Adult Hearing Test
Your hearing test will take place in a purpose built, sound proof room that meets the relevant guidelines regarding the minimum level of sound required for an accurate hearing test. It is important to carry out a hearing test in a sound proofed environment to ensure the results of the hearing test are accurate.
Hearing tests take anything from 60-90 minutes and involve:
A Patient History Review
During the patient history review we will go through your hearing related medical history to understand if there was anything in your past that may be effecting your hearing now. This can include things like exposure to loud noise, a job history involving loud noise without the use of hearing protection, ototoxic medications, viral measles, family history etc.
Visual Examination with the use of an otoscope, endoscope or microscope
We visually examine the outer ear and perform otoscopy to view the inside of the ear canal, down as far as the ear drum. This tells us if there’s anything physically obvious hindering your hearing such as a build-up of ear wax (cerumen). By looking at your ear drum we can learn a lot. We check for perforations, infection, scarring, bulging, inversion, swimmers ear and more.
Diagnostic Hearing Tests
Once we have reviewed your history and performed Otoscopy we can move on to the actual testing. We perform a series of subjective and objective testing.
- Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA) – A subjective test
PTA involves the patient wearing a set of ear phones and pressing a button whenever they hear sound through the ear phones.
- Tympanometry – An objective test
Tympanometry is a middle ear test. Your middle ear is located behind your ear drum or what is medically known as the tympanic membrane. This test works by the Audiologist inserting a probe into the ear and pressing a button that releases a puff of air down the ear canal to test the flexibility of the ear drum. This helps to diagnose any issues you may be having in your middle ear such as fluid, infection, perforation or Eustachian tube dysfunction.
- Speech Testing
Speech testing is a good, simple test that allows us to measure how well you can hear speech in a noisy environment. This test works by us presenting sounds to you through headphones and asking you to repeat what you hear.
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) – An objective test
This tests involves a probe going into the ear, puts a sound in your ear and measures the sounds that come back. It is essentially looking at how well, if at all, the hair cells in your inner ear are working. If you’ve had a baby, your newborn will have had this test during their newborn hearing screen. This test determines how well the nerve in the inner ear, the cochlea is working.
Advice & Rehabilitation
Upon the completion of your hearing test you will receive copies of your results from the various tests along with a written report explaining the results to the health care professional (usually your Ear Nose and Throat Consultant or GP).
By the time we have completed testing you will generally fall into one of three categories:
- Your hearing is within normal limits and no further action is necessary.
- You have hearing loss that is suitable for rehabilitation for hearing aids.
- You have a hearing loss that is suitable for rehabilitation for hearing aids but something has flagged during the tests that means you may require further consultation with an Ear Nose and Throat Consultant.
If you require hearing aids we have a number of packages that can be provided to you and if you require further consultation with an Ear Nose and Throat Consultant a referral will be made on your behalf with your permission.