Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations
It is a good idea to establish a baseline hearing assessment if you have concerns for hearing loss, family history of hearing loss, or are after the age of 65. A comprehensive hearing evaluation is the first step to determine your hearing ability/deficits. The finding will give you information about the degree, type, and configuration of your specific hearing loss.
A diagnostic hearing evaluation may include the following tests:
- Air conduction testing to determine the level of hearing loss
- Bone conduction testing to assist in identifying the nature of the hearing loss Speech testing
- Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) testing to assess the inner ear
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing to asses the auditory nerve
- Tympanometry or acoustic immittance testing to assess middle ear function
The diagnostic hearing evaluation is covered by most health insurance policies, though you may need a referral from your primary care physician to qualify for coverage.
Why is a diagnostic evaluation necessary?
Diagnostic hearing evaluations identify hearing loss, and give your audiologist important information to help determine the best course of action for treatment. Some types of hearing loss can be treated medically or surgically, so it's important that these types of hearing losses be ruled out before hearing aids or other treatments are considered.
What Can I Expect During a Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation?
Generally, the hearing evaluation is 30 minutes. You will be escorted to a sound treated booth where either inserts/head phone will be placed in your ears. The hearing care professional will give you instructions prior to each test and ensure a relaxing stress free environment. After the test the hearing care professional will discuss all details of the examination with you and your loved ones if present at the appointment. You will then have a unique ability to experience what you have been missing. The hearing care professional will calibrate and tune hearing aids specific to your hearing needs based on the findings and offer you a live demonstration. It is advised that you bring a loved one with you as a familiar voice to listen to during this demonstration. The hearing care professional will show you options of hearing aids appropriate for you based on your hearing test results and ear anatomy. This is the selection of style. Once you’ve selected the style it is now time to focus in the level of technology. The hearing aids are extremely sophisticated computer chips, and the technology inside the hearing aid is contingent on your lifestyle. After establishing the style and the level of technology the best is saved for last
and that is color selection. It is wise to select the color to go with your hair for the discrete route. However, if you would like to have fun with your hearing aids you can initial them and select from a wide array of colors.
Above all, don't be afraid to ask questions. You will want to be clear on any information you receive so that you can be an active participant in finding hearing solutions that work best for you and your lifestyle.