Entsa of Appleton
Entsa of Appleton

Hearing Exams, Screening, and Testing

The Audiologists at Ear, Nose and Throat Surgical Associates, in Appleton, provide hearing tests, exams and screening to determine the amount of hearing loss you are dealing with. We are able to test children as young as 6 months, through adult hood and into your senior years. Hearing loss can happen at any time, for a number of reasons. If you or a loved one suspect a hearing loss, call us to schedule a hearing exam.

Determining your type and degree of hearing loss is crucial for your audiologist to create a treatment plan.

Pure-Tone Audiometry

Hearing sounds that are not present is not an actual condition, but is a symptom of something else.

This test is performed in order to determine the faintest tones you can hear at a variety of pitches. You will be asked to sit in a sound booth and wear specially designed headphones. Sounds will be broadcast through the headphones and every time you hear a tone you will be asked to either raise your hand or press a button. The results from this test will be recorded on an audiogram, which is a visual representation of how well you can hear. This exam is one of the few that can test for unilateral hearing loss, hearing loss in only one ear.

If there is damage or a blockage in the outer or middle ear, bone conduction audiometry testing may be used. Instead of sending the tones through the ear, this type of testing is able to bypass the outer and middle ear and send the tone directly to the inner ear. A small vibrator is placed behind the ear. The device sends out a vibration which is passed through the skull bone to reach the inner ear. If the results of this test are different than the pure-tone audiometry, your audiologist can use this information to determine your type of hearing loss.

There are separate versions of this test available to test children. Visual reinforcement audiometry is used on children as young as six months of age. The child must sit in the sound booth while a series of sounds are played through the speakers. The child is trained to look toward the source of the sound and every time they do this correctly they are rewarded with a visual reinforcement. This can be a flashing light or watching a toy move.

Conditioned play audiometry is used on children ages two to five. The child is trained to perform a task every time they hear a sound. This task may be putting a block in a box or placing a ring on a cone.

Middle Ear Test

There are a number of causes of hearing loss that occur due to problems with the middle ear. These tests are able to determine if there is a change in pressure, a buildup of fluid or a perforated eardrum causing these problems.

Tympanometry involves placing a small rubber plug in the ear canal to create a change in ear pressure. This change in pressure will cause the eardrum to move back and forth. How well the eardrum is able to move is measured. This can confirm if there is a stiff eardrum, a hole in the eardrum or an eardrum that moves too much.

Acoustic reflex measures determine how your muscles react in response to a sound. The tiny muscles in your middle ear contract when exposed to a loud sound. A probe is placed in the ear and various frequencies are played. At what level the acoustic reflex occurs is measured.

Speech Testing

Speech testing is performed in order to confirm how well you can hear and understand speech. The tester will read a list of words aloud to you and you must indicate which words you were able to hear. This measurement is called your speech reception threshold (SRT). Word identification testing requires you to repeat the words back to the tester to confirm how many you were able to comprehend.

Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs)

Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are barely audible sounds given off by the inner ear. When a sound wave reaches the inner ear the tiny hairs within the cochlea move. This movement produce OAEs, which are funneled back through the ear. This test involves placing a small probe into the ear canal. A series of tones is played and any OAEs are measured. An absence of OAEs can indicate a blockage in the outer ear canal, fluid within the middle ear or damage to the hair cells within the inner ear.

Please feel free to contact us at (920) 734-7181. We can help improve your quality of life.