The objective of the audiological evaluation is to measure your threshold for tones and speech. During the hearing test, the audiologist will place earphones in each ear and a headband around your forehead to hold a bone conductor in place. The earphones deliver sound through the air (sound waves) and the bone conductor delivers sound through small bone vibrations. You will most likely not feel the vibration of the bone conductor during the test. During the evaluation, there are two speech tests:
- The Speech Reception Threshold (SRT) test is used to measure the lowest level at which you can repeat words. It is common to use two-syllable words with equal stress on each word for the SRT.
- The Speech Discrimination (SD) test is used to assess your ability to understand and repeat single-syllable words presented at a loud volume. The SD test is beneficial because it measures the amount of speech distortion you may be experiencing.
At the conclusion of the evaluation, the audiologist will review the results, recommendations and answer any questions you may have about the test.
Types of Hearing Loss
- Sensorineural – This term describes hearing loss caused by a problem in the inner ear or the nerve that sends signals to the brain.
- Conductive – This term describes hearing loss due to a problem with the portion of the middle ear that conducts sound from the outer ear canal to the inner ear. In these cases, the inner ear is not affected.
- Mixed – This term describes hearing loss with a sensorineural and conductive component. Mixed hearing loss is caused by a problem with the conduction of sound through the middle ear and an inner ear or nerve loss.