Audiological Assessment

An audiological assessment consist of a hearing test and immittance audiometry. The hearing test is a subjective test performed to assess the function of the auditory system. The patient is seated in a sound-treated room with headphones or ear inserts placed on or in their ears. The patient is instructed to respond to a series of tones to determine the presence of hearing loss, as well as the type and degree of hearing loss. The patient is also given a series of words to determine their ability to discriminate speech sounds.

Immittance audiometry is an objective test that measures the status of the middle ear and reflexes of the auditory muscle. A probe is painlessly placed in the ear canal via a headset. The tympanogram graphs the movement of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) in response to changes in pressure. This measures fluid in the middle ear and whether the eardrum and bones for hearing are functioning normally. Acoustic reflex decay testing assesses whether the reflex can be maintained for 10 seconds. The presence or absence of these reflexes is significant for diagnosis of tumors growing on the hearing nerve.