Hearing Evaluations

Hearing Evaluations

At North Dallas ENT, we encourage you to make hearing evaluations a routine part of your overall healthcare, much like regular vision exams and dental checkups. They are quick, painless, and provide immediate results.

Hearing evaluations can truly benefit patients of all ages. During an evaluation forhearing loss, our team of audiologists can help determine whether a hearing loss does exist and if so, help diagnose the cause. In fact, the sooner a diagnosis of hearing loss is made, the more options patients may have for more successful treatment.

Hearing Screening

A hearing screening is a quick test to see if you need a more comprehensive hearing test. Babies usually get screenings at birth, and kids get them at various times throughout grade school. Adults may have hearing screenings as part of their annual checkup or as part of a workplace health evaluation.

If you are concerned about your hearing or that of your child’s, give us a call at (214) 382-5100 and we’ll schedule a hearing screening for you. We see children as young as 6 months old. If you or your child pass the hearing screening, there won’t be a need for any further evaluation. If you or your child fail the hearing screening, we will do further testing to determine the type and severity of hearing loss and will prescribe the best treatment option available. Indeed, if you suspect your child has a hearing loss, it is important to have his/her hearing evaluated as soon as possible, as hearing is a big part of learning development (e.g., speech, language, social skills).

Hearing Tests

Most adults haven’t had their hearing tested since they were in grade school. At NorthDallas ENT, we recommend that you have your hearing tested more often. Your hearing health should not be treated any differently than your dental health (2 cleanings per year) or your vision health (1 exam every 2 years). Having these regular hearing tests help our audiologists better understand how much your hearing has changed over time, which can help provide guidance for treatment recommendations.

Baseline Hearing Test for Young Adults

Young adults should have a baseline hearing test at age 21, as a baseline test will tell us what your hearing is at that point in time. When you are older, we can compare that test to more recent tests to see how much your hearing has changed.

Regular Hearing Tests

After a baseline hearing test at age 21, we recommend that you have a hearing test every 10 years thereafter until age 50. After age 50, you should have a hearing test every 3 years.

Our hearing Evaluation

Our hearing evaluations are very thorough. We perform comprehensive hearing assessments for children 6 months old and older, adults, and seniors. All adult hearing tests are done in an enclosed, soundproof booth with calibrated audiometric equipment to ensure accurate results. Most include a measure of speech perception and understanding, as well as air and bone thresholds, which allows us to assess the hearing problem more thoroughly. Most infants up to the age of 3 are tested using

behavioral observation in a sound field. Children ages 3 and up can often be tested conventionally using headphones. Once the hearing evaluation is completed, we will provide you with a report with the interpretation of results and recommendations. We will also send a copy of the report to your physician.

Diagnostic Audiologic Evaluation

If you or your child has been referred for a diagnostic audiologic evaluation, it means that hearing loss needs to be ruled out or further examined. A diagnostic audiologic evaluation may be indicated for individuals who did not pass an initial hearing screening.

We use the evaluation to determine if hearing loss is present, and if so, to detail the type and severity of the hearing loss. The test may also provide insight into the cause of the hearing loss, and it can provide guidance as we recommend treatments.

What Tests Will Be Done?

The specific tests used during the evaluation will depend on the patient’s age and whatis known already about their hearing status. These various tests will determine thedegree of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss, and the conditions of the ear canal andmiddle ear. The audiologist will also determine if the hearing loss is conductive (middle or outer ear problem) or sensorineural (inner ear problem or central processing issue within the brain).

A diagnostic audiologic evaluation includes pure-tone testing, bone-conduction testing,and speech testing.

Pure-Tone Air and Bone Conduction Testing
Pure-tone air conduction testing determines the quietest tones that a person can hear at different frequencies, both low and high. Bone conduction testing is similar to pure-tone air conduction testing. However, a different type of headphone is used during bone conduction testing, and the results help the specialist determine if the hearing loss is originating from the outer/middle ear or from the inner ear.

Speech Testing
A speech reception threshold (SRT) test is often used with older children and adults toconfirm the results of a pure-tone test. This test determines the lowest level at which the patient can recognize words or speech stimuli.

The audiologist may also perform an otoscopy (examining the ear canal) and tympanometry (test of the middle ear) to determine the health of the ear canal and the middle ear.

Specialized tests exist for infants and young children as well as children and adults with developmental and cognitive impairments. These specialized tests (visual reinforcement and conditioned play audiometry) allow the audiologist to test the auditory system when the patient is not able to participate in the tests or evaluation actively.

Other tests may include the following:

  • Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing
  • Auditory steady-state response (ASSR) testing
  • Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) screening

Having a diagnostic audiologic evaluation is important. It is the first step in identifying hearing loss and dealing with it to improve one’s quality of life. After the evaluation, one of our audiologists will review the results with you, and answer any questions you mayhave. They will also provide you with information and referrals as needed, and begin planning for treatment if indicated.

Audiologists are specialists in hearing and hearing rehabilitation. Never hesitate to ask your audiologist for clarification or further information on anything you do not understand.

Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation

A diagnostic hearing evaluation is the first step in determining your hearing capability. If you have hearing loss, the evaluation will detail the extent, type, and specifics of your hearing loss. Diagnostic hearing evaluations are performed by an audiologist, usually in his or her office, using a piece of equipment called an audiometer.

Diagnostic hearing evaluations consist of a variety of tests that help determine the unique aspects of your hearing loss, as well as the level at which you can detect and understand speech. They can be conducted on people of any age, from newborn infants to seniors.

What Does a Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation Include?

A diagnostic hearing evaluation may include the following tests:

  • Air conduction test
  • Bone conduction test
  • Speech testing
  • Distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) testing
  • Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing
  • Tympanometry or acoustic immittance testing

Diagnostic hearing evaluations are covered by most health insurance policies, though you may need a referral from your primary care physician to qualify for coverage.

Why Are Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations Important?

Diagnostic hearing evaluations identify hearing loss and give your audiologist important information to help determine the best course of action for treatment. Some types of hearing loss can be treated medically or surgically, so it’s important that these types of hearing loss be ruled out before hearing aids or other treatments are considered.

If it is determined that you could benefit from hearing aids, a diagnostic hearing evaluation can help your audiologist determine which hearing aids will be most appropriate for your needs.

What Can I Expect During a Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation?

A diagnostic hearing evaluation typically lasts about 30 to 40 minutes. You should also allow some time for a discussion with the audiologist to review the test results and ask questions. If the audiologist determines that you need a hearing aid, allow sufficient time to discuss your options.

For the evaluation appointment, you should bring a family member with you, as it helps to have another supportive person at the appointment to help you understand the information and recommendations.

Before your appointment, you will need to provide your complete medical history, and the audiologist will want to hear about any complaints you have regarding your hearing. He or she will pay special attention to any concerns you have regarding noise exposure, tinnitus, or balance problems. Make sure that you take a full list of any medications and supplements you are taking with you to your appointment.

Finally, the diagnostic hearing evaluation provides a good opportunity to establish a relationship with your audiologist. Above all, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Clarify any information you receive so that you can be an active participant in the search for a hearing solution that fits you and your lifestyle.

Contact us today to schedule your hearing evaluation. You may call us at (214)382-5100 or go to our website and schedule an appointment online.