Hearing Tests in Phoenix, AZ, for Babies, Children & Adults
Experience Specialized Audiology Testing at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids
At Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, we are committed to providing the highest quality hearing and balance care available to all our patients. That’s why we offer a hearing consultation to fully assess your hearing loss and determine the best course of action for your hearing health. There are times we may need information beyond what’s discovered during your consultation, however. Specialized audiology testing focuses on specific functions not covered by our standard hearing tests and can provide our experts with a clearer picture of your condition and how we can best help you.
Our team is highly experienced at performing various types of specialized hearing tests in Phoenix, AZ, including:
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR):
With normal hearing, inner ear cells transmit neural signals via the brainstem to the brain to be recognized as sound. In some cases of hearing loss, a malfunction may be found in this process. The ABR test assesses the function of the brainstem, as well as the neural passages from the inner ear.
During this test, you will be asked to wear earbuds and relax on a flat surface in a sound booth, while our audiologist attaches electrodes to your ears and forehead. Through the earbuds, you will hear a series of soft clicks. Our experienced audiologist will record your brain activity in response to these clicks and that information will give them an indication of the function of this neural system.
Otoscopic Ear Exam
Our audiologist will conduct a physical examination of your ears using an instrument called an otoscope. The otoscope allows our audiologist to examine your ear canal and eardrum for any damage. This examination will cause no discomfort. Our audiologist will also check your ears for any fluids or buildup, which might signal infection, or for a buildup of earwax, which could affect your hearing if impacted.
Otoacoustic Emission Test (OAE):
Sound waves are transformed into neural signals in the cochlea of your inner ear. With normal hearing, an “emission” is the sound generated by the cochlea. The OAE test, like the ABR, requires that you wear soft earbuds and listen to a series of clicks played by our audiologist. This test measures the function and the response of your inner ear hair cells when subjected to stimulation. The OAE is useful to determine the early onset of hearing loss, as well as hearing loss in young children.
Within the inner ear, sound waves are converted to electric signals that are sent to your brain to register as sound. The EcochG test analyzes the electric potentials generated by your inner ear hair cells, as a potential indicator of your type of hearing loss, as well as a sign of related conditions, such as Meniere’s disease. Because this test also studies fluid accumulation in the inner ear, it doubles as a test of balance. Again, you will be asked to lie down in a sound booth, while our audiologist attaches electrodes to your head and ear area. Clicking sounds will be played through headphones.
Pure-Tone Hearing Test
Following the physical examination, our audiologist will administer a series of hearing tests. A hearing test usually takes place in a soundproof room or lab. You will be asked to remove your glasses or any jewelry that may interfere with the headphones used during the test. Our audiologist will give you more detailed instructions for the tests when you schedule your consultation.
In the pure-tone test, tones and pitches are played at varying volumes in each ear, separately. When you hear a sound, you will be instructed by our audiologist to either raise your hand or push a button. The tones and pitches increase in volume until you can hear them.
Speech Discrimination Test
The speech test comes in various forms. With the whisper speech test, our 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.
Alternatively, 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 our audiologist will play sounds through headphones. You will be asked to sit quietly, while your brain responds to these signals
Rotary Chair Test (RC):
In this balance test, a computer-driven chair rotates clockwise and counterclockwise in a regulated way and will indicate the following:
- Suspected bilateral balance loss
- Perforated eardrums
- Ototoxic drug exposure (medications that are harmful to hearing/balance system) or low responses to caloric tests.
- Suspected cerebellar disease or central balance dysfunction
This test takes up to 30 minutes to complete and will require you to be alert with your eyes open for the duration.
Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP)
This is a recently-developed, specialized test for balance. We’ll place a few electrode pads gently on your neck, and then play some clicking noises through the earphones that you’ll be wearing. While you lie back in a comfortable recliner during the entire test, we’ll ask you to turn your head in certain directions, and to lift your head for a few seconds while each recording is taken. This test takes about 30 minutes.
This test will indicate:
- Suspected Superior Canal Dehiscence (thinning or absence of a portion of a bony canal in the inner ear balance system)
- Tullio Phenomenon (dizziness caused by loud sounds)
- Imbalance or dizziness of uncertain origin
Positional Vertigo (BPPV) Test and Treatment
If you’ve experienced a brief spinning or off-balance feeling that comes and goes but lasts for just a short while, you may be experiencing Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Most people do. Fortunately, it’s not as serious as it sounds, and it can usually be fixed quickly and easily.
BPPV happens when tiny crystals in your inner ear (“otoliths”) have fallen out of place. The treatment is simply to move you into a few different but very specific head and body positions. This is called Otolith Repositioning, and we can do it on the same day as your tests.
Here at ABHA, we do Otolith Repositioning frequently on patients with classic mild cases of BPPV, as well as more complicated cases. We enjoy a high success rate with this procedure with patients responding well.
Other specialized testing we offer for vestibular (balance) conditions are:
- Video Head Impulse Test (vHit)
- Vestibularnystagmography (VNG) including Saccade Testing and use of video goggles
- Dynamic Visual Acuity (DVA)
- Falls Risk Assessment (FRA)
Contact our office at 602-466-1199 for more information!
OSHA Hearing Tests
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that approximately 30 million people in the US workforce are exposed to dangerous levels of sound each year. Depending on the environment, an eight-hour workday in which a worker is exposed to noises of 80 decibels continuously may permanently damage hearing. In response to the high levels of occupation-related hearing loss, OSHA has initiated a hearing conservation program which includes an audiometric testing program (hearing test) that regularly monitors a worker’s hearing.
Based on the level of noise in the workplace, OSHA requires that employers provide OSHA-approved hearing tests for their employees. These regular hearing tests keep a record of work-related hearing loss cases (with adjustments made to hearing loss caused by aging) and also inform employers and employees of protective measures they must take. Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids provides OSHA hearing tests for employees, in accordance with OSHA standards.
Specialized Hearing Tests for Children
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA):
The VRA test is similar to the pure tone audiometry test and is used specifically for children between six months to three years of age because they may not be able to respond accurately to sounds cued by audiologists. During the course of this painless test, your child will be trained to respond by looking for a lighted toy when he or she hears a sound. Our audiologist will play sounds via headphones to your child and gauge your child’s reactions to the series of sounds.
Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA):
Like the VRA test, the CPA test is used for young children, specifically between the ages of three to five years. Because hearing tests tend to quickly bore children of this age, the “play” aspect keeps them engaged and responsive. For example, your child may be asked to hold a wooden block to his or her ear, and each time they hear a sound, they’ll be asked to drop the wooden block into a bucket. With this test, your child will be wearing headphones and our audiologist will play a series of sounds.
Learn More About Hearing Tests in Phoenix Today!
When you are ready to learn more about the hearing tests provided at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, give us a call at 602-466-1199 to schedule an appointment today!
Come experience 5-star-rated care at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids – with our convenient appointment times, we guarantee you’ll never have to miss work or school for an audiology appointment with us!
As one of the premier audiology practices in Phoenix, AZ, our team at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids also provides 5-star-rated hearing and balance services to patients from North Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Avondale, Glendale & Peoria, AZ, and surrounding areas.