Hearing Test Perth
Having a comprehensive hearing test is really a first step in properly addressing a hearing and communication concern. Our highly experienced Audiologists typically schedule a 90 minute appointment for this process to enable some of the following important processes to occur:
– Taking hearing health and general health history
– Identifying and documenting your unique hearing and lifestyle communication needs.
– hearing and communication goal setting
– Performing the comprehenisve hearing test inclusive of speech in noise tests.
– discussing the hearing test results in clear easy to understand terms and follow up recommedations.
– If indicated the discussion and demonstration of hearing aid styles, models and levels of technology that are available for trial.
For best long term hearing outcomes a full hearing test is really the pre requisite. We do offer a free 30 minute screening appointment and if relevant hearing aid discussion however this is only a basic 4 frequency screen that helps identify whether a full hearing test is necessary. It doesn’t help diagnose whether there is any underlying health or medical issue that may need to be addressed. Unfortunately it is common in the relatively unregulated hearing health care industry that some providers offering a “free hearing test” are actually only providing a hearing screening check and there’s a risk of important underlying ear health issues being missed. It is essential for best practice hearing health care that one differentiates between the free screening check and a comprehensive hearing test or assessment.
Our comprehenisve hearing tests are conducted by university qualified Audiologists who are members of the Audiological Society of Australia (ASA). We pride ourselves on using the latest diagnostic equipment to test your hearing sensitivity and ear health. We explain the outcome of the tests and forward a comprehensive report to your doctor if required. You can then make an informed decision as how to best manage your hearing health and communication ability.
It is recommended that anyone over the age of 50 should have regular hearing tests. Hearing is one of our primary senses and is vital for our overall level of health, well-being and our relationships with family and friends.
Free Hearing Test
People of any age are welcome to attend a free hearing test. This test consists of an external examination of the ear canal and ear drum, and Audiometry to check the hearing sensitivity at the frequencies of 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz and 4000 Hz in each ear. These frequencies are essential for speech understanding. You will be provided with an explanation of your results and whether a further full diagnostic hearing test is recommended.
Diagnostic Hearing Test
Using state of the art diagnostic equipment, we do examine the external ear, ear canal and ear drum to ensure it isn’t blocked with ear wax (cerumen). Tympanometry is then performed to show how efficiently the eardrum and middle ear system is conveying the sound vibration to the inner ear. Acoustic reflex and Eustachian tube function tests are also included; this is where additional information can add value to the assessment.
You are then taken through Audiometric testing to assess a full range of hearing frequencies from 250 Hz right through to 12,500Hz, which is a greater range than most of our competitors. This test provides valuable additional information about the health of the auditory system. We then perform a bone conduction assessment to ascertain how effectively the inner ear hearing nerves are converting the mechanical vibration into a neural impulse.
Speech testing is an important part of the test battery. It indicates how well the individual can follow speech at different levels.
Functional speech in ‘noise hearing’ hearing test is important
We routinely include functional speech in ‘noise hearing’ tests to show how well an individual can follow speech in the presence of competing background noise.
These hearing tests effectively simulate real-world listening environments. In the tests, we include sentences in the ‘noise hearing’ tests so we can objectively measure how well the individual is able to follow speech in typical competing noise environments. This information is very useful. It measures how much benefit a patient receives when using a hearing aid or various other assistive listening devices, under the same conditions. The type of functional speech test selected is dependent on the individual’s age and level of hearing difficulty.
Typically, we use fixed signal-to-noise ratio assessment to test your hearing. This correctly measures the percentage at a specific signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In typical face-to-face communication, the SNR becomes more adverse as the background noise increases. By approximating real world SNR conditions, we measure how well the individual follows speech in these conditions.
Aided vs. un-aided hearing test
To determine the level of benefit attained from hearing aids, a speech in noise test is performed at varying signal to noise ratios, both unaided and aided, with conditions replicated. The speech scores are then compared to determine the improvement in speech discrimination. This makes it a good objective measure of aided benefit.
Hearing tests for children
At Harmony Hearing & Audiology we also place great importance in specialised hearing tests for children. Healthy hearing is important for cognitive, social and emotional development. Through our collaborative approach with your physician, we are able to assess children from two years of age and up. The selected hearing test battery depends on the age and developmental level of each child.
Speech in ‘noise sentence’ hearing tests are integrated into our tests to help determine how well a child can follow speech in challenging listening environments. These tests simulate the classroom environment where ambient noise competes with the teacher’s speech. Functional speech tests are therefore an important indicator of how well a child follows speech in the learning environment.