Air and Bone conduction testing are two different types of tests that evaluate hearing loss. Air conduction testing involves the use of headphones or insert earphones to deliver pure-tone sounds of different frequencies and loudness levels to the ears. This test measures the overall function of the ear, including the outer, middle, and inner ear. Bone conduction testing involves the use of a bone oscillator, which is placed on the mastoid bone behind the ear. This device vibrates the skull which in turn stimulates the inner ear, bypassing the outer and middle ear. This test is used to determine if there is a problem with the inner ear. By comparing the results of the two tests, audiologists can determine whether the hearing loss is due to a problem with the outer, middle, or inner ear, and develop a treatment plan.
A speech in noise test is a hearing assessment designed to measure a person’s ability to understand speech in a noisy environment. This test typically involves playing recordings of spoken words or sentences at varying levels of background noise, and then the listener will be asked to repeat what they hear. The results for this test can be used to determine if a person actually has a hearing loss and, if so, to what extent. This test can be conducted in a soundproof booth or using headphones in a quiet room. It will be given by an audiologist or hearing healthcare professional so that you can get the correct tools going forward.
Speech discrimination evaluation is a test used to determine a person’s ability to understand and distinguish speech sounds. The test involves presenting a series of spoken words or sounds to the individual and asking them to repeat or identify what was said. The words or sounds are often presented a different volume and in a various background noise level to stimulate real-life listening situations. The results of the speech discrimination evaluation can help healthcare professionals determine the degree and type of hearing loss as well as the best course of treatment. For example, if the individual has difficulty discriminating certain speech sounds, they may benefit from hearing aids or other assistive devices that amplify those sounds.
Tympanometry is a diagnostic test used to evaluate the function of the middle ear. It measures the movement of the eardrum in response to changes in air pressure within the ear canal. During the test, a probe is placed in the ear canal and air pressure is changed in a controlled manner. The device then measures the amount of sound that is reflected back from the eardrum. This provides information about the mobility of the eardrum and the pressure in the middle ear. This test is commonly used to diagnose conditions such as otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear), Eustachian tube dysfunction (a condition in which the tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat doesn’t work properly), and other middle ear problems that may cause hearing loss. This test is non-invasive, painless, and typically only takes a few minutes to complete.