Hearing Tests

If you have been referred for a Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation, it means that your hearing needs to be further examined. A Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation may be indicated for individuals who did not pass an initial hearing screening or if communication has become more challenging.

The evaluation is done to determine if a hearing loss is present and, if so, to detail the type and severity of the hearing loss. It also may provide insight into the cause of the hearing loss as well as provide guidance for the audiologist in making appropriate treatment recommendations or referrals to other professionals.

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What tests will be done?

The specific tests done during the evaluation will depend on the patient's age, symptoms and medical history. These various tests will determine the degree of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss and the conditions of the ear canal and middle ear. The audiologist will also establish if the hearing loss is conductive (middle or outer ear problem) or sensorineural (inner ear problem or an issue with the auditory nerve and central auditory pathways).

O’Connor Hearing Center provides Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations which include obtaining a case history, performing Otoscopy, Immittance Testing, Air Conduction Testing, Bone Conduction Testing, Speech Testing and Acoustic Testing of hearing sensitivity thresholds.


The visual examination of the inner ear using a handheld otoscope or using a Video Otoscope which can display a picture of your ear on a monitor.

Immittance Testing

Testing of the eardrum, the middle ear and the acoustic reflex.  These measurements help identify the presence of perforations of the eardrum, excessive cerumen (earwax) and possible medical conditions that require referral to a physician.

Air Conduction Testing

Hearing testing completed using calibrated insert earphones in a sound treated test room. This is the basic test that tells how loud sounds need to be for you to be able to hear them.

Bone Conduction Testing

Hearing testing completed using a calibrated bone vibrator which delivers a signal to the inner ear through vibrations.  This test helps determine what kind of hearing loss you have.

Speech Testing

Speech measurements involve determining how quietly a patient can identify two syllable words (the “Speech Reception Threshold”) and how well a patient can understand speech at a comfortably loud level (“Word Recognition Testing”).

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