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Diagnositc Hearing Evaluations

A diagnostic hearing evaluation is the first step in determining your hearing capability. If you have a hearing loss, it will detail the extent, type, and specifics of your particular hearing loss. 

The diagnostic hearing evaluation consists of a variety of tests to determine the unique aspects of your hearing loss, as well as the level at which you can detect and understand speech. 

A diagnostic hearing evaluation may include the following tests:

  • Air conduction testing
  • Bone conduction testing
  • Speech testing
  • Tympanometry or acoustic immittance testing

Why a Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation is Important

Diagnostic hearing evaluations identify hearing loss, and give us important information to help determine the best course of action for treatment. Some types of hearing loss can be treated medically or surgically, so it's important that these types of hearing losses be ruled out before hearing aids or other treatments are considered.

If it is determined that you could benefit from hearing aids, the diagnostic hearing evaluation helps your audiologist know which hearing aids will be most appropriate for your needs.

What Can I Expect During a Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation?

The evaluation will probably last about 30 to 40 minutes in length. You should also allow time for discussion afterward to review test results, and ask questions.

If the determination is made that you need hearing aids, allow for sufficient time to discuss your options.

It is recommended that you bring a family member or trusted friend with you to the evaluation appointment.  It helps to have another supportive person at the appointment to help you understand the information and recommendations.

Before your appointment, take note of the environments you are in that you find the most challenging.  Pay special attention to any concerns you have about exposure to noise, tinnitus, and balance problems. Make sure that you bring this list, as well as a full list of any medications and supplements you are taking, with you to your appointment to share with your specialist.

The diagnostic hearing evaluation is a good chance to establish a relationship with your specialist. It is important that you feel comfortable and that your concerns are heard.  Above all, don't be afraid to ask questions. You will want to be clear on any information you receive so that you can be an active participant in finding hearing solutions that work best for you and your lifestyle.