The first step in identifying hearing loss for a child or an adult is to have an Audiologist perform an auditory evaluation. The Downtown Brooklyn Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic offers two methods of assessing hearing: a "free hearing screening", and a comprehensive audiometric test battery.
Free Hearing Screening
A "free hearing screening" can be provided to anyone over the age of 7 years. This evaluation takes approximately 15 minutes and will give an indication if further testing is needed. If further testing is needed, then recommend a comprehensive auditory evaluation is recommended.
*Please Note: A free hearing screening does not replace comprehensive audiological testing.
Comprehensive Audiological Test Battery
This evaluation is performed for a fee and is appropriate for children over the age of 18 months, and for adults of all ages. This test can be performed on those individuals who received a "fail" result on the "free hearing screening", or if a hearing loss is suspected and more information is required than the "free hearing screening" can provide.
The comprehensive audiological test battery is comprised of several parts:
- Pure tone audiometry – used to quantify the degree of hearing at each frequency.
- Speech perception – used to confirm pure tone findings and determine the softest levels that speech can be heard.
- Speech recognition – used to determine the clarity of the auditory system; can help indicate prognosis with hearing aids, if recommended.
- Tympanometry – used to detect disorders of the middle ear. Variable air pressure is introduced in the ear canal to test the condition and mobility of the eardrum and ossicles (bones of the middle ear).
This will help to determine the following conditions: Eustachian tube dysfunction, perforated eardrum, fluid in the middle ear, impacted cerumen (ear wax), or disconnected bones in the middle ear.
- Acoustic Reflex testing – used to assess parts of the central nervous system and middle ear.
Auditory processing is the ability of the auditory system to analyze incoming auditory information through the following processes; sound localization, discrimination (decoding), pattern recognition, temporal aspects of audition, performance with competing linguistic signal, and performance with degraded acoustic signals.
An Auditory Processing evaluation consists of a battery of tests administered to English dominant clients over 6 years of age. These tests are are designed to evaluate specific areas in the brain related to auditory processing. The results from each subtest are examined individually and compared to age based norms. These subtests are interpreted to determine if an auditory processing disorder exists. If a disorder is evidenced, the degree of severity is explained and appropriate recommendations are made to the patient/family based on findings.
An Auditory Processing evaluation begins with a comprehensive auditory evaluation. Hearing must be normal in order to proceed with an Auditory Processing evaluation.
This entire test battery is approximately three hours long, and a comprehensive report will be sent to a client/family member within a month of the evaluation.
For more information regarding hearing and hearing loss in children or adults, please visit the following website: www.asha.org