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The Audiogram:An audiogram is a graph that is used by the audiologist to document results from the hearing evaluation. It demonstrates how softly a person can hear certain sounds. Along the top of the graph are the frequencies (pitches) that were tested and down the side of the graph shows loudness (in decibels). The softest levels you could hear at each frequency and at each ear are charted with symbols.
Hearing Tests & Procedures
Behavioral Hearing Tests:Having your hearing tested is not unpleasant and you will be under the care of qualified professionals at all times.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry:Testing procedure for children aged approximately 5 months to 2 years. The child is taught to turn their head to a reinforcing toy or video each time they hear a sound. The child sits on a parent's lap in the sound room. Earphones may be worn depending on the child's cooperation.
Conditioned Play Audiometry:Testing procedure used with children age 2 to 5 years. The child is taught to play a game (throw a block in a bucket or put a peg in a board) each time they hear a sound. The child wears earphones and sits independently or on a parent's lap in the sound room.
Conventional Audiometry:Testing procedure used with children over the age of 5 through adulthood. The individual presses a button or raises their hand each time a sound is heard. This test determines the softest sounds the individual can hear for a variety of sounds at each ear.
Speech Testing:The individual is asked to repeat a list of words in quiet to determine optimum performance in a controlled setting. Speech testing with background noise may also be completed to determine how well an individual hears in noise.
Tympanometry:Assesses the health and function of the middle ear system, which includes the eardrum and the bones attached to the eardrum. The patient does not have to respond during this procedure. A soft probe is placed into the ear and air and sound are presented.
Acoustic Reflex Measurement:Assesses the involuntary contraction of a muscle in the middle ear in response to loud sounds. A soft probe is placed in one ear canal and a foam earphone in the other. Loud stimuli are presented and the reflex is measured from the probe.
Otoacoustic Emission Tests:
Otoacoustic Emission Testing:Assesses the function of the sensory hearing cells within the cochlea or inner ear. A soft probe is placed in the ear. A variety of sounds are presented to the ear, and a microphone records the response from the sensory cells within the hearing system. The patient does not have to respond during test and otoacoustic emissions can be measured while the patient is awake or asleep.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR):Band-aid like electrodes are placed on the head. Sound is presented via headphones, and the electrodes average the brain wave responses to sound. This special test allows an audiologist to determine hearing abilities while a child or adult sleeps. If a child cannot sleep soundly for this procedure, sedation may need to be used to obtain accurate results.
Counseling:The Audiologists at Trinity Health provide counseling regarding the type and degree of hearing loss, the effects of the hearing loss on the individual and the family, and management options immediately following testing.
Hearing loss can be classified into the following categories:
- Slight/Minimal Hearing loss (16 to 25 dB HL)
- Mild Hearing Loss (26 to 40 dB HL)
- Moderate Hearing Loss (41 to 55 dB HL)
- Mod.-Severe Hearing Loss (56 to 70 dB HL)
- Severe Hearing Loss (71 to 90 dB HL)
- Profound Hearing Loss (91 dB HL and above)