East Tennessee!
Testing meets the State of Tennessee's requirements for a hearing evaluation:
At least eight frequencies are measured, depending on the severity of the hearing loss. Tympanograms and acoustic reflex testing is added to test protocol if indicated.
A diagnostic hearing test is necessary to fit an individual with hearing aids, to quantify a sudden hearing loss or to provide helpful information to the physician who referred for a specific reason.
Once you receive your hearing test, an audiologist will interpret results and provide you with specific recommendations.
An auditory processing test may be recommended for people with normal hearing sensitivity but difficulty hearing in some environments.
If the time comes for your hearing to be re-tested, results are compared with the previous exam to estimate the progression of the hearing loss. Symmetry of hearing, word discrimination, and tolerance to loud sounds enables the audiologist to rule out many medical underlying causes for the hearing loss. About 25% of those tested are found to have another medical condition, and they are referred to their primary care physician or to another specialist if indicated. Patient complaints that often trigger a medical referral include one sided deafness, one sided tinnitus (ringing or roaring in the ear), vertigo or imbalance, ear pain or drainage, swallowing difficulties, and chronic Eustachian disorders.
Should I See an Audiologist?
Many times hearing loss goes undetected for years before being diagnosed and properly treated.
You can take a short hearing self-test and see if you currently experience any conditions that are indications of hearing loss.