Basic Audiologic Testing
A basic comprehensive audiologic test may consist of pure tone air and bone conduction testing, speech reception and word identification, tympanometry, and acoustic reflex testing. The audiologist will determine which of these tests are necessary.
Basic comprehensive audiologic testing assesses your hearing ability and middle ear status. If hearing loss is present, the testing will provide us with the type and level of the loss and will help us determine if further testing or referral for medical treatment is appropriate. This evaluation also gives the audiologist information about candidacy for amplification/hearing aids.
The basic comprehensive audiologic test battery takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. On the day of the testing, you may take your typical medications and follow your normal routine. Upon completion of the test, you are free to return to your daily activities.
Most insurances cover audiologic testing with a referral from a physician, it is the patient’s responsibility to obtain the referral prior to testing. Check with your insurance if you are unsure if a referral is needed.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing
An otoacoustic emissions (OAE) test is a computerized hearing screening test which is typically used to assess newborn hearing ability. It is also used to asses the function of the inner ear structures for evaluation of tinnitus patients and monitoring of changes to these structures caused by Ototoxicity. (link)
Sound is sent into the ear through a small earplug. The nerves of the inner ear moves in response to a sound and produce a sound that travels back to the small earplug and is measured. The response tells your audiologist how your inner ear is functioning in response to sound.
There is no preparation needed for this test, upon completion of the test you are free to return to your daily activities.
Evoked Potential Testing
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and Auditory Steady State Response test (ASSR)
An Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR) are computerized "hearing tests" which are used to measure the "brain waves" your brain produces when it hears sounds.
An ABR test is ordered when complete results cannot be obtained with a routine hearing test (audiogram). An ASSR test may be used in conjunction with the ABR for identifying hearing loss at specific pitches.
The ABR test is also extremely helpful in ruling out or confirming auditory nerve lesions such as acoustic neuroma. In addition, it is helpful in diagnosing demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
The tests usually take one to two hours. Electrodes (or wires) will be taped to your forehead and ears. These electrodes will measure the response to sound from the ears and brain. You will not experience any discomfort during the test or after.
On the day of the ABR /ASSR test, you may take your typical medications and follow your normal routine. Upon completion of the test, you are free to return to your daily activities.
ECOG testing is typically ordered to identify, monitor, and assess Ménière's disease and endolymphatic hydrops which may be suspected in patients suffering from dizziness.
The ECOG test may take up to two hours to complete. To ensure the accuracy of the test, you are asked to discontinue the use of certain medications 48 hours prior to testing. These medications include any medicines taken to prevent or control dizziness (i.e. Meclizine, etc), and any diuretics. Consult with your physician before discontinuing these medications. All other medications may be taken as usual.
Electrodes (or wires) will be taped to your forehead and one earlobe; another electrode will be placed directly in your ear canal. While you are resting quietly, you will hear clicking sounds through earplugs, and your brain's response to the sound will be recorded by a computer and analyzed by the audiologist.
Upon completion of the test you are free to return to your daily activities.
Auditory Processing Disorder APD Testing
The auditory nervous system is a complex network that transmits sound from both ears to the auditory cortex in the brain. Central auditory processing is the ability to transfer information from the hearing nerve to the brain. Some of the mechanisms of the central auditory processing (CAP) system include sound localization, discrimination of differences between sounds and words, detection of the gaps or intervals between sounds and the ability to hear in background noise.
An auditory processing disorder occurs when the central auditory nervous system cannot detect or process information normally. The purpose of central auditory testing is to determine if a central auditory processing disorder exists and to what degree.
CAP testing includes a thorough case history of a patient's auditory problems and standard audiologic test procedures along with specialized test procedures, which are specifically designed to diagnose a central auditory processing disorder. The initial testing usually takes one hour.
In many instances no further testing is necessary. However, further testing at a later time and date may be necessary depending on the outcome or results of the initial testing.
The audiologist will analyze the results and contact you with the test results within a few days of the test procedure. The audiologist will inform you whether or not further testing is necessary. The audiologist will also recommend a treatment strategy as appropriate based on the results of the evaluation.
Facial Nerve Testing
Electroneuronography (ENoG) is a measurement of the function of the facial nerve (NVII). This nerve controls the movements of the face. Patients who have partial or complete facial weakness or paralysis are candidates for the ENoG test procedure.
Usually facial weakness occurs on only one side of the face. Patients with facial nerve dysfunction have limited facial expression on the affected side, i.e. inability to close the affected eye or move the mouth to smile. In addition, there may be associated difficulties with speaking, eating and drinking. The results of the ENoG test procedure are given to the patient's physician to help them determine the best approach to take in treating the facial weakness.
The ENoG test usually takes 30 minutes. No preparation is required. You may take your normal medications and follow your normal routine the day of the test.
Flat electrodes (or wires) will be taped to the back of your neck and near the crease on both sides of your nose. The electrodes measure the response from your facial nerve. Upon completion of the test you are free to return to your daily activities.
For other types of testing visit our Vestibular Testing page.