Diagnostic Hearing Test
A hearing evaluation identifies hearing loss and where along the auditory pathway the loss is occurring e.g. the outer, middle, or inner ear.
Testing can indicate whether the hearing loss is permanent or temporary and whether it can be treated medically.
A diagnostic hearing test is conducted in a sound-proof booth, and is not painful.
A hearing assessment includes: otoscopy, air conduction thresholds, bone conduction thresholds, speech testing, and immittance testing.
The results indicate whether hearing aids would beneficial and what kind of hearing aid would be appropriate for the type, degree, and configuration of the hearing loss.
Some medical aids require a referral by an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT), or a general practitioner (GP). Other professionals that request diagnostic testing include: Occupational health and safety practitioners, allied professionals, and school teachers.
Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss and needs to be investigated as it cannot be treated if you do not know what is causing the tinnitus.
Tinnitus management may include:
- Hearing aid, or hearing aid with tinnitus masker
- Tinnitus masker
- Relaxation therapy
- Treatment options depend on the individual; what helps one person may not help another
Aural rehabilitation involves techniques that assist the hearing-impaired individual to improve their listening and communication skills and can include:
- Activities such as teaching an individual how to care for, clean, and use their hearing aid
- The use of assisted listening devices (ALDs)
- Learning to listen again
- Auditory training exercises, such as speech-in-noise
- Speech-reading or lip-reading
- Using visual cues
- Partner communication strategies
- Handling conversations by becoming a more effective communicator
- Dealing with background noise
- Individual therapy