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Adult hearing test

Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA)

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Purpose: To assess the hearing level of older children (5 years +) and adults, to determine the type and degree of hearing loss

Procedure: Test is performed in a sound controlled environment. The client is required to listen to various pure tones (250 – 8k Hz) at different volumes. Every time a sound is heard, the client is required to provide a response indicating it was audible, such as raising his/her hand, or pushing a button.

Benefits: Obtaining ear- and frequency-specific information

High-Frequency Audiometry

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Purpose: To assess one’s hearing level for frequencies between 9k – 20k Hz

Procedure: An extended version of PTA

Benefits: Useful in detecting early noise-induced hearing loss and provides better understanding of client’s tinnitus complaints

Impedance Audiometry (IA)

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Purpose: Test includes tympanometry and/or acoustic reflex measures, to assess the status of middle-ear system of infants and adults, such as eardrum and ossicle functioning

Procedure: A probe tone is first introduced into the ear. The amount of sound reflected by the eardrum is measured by a probe in the ear canal as the pressure in the ear canal is varied. To measure acoustic reflexes, high-intensity sound stimuli are presented and involuntary muscle contractions are observed

Benefits: Better knowledge of the function of middle-ear system

Otoacoustic emissions (OAE)

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Purpose: To assess cochlear outer hair cell functioning amongst infants and adults

Procedure: Otoacoustic emissions are inaudible sounds from the cochlea that are produced in response to audible sounds. People with normal hearing produce robust emissions, but those with hearing loss greater than 25 dB HL do not. A series of sounds are presented to the client’s ear canal via small probe, and data are analyzed by computer

Benefits: Better knowledge of the function of the inner-ear system. Damage of outer hair cells can also be detected.

Auditory brainstem response (ABR)

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Purpose: Auditory brainstem response is an auditory evoked potential that originates from the auditory nerve. Test can be conducted on clients of all ages to understand any dysfunctioning of the auditory pathway, from the cochlea up to the brainstem. Provides ear-specific information

Procedure: Client is required to be in a sleeping or relaxed state. Electrodes are placed on the head, and brain wave activity in response to sound is recorded

Benefits: Provides ear-specific information on client’s who are difficult to test. Provides understanding of cochlea and/or neural pathologies

Speech Audiometry(SA)

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Purpose: To evaluate client’s (adult) ability to discriminate speech in English or Chinese.

Procedure: The maximum discrimination is 100%. A series of words at different intensity levels are presented to the ear via headphones. Client is instructed to repeat what they have heard.

Benefits: Provides understanding of one’s speech intelligibility, and can be helpful in predicting and evaluating intelligibility improvement when hearing amplification devices are used.

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