What to expect from a hearing test.
The standard hearing test is called an Audiogram and is approximately 30 minutes in duration. Headphones are fitted over your ears and beeps are then sounded at various frequencies. The Audiogram provides an overall assessment of your ability to hear those beeps and indicate whether you have a hearing issue.
If the Audiogram indicates an issue with your hearing, our fully qualified audiologist will use a series of other diagnostic tests to determine where your hearing issue is located in the ear and what is causing it. This helps us identify a lasting solution for your hearing needs. The types of tests we might conduct include:
Video otoscope – this tiny, fibre optic camera utilises real-time video to assess the health of your ear canal and ear drum. It will identify any lingering infections, irritated canals, foreign objects, perforations, bony growths, chlostenomas (skin growths) and impacted wax that may be contributing to your hearing issues.
Tympanometry / Middle ear analyser – used to determine the cause of your hearing loss and whether your it can be remedied with a hearing aid or some other medical intervention. Using variations in air pressure, tympanometry evaluates the mobility of the eardrum, the condition of the small conduction bones in the middle ear and can identify abnormalities such as fluid behind the ear, perforation or bone disarticulation.
Acoustic reflexes - this test stimulates a nerve impulse and checks the health of the nerve that carries sound from the ear.
OAE Testing - Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) are low-intensity sounds generated from functioning outer hair cells within the inner ear. This test measures the production of OAEs to provide an accurate assessment of cochlea hearing loss. The audiologist will place a small device in the outer ear canal that uses a loudspeaker to deliver a series of brief clicks to stimulate the production of OAEs. The device’s inbuilt microphone then captures the resulting OAEs. This is a simple and non-invasive test that doesn’t require any interactive feedback from the participant and provides a reliable assessment of inner ear health.
Speech mapping - If you have hearing aids, you want to be sure they are customised to your individual needs. Speech mapping allows your audiologist to fit and program your hearing aids for the voices and sounds you want to hear every day.
Using a small microphone placed in the ear canal, your audiologist will use state-of-the-art equipment to visualize in real-time on a wall-mounted screen what you are hearing through your hearing aids. You can see the adjustments your audiologist makes and can participate in the process, giving you and your family members the opportunity to understand the differences that hearing aids can make to your hearing ability.
Real Ear Measurement - This is a short test of up to 20 minutes that ensures your hearing aid is delivering the right amount of sound to your eardrum. Once your hearing aid is fitted and programmed, your audiologist will insert a tiny probe that sits close to the ear drum. It will then measure the sound delivered to your eardrum to determine whether your hearing aid provides the right amplification for your hearing loss.