Offering diagnosis and treatment of communication, hearing, and swallowing disorders
Published: Oct. 8, 2010
Updated: Nov. 3, 2011
Duke Speech Pathology and Audiology offers a number of common diagnostic tests to assess hearing loss.
These tests include:
Pure tone audiometry is a hearing test used to determine the presence or absence of hearing loss and also the type and severity of hearing loss. This test involves placing earphones on both ears and pressing a button or raising your hand when you hear a sound.
Speech audiometry is a test using words to determine how softly words can be heard and how clearly words are understood. The results of word understanding are measured by a percentage score.
These tests assess the function of the eardrum and middle ear structures. Immittance tests involve placing a plastic tip in the ear canal which measures changes in air pressure. These non-invasive tests can be completed in 10 minutes.
The ABR test is used to test the functional status of the auditory neural pathway (how sounds travel to the brain) and to assess hearing when behavioral testing cannot be performed due to age, cooperation, or developmental level.
In general terms, this test measures the brain stem’s response to sounds that are presented to the ears.
This test is a non-invasive procedure in which the audiologist will place electrodes on your forehead and ears. A sound will then be presented to both ears through earphones.
The response generated by the auditory neural pathway is recorded and analyzed by the audiologist. For most children, this test requires general anesthesia or sedation.
The otoacoustic emissions (OAE) test measures hair cell function of the inner ear to estimate hearing sensitivity. An emission is a sound generated within the normal cochlea in response to stimulation.
During this test, a small plug is inserted in your ear and a series of tones or clicks are presented to the patient. The test takes place in a quiet environment and you must remain still and quiet throughout testing.
This test can typically be completed within 15 minutes.
This testing monitors the nervous system during surgery to assist the surgeons in avoiding or reducing complications during surgery (i.e. paralysis, hearing loss).
The testing involves using electrophysiologic measures to monitor the integrity of neural structures such as the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves during surgery. Our team of audiologists provides IOM services including auditory-evoked potentials and cranial nerve monitoring.
A tinnitus evaluation is a 90-minute appointment involving a questionnaire, measures of tinnitus, and counseling to determine how best to manage an individual's tinnitus.
Ototoxicity is temporary or permanent changes to hearing and/or balance due to drugs or chemotherapy.
Diagnostic testing using special equipment to measure ultra high frequencies and otoacoustic emissions is used to monitor and detect changes in hearing status throughout the drug therapy or treatment program.
Central auditory processing disorder is when a person’s hearing abilities are normal but they are unable to understand and process speech.
CAPD is a disorder that is associated with a number of behaviors and symptoms, some of which may be quite subtle. This testing is typically completed on patients who are six years and older.