Hearing Tests

Hearing & Audiology Testing in Phoenix, AZ

Arizona Balance & Hearing Aids offers a wide range of specialized hearing tests at our convenient Phoenix, AZ location. Our highly skilled audiologists can test babies and adults alike – offering the most advanced testing to provide patients with accurate assessment of hearing function. Testing is painless, and available even to newborns who are unable to respond to traditional hearing tests. If you or a loved one are experiencing signs of a hearing loss, or you worry that your child may have a hearing loss – schedule an appointment today. We will get you immediate answers to your questions, and offer recommendations for solutions based on your results.

Listed below are the types of hearing testing we currently offer at our practice. For further information, please contact our practice at (602) 265-9000 or email us at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

What to Expect When You Visit an Audiologist

You’ve taken the first step to schedule an appointment to meet with an audiologist, but now the idea of a test might make you feel uncomfortable. A hearing test is actually a series of steps to determine whether you are experiencing hearing loss, and if so, the degree of your hearing loss. The important thing to remember is that the results of your hearing test are personalized, with the intended use to help you. Keep in mind that the more open and comprehensive you are with your audiologist, the better they can treat your hearing needs.

Step #1 – Chat with Dana

When you first arrive, you will have a conversation with your audiologist about your medical history (including your family medical history), your hearing history, as well as details about your lifestyle (job, hobbies, activities, etc.). During this conversation, you may want to tell your audiologist whether you’ve recently been exposed to very loud noises, if you’ve had difficulties hearing in normal conversations, if you are on any medication (especially antibiotics), or if you have recently had a cold or ear infection.

Step #2 – Otoscopic Ear Exam

After this talk, your audiologist will conduct a physical examination of your ears using an instrument called an otoscope. The otoscope allows the audiologist to examine your ear canal and ear drum to see if there is any damage. This examination will cause no discomfort or pain. Your audiologist will also check your ears for any fluids or buildup, which might signal infection, or for a buildup of earwax, which when impacted could affect your hearing.

Step #3 – Pure Tone Hearing Test

Following the physical examination, your audiologist will administer a series of hearing tests, which too will cause no discomfort or pain. A hearing test usually takes place in a sound proof room or lab. You will be asked to remove your glasses or any jewelry that may interfere with the headphones used during the test. Your audiologist will give you more detailed instructions for the tests at the time of the consultation. In the pure tone test, tones and pitches are played at varying volumes. When you hear a sound, you will be instructed by your audiologist to either raise your hand or push a button. The tones and pitches increase in volume until you can hear them. Each ear is tested separately with this test.

Step #4 – Speech Discrimination Test

As for the speech test, this one comes in various forms. With the whisper speech test, your audiologist might stand 1-2 feet behind you and whisper, asking you to repeat the phrase or word. If you cannot hear them, they will repeat the word or phrase until you can. In the spondee speech test, you might be asked to repeat spondees (two-syllable words) that are played through headphones. Like pure tone tests, speech tests are also tested one ear at a time.

A second test called an auditory brainstem response test may be performed. The auditory brainstem response (ABR) test identifies issues in your inner ear, and the process by which sound waves are translated into neural signals sent to the brain. In this test, electrodes will be attached to your head and ear area, and your audiologist will play sounds through headphones. You will be asked to sit quietly, while your brain responds to these signals.

Step #5 – Review Your Audiogram

The results of your hearing tests are recorded as an audiogram. An audiogram is the visualization of your hearing abilities, using a chart that measures decibels and hertz. There are two outcomes for hearing tests: normal hearing, or some degree of hearing loss. Normal hearing falls between 0 and 25 decibels. Based on your results, your audiologist will determine whether you are suffering from hearing loss and how serious it is. This audiogram, along with the physical examination and conversation with you, will inform the best line of treatment for you.

Specialized audiology testing:

abr-baerThe Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) hearing test examines the hearing nerve in patients from tiny babies through adults and the elderly.  While the patient relaxes comfortably, surface pad electrodes are gently attached to the ear and forehead.  The patient listens to a series of clicks through soft earbuds.  These clicks generate activity in the hearing nerve, which the audiologist records to measure the status of the patient’s hearing.

oae-teoaThe Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) test is simple, quick procedure checks inner ear function:  the patient simply sits quietly and listens to a series of clicks or tones through soft earbuds.  This is an ideal hearing test for very young children and can also be used for adults to detect early onset of hearing loss.

The Visual Reinforcement Audiometry test evaluates overall hearing status.  It is typically used for children from 6 months to 3 years of age, or for others who do not respond to traditional testing.  The child is seated in a booth (usually on the parent’s lap) and taught to look for a lighted moving toy when she hears a specific sound.  It can be made ear-specific with the use of headphones.

The Electrocochleography (EcochG) is a balance test. Those taking the test relax in a comfy recliner with their eyes closed, while we gently place some electrode pads on the head, and then play clicking noises through the earphones. An EcochG test lasts about 15-30 minutes.

cpa-testThe CPA or Conditioned Play Audiometry is another hearing test for children, typically 3 to 6 years of age. The child is taught to perform some type of play action (such as dropping a block in a bucket) when he hears a specific sound.  This hearing test is usually performed with headphones in order to get ear-specific information.  It evaluates hearing status in both ears among those who are too young — or unable — to perform traditional hearing tests.