At Hawkins Hearing, we are proud of the quality of service we offer and the help that we give our Patients. In order that we give the best help possible we have invested heavily in state of the art equipment for our audiology suite. Equipment that allows us to deliver an experience to our Patients like no other.
We will undertake comprehensive diagnostic testing of your hearing in our audiological suite. We use internationally recognized best practice processes to ascertain exactly what is going on and what is the best option for you. We offer a comprehensive hearing healthcare test, evaluating all the functions of your hearing system. The diagnostic evaluation is made up of several tests that give us the information we need to fully evaluate hearing function. This allows us to fully understand exactly what is going on with your hearing.
The hearing test is imperative to determine if a hearing impairment exists and what level that impairment is. Audiologists are professionals trained in the evaluation of the auditory system. Prior to a hearing test, the audiologist will first examine your ears with an otoscope, looking for any visible conditions which may warrant a medical referral.
This is followed by an audiometric evaluation which in essence consists of the following tasks:
Additional testing may include:
The results of the hearing test are reported on an audiogram. For a fuller explanation, read on.
The procedure can involve the following tests;
Pure tone testing (Audiometry)
Speech testing (Audiometry)
Acoustic Reflex Threshold testing
Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (DPOAE) testing
This group of tests is plotted on our system which allows us to assess the impact that your hearing loss is having on your understanding of speech sounds. It helps to answers the question of whether or not hearing sensitivity is within normal range, or if there is a hearing loss or hearing sensitivity that is outside of the range of normal. The test results are also used as a tool to reveal exactly how your loss is effecting your understanding of speech in both quiet and noisy situations. This test and the rest of the group of tests also give us information toward a diagnosis of ear abnormalities. This test is also an excellent tool for assisting us in the recommendation of suitable hearing aids because it allows us to define the sounds in speech that you have most difficulty with.
Our specialist system allows us to present speech to you in both quiet and noisy situations. During these tests you will be asked to repeat words that are presented to you at normal speech volume levels. Word recognition scores will be determined when you repeat words that are presented at this normal listening level.
This group of tests is plotted on an audiogram which shows your hearing sensitivity. It answers the question of whether or not hearing sensitivity is within normal range, or if there is a hearing loss or hearing sensitivity that is outside of the range of normal. The test results are also used as a tool to reveal any asymmetry (hearing sensitivity that is not equal between the two ears). The audiometric configuration (the “shape” of the thresholds) and the rest of the group of tests also give us information toward a diagnosis of ear abnormalities.
This battery of tests involves carefully listening through headphones that are placed over the ears or insert earphones that are placed in the ear canals. Next, pure tones will be presented through the headphones or insert earphones, as well as through a bone conduction vibrator on a headband that is placed behind the ear. You will listen for the softest level you can detect, and will push a button or raise your hand in response. This will determine your hearing thresholds.
Additional tests may be added to the group of tests if an asymmetry of thresholds is found, or if you have tinnitus or dizziness.
This test measures how well your middle ear works. Your middle ear includes your ear drum, the middle ear bones, and your Eustachian tube. It will reveal abnormalities which will signify and can explain a conductive hearing loss and/or a sensation of pressure in the ear.
An ear tip is placed in the canal that is connected to a machine that briefly varies the pressure in the ear. By varying the pressure, the movement of the eardrum can be measured. It takes only a few minutes to complete.
This test measures how the stapedius muscle contracts in response to a loud sound. The absence or presence of acoustic reflexes can be important for differential diagnosis.
Often times, tympanometry and acoustic reflex thresholds are done together. With the ear tip in your canal, you will hear beeps that are progressively louder. You will not need to respond. Instead, the machine will automatically measure the response.
This test measures how well the outer hair cells in the cochlear work. The outer hair cells produce low-level sounds called Otoacoustic Emissions in response to clicks. A conductive or sensorineural hearing loss will often result in absent DPOAE responses.
With an ear tip in the canal, clicks are presented in the ear. In response, the cochlear emits a sound which is recorded by the equipment. The extent of the response and the frequency at which the response occurs is measured and recorded.
The group of tests is completed in 60 minutes. After the testing, the results are reviewed with you and recommendations are made.
The results of your tests will be recorded on a form called an audiogram, which the hearing aid specialist will review with you. The audiogram reflects your hearing loss in frequencies and decibels. You will be shown the type, pattern, and degree of hearing loss, as well as the percentage of normal conversational speech that you are still able to hear.Your hearing aid specialist will then relate these results to your concerns about your hearing.
If you are a suitable candidate for hearing aids, we will then move onto a hearing aid benefit assessment. During this test we use our fitting suite to fit a set of suitable hearing aids to your defined loss. We then use Real Ear Measurement (REM) to verify that the devices are delivering the amplification that you need. We will then undertake aided speech tests to ascertain the benefit delivered.
The next step is to consider treatment solutions. You can count on our team to take the time necessary to understand your concerns so that they can provide you with everything you need to make an informed personal decision.
If you are suitable for a better hearing solution, we will set out and agree a clear treatment plan that covers all of the elements of your treatment and your individualized Patient Journey. In this way you are clear on what we propose, how we propose to deliver it and how you can be expected to benefit from it.
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