Premiere Speech and Hearing

  • (610) 454-1177
    555 Second Avenue, Suite D-204
    Collegeville, PA 19426

  • (717) 625-0072
    100 Highlands Drive, Suite 307
    Lititz, PA  17543

Hear. Communicate. Live.

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. The diagnostic audiologic evaluation may be indicated for individuals who did not pass an initial hearing screening.

The evaluation is done to determine if a hearing loss is present, and if so, to detail the type and severity of the hearing loss. It also may provide insight into the cause of the hearing loss as well as provide guidance for the audiologist in making appropriate treatment recommendations.

What Tests Will Be Done?

The specific tests done during the evaluation will depend on the patient's age, and what is known already about their hearing status. These various tests will determine the degree of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss, and the conditions of the ear canal and middle 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 difficulty of the brain).

A comprehensive diagnostic audiologic evaluation in our office includes otoscopic examination, impedance audiometry, pure-tone testing air-conduction testing, pure-tone bone-conduction testing, and speech reception thresholds and speech discrimination.  

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. 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 to confirm the results of a pure-tone test. This test determines the lowest level at which the patient can recognize words or speech stimuli.  Speech discrimination (SRS) testing is completed by presenting a list of one-syllable words at a comfortable listening level to the patient.  

Additional Tests:

The audiologist may also perform 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 more-specialized tests allow the audiologist to test the auditory system when the patient is not able to actively participate in the tests or evaluation.

Other tests may include:

  • Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) screening

Visual reinforcement and conditioned play audiometry for children

For children, it is important to have a diagnostic audiologic evaluation whenever a hearing loss is suspected. It is the first step in identifying hearing loss and dealing with it to improve quality of life.

Along with the evaluation, you should generally expect to have time to review the results with the audiologist. She can interpret the tests for you, answer your questions, provide you with information and referrals as needed, as well as begin planning for treatment, if indicated.

Doctors of Audiology are experts in hearing and hearing rehabilitation. Never hesitate to ask your audiologist for clarification or further information on anything you do not understand.

What Can I Expect During a Diagnostic Audiologic Evaluation?

The evaluation will probably last about 30 to 40 minutes in length. You should allow an hour for time for discussion with the audiologist to review test results, and ask questions.

If the determination is made that you need hearing aids, you may have time to discuss those options with the audiologist at the initial appointment or a hearing aid consultation appointment may be scheduled.  

We recommend that you bring a family member or friend with you to the evaluation appointment.  It helps to have another supportive person at the appointment to help you understand the information and recommendations.

Before your appointment, you will be asked to complete a medical history.  The audiologist will want to hear about any complaints you have about your hearing.  She will pay special attention to any concerns you have about exposure to noise, tinnitus, and balance problems. Make sure that you take a full list of any medications and supplements you are taking with you to your appointment.

The diagnostic audiologic evaluation is a good chance to establish a relationship with your audiologist. Hearing loss can effect every aspect of your daily living. It is important for us to understand you and your listening needs.  Do not be afraid to ask questions.  There are many treatment solutions and we want to find the best match for you and your lifestyle.