Diagnostic Tests in Audiology
Several diagnostic tests are currently available in the field of audiology. Based on the symptoms of the person, the audiologist will recommend specific tests. Here are some common tests which may be requested.
Pure tone audiometry
The test requires wearing a pair of headphones and pressing a button every time a sound is heard. The purpose of this twenty-minute test is to check the different thresholds of hearing for the person at a variety of frequencies.
This is a half-hour hearing test designed to check if the person can recognize speech. The patient will hear a set of words and then they must repeat them back to the audiologist.
This simple five-minute test checks the eardrum and the middle ear for faults. A sensation of mild pressure may also be felt in the ear during this hearing test.
Auditory reflex testing
This is a test that doesn’t require any external input from the person. The test automatically checks for the nerve signals that go to and from the brain
This test tests the outer hair cell function of the cochlea or inner ear. The test takes about twenty minutes to administer as results are recorded automatically.
Auditory brainstem response
This audiology test helps to check if the hearing nerve is functioning normally. The person will have to lie down and relax. While lying down still the person will have to listen to click sounds.
Cortical evoked response audiometry
This is a longer test which lasts about an hour and a half. The person is supposed to listen to beeps while comfortably sitting in a chair. The test checks for the functioning of the cortex of the brain when the person hears the beeps.
Newborn hearing Screening:
Neonatal Hearing Screening is performed in the first month of life and allows the identification of possible hearing disorders in infants with or without Risk Indicators for Hearing Impairment. The screening procedure involves Otoacoustic emission (OAE) and Automated-Auditory brainstem response (A-ABR).
Otoacoustic emissions (OAE):
It mainly consists of two types: TEOAE & DPOAE
It measures the function of the outer hair cells in the cochlea by presenting sound and measuring echo from the cochlea. Screening takes 10–20 sec. The child can be awake but not actively crying.
Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (A-ABR):
Measures the function of the auditory nerve and up to the brain stem. Screening takes 10–20 min. The patient needs to be asleep or very still during the testing.
Visual reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) and Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA) for children
Hearing measurement using a conditioned localization response and a visual reinforcer is generally known as visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA). Presenting a sound from one of the loudspeakers elicits an orientation or localization response from the child, which involves turning toward the stimulus speaker.
Conditioned play audiometry, or play audiometry, involves training the child to listen for stimuli and then make a specific motor response within the framework of a game, usually in combination with social reinforcement such as smiles, praise, etc.
Central auditory processing disorders (CAPD) evaluation for children
CAPD refers to deficits in the neural processing of auditory information in the central auditory nervous system. Signs and symptoms of CAPD may include the following: difficulty localizing sound, difficulty understanding spoken language in noisy backgrounds, longer response time during oral communication, and frequent requests for repetitions.
- Binaural Integration tests
- Binaural separation tests
- Monoaural low redundancy tests
- Temporal tests
- Binaural Interaction tests