Pure Tone Audiometry:
This test assesses your hearing sensitivity across a range of frequencies (pitches), which are involved in speech perception. It involves listening to sounds via headphones and responding by pressing a button every time a sound is heard. It usually takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. Audiologists quantify and qualify hearing in terms of the degree of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss and the configuration of the hearing loss.
In regard to the degree of hearing loss, the audiologist is looking for quantitative information. Hearing levels are expressed in decibels (dB) based on the pure tone average for the frequencies 250 to 8000 Hz and discussed using descriptors related to severity:
- normal hearing (up to 20 dB HL)
- mild hearing loss (21 to 40 dB HL)
- moderate hearing loss (41 to 70 dB HL)
- severe hearing loss (71 to 95 dB HL)
- profound hearing loss (95 dB HL or greater).
Audiological Evaluation Price list
- Pure Tone Audiometry £70
- Tympanometry £50
- Adult Audiology assessment including Pure Tone Audiometry and Tympanometry £100
- Paediatric Hearing Assessment £150 (includes all the tests described as above according to the child’s age and ability, we may conduct an Otoacoustic Testing if the child is not able to respond to behavioural hearing testing.
- Otoacoustic Emission testing as solo procedure £100
In regard to the configuration of the hearing loss, the audiologist is looking at qualitative attributes such as:
- Bilateral (both ears) versus unilateral (one ear) hearing loss
- Symmetrical (same level/severity of hearing loss in both ears) versus asymmetrical hearing loss (different levels/severity of hearing loss in each ear)
- High-frequency/pitched versus low frequency/pitched hearing loss
- Progressive versus sudden hearing loss
- Stable versus fluctuating hearing loss.
- After assessment/diagnostic procedures are complete, the option of hearing aid amplification is discussed with the patient if necessary.
Tympanometry and stapedial reflexes (immittance testing):
Paediatric Hearing Assessment: £150
During the test, your child will sit on your lap or a chair while sounds are presented. Your baby will be taught to link the sound to a visual reward such as a toy or computer screen lighting up.
Once your child is able to associate the sound and the visual reward the volume and pitch of the sound will be varied to determine the quietest sounds your child is able to hear.
Young children between 2 and 5 years old may have a play audiometry test.
During the test, sounds will be played through headphones or speakers and your child will be asked to perform a simple task when they hear the sound. This may vary from putting a ball in a bucket to completing a puzzle.
As with VRA, the volume and pitch of the sound will be varied to determine the quietest sounds your child is able to hear.
Pure tone audiometry
Older children may have a test called pure tone audiometry. This is the test often used to screen a child’s hearing before they start school, when it is sometimes referred to as the “sweep test”. It’s similar to a hearing test an adult might have.
During pure tone audiometry, a machine generates sounds at different volumes and frequencies. The sounds are played through headphones and your child is asked to respond when they hear them by pressing a button.
By changing the level of the sound, the tester can work out the quietest sounds your child can hear.
Bone conduction test
In addition to using speakers or headphones, most of the tests above can also be carried out using a small vibrating device placed behind the ear.
This device passes sound directly to the inner ear through the bones in the head, which can help identify which part of the ear is not working properly if your child is having hearing problems.
Tympanometry is a test to assess how flexible the eardrum is.
For good hearing, your eardrum needs to be flexible to allow sound to pass through it. If the eardrum is too rigid – for example, because there is fluid behind it (glue ear) – sounds will bounce back off the eardrum instead of passing through it.
During the test, a soft rubber tube will be placed at the entrance of your child’s ear. Air is gently blown down the tube and a sound is played through a small speaker inside it. The tube then measures the sound that’s bounced back from the ear.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing £100
The OAE (Otoacoustic Emissions) test checks part of the inner ear’s response to sound. The test is mostly done on infants and children who may not be able to respond to behavioural hearing tests because of their age or ability.
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