Before a hearing test (or hearing assessment) can be conducted, an audiologist will first take a case history of the patient where after they will perform an otoscopic examination. An otoscopic examination involves the examination of a patient’s ear canal, and it is used to rule out any normal or abnormal obstructions in the outer ear canal, as well as to visually check the health of the eardrum.
After an otoscopic examination has been completed, a tympanometer is used to measure the pressure and volume of the outer and middle ear. Tympanometry enables us to reliably test the function of the outer and middle ear. We also measure acoustic reflexes and according to these we have an indication of how well the middle ear muscles react to loud stimuli. When the Otoscopy and the tympanometry are completed and the results come back clear, the patient is ready for his or her hearing test to begin.
These tests are conducted in a device called a sound booth, and the standard and most common sound booth test, is known as the pure tone audiometry test. This test measures a patient’s air and bone conduction thresholds by playing pure tones to the patient through earphones that are connected to an exterior audiometer. Up to 16 different frequency bands are tested (depending on results), ranging between 250hz to 8000hz are used to test a patient’s hearing sensitivity.
After the pure tone audiometry tests are conducted, two different speech tests are conducted. These consist of Speech Reception Threshold testing and Speech Recognition Testing. These tests give audiologists an indication of how well a person would perform using speech, which is ultimately the signal that we listen to.
Another test that may or may not be conducted according to the case history or the test battery, would be a speech in noise test. This test is also conducted in a soundproof booth with an audiometer, and this test indicates how well a person performs in a noisy environment and can give us guidance on the treatment route that we need to undertake.
Dr Tanja Beeton Audiology provides patients with reliable hearing assessments, performed within Dr Beeton’s on-site, custom built sound booth. By employing the very latest technology, Dr Beeton is able to gain accurate results, which will assist her in helping her patients to the very best of her abilities. If it is found that a patient requires hearing aids, we can provide them with sound advice regarding their various options for hearing aids.
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Tel: +27 21 976 8113
Address: Room 1 | 10 Plein Street | Durbanville
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