The diagnositic hearing test involves testing both ears individually. Each ear’s sensitivity to sound is measured at a full range of pitches, from low tones (bass) to high tones (treble). Speech audiometry is performed to provide information on how well words can be understood at a comfortable volume. The pattern of hearing, or hearing loss, often indicates a specific disorder of the hearing and/or balance system.
Tympanometry provides information about the mobility and status of the tympanic membrane (eardrum). It also tests for abnormal pressure and fluid within the middle ear.
ABR testing provides information regarding the function of the auditory nerve and central auditory pathways. The cochlea generates an electrical nerve impulse in response to sound stimulation. This electrical signal can be tracked through the nervous system non-invasively by sensors placed on the skin of the head. ABR testing does not depend on responses from the patient, and is therefore often useful in testing infants and young children.
OAEs are created by the sensory (hair) cells within the cochlea in response to sound. OAE testing provides information regarding the function of these hair cells and the presence of a functional hearing mechanism. OAE testing does not depend on responses from the patient, and is therefore often useful in testing infants and young children.