Hearing Testing

People of every age can benefit from a hearing examination. We have found that many people experiencing hearing loss simply want to know what to expect before seeing us.

Our tests are very simple and unobtrusive. We use several painless techniques to determine your hearing ability.
 


Otoscopy

As the health and structure of the ear can greatly affect your ability to hear, we will take a closer look inside your ear. Taking only a few moments, our hearing care professionals will use what is called an otoscope to examine your ear canal and tympanic membrane.

They will be looking for any visible signs of problems that could be affecting your ability to hear. Classic problems include an ear infection, build up of earwax or a perforated eardrum.
 

 

Pure tone audiometry and audiogram

Air conduction 

One of the simplest ways to determine your hearing ability is through pure tone audiometry. During an air conduction hearing test, we play beeps at different pitches and you indicate the level of loudness you require before you can hear each beep.  This method of testing is known as air conduction testing because the sounds pass through the air down your ear canal and middle ear, to be received by your inner ear.

You will be asked to press a button every time you hear a beep. The volume of the beeps will be gradually lowered until they can no longer be heard. This will determine your hearing threshold for each frequency. Your ability to hear each frequency will be displayed graphically as an audiogram.

 

Bone conduction 

A bone conduction test allows our hearing care professionals to directly test the sensitivity of the cochlea within your inner ear. This is accomplished by presenting sounds through vibrations. During bone conduction testing, sound does not pass through your middle ear.

A small device is placed on the mastoid bone behind your ear, where sounds travel to the hearing receptors within your inner ear. Again, we will measure the softest sounds that you are able to hear. In some cases, our clients show an increased hearing ability through bone conduction testing.  This provides us with important information regarding the possible cause of your hearing loss.

If you are able to generally hear better during bone conduction testing, there is likely a problem in your outer or middle ear that is stopping sounds from reaching your inner ear.

 

Speech testing

Hearing loss can not only cause the overall volume of sound to decrease, but also the quality of sound.  As you lose the ability to hear certain tones, sounds can become distorted. We use speech tests to determine how clearly you can hear speech at different levels of amplification.

The tests are simple. We have you listen to individual words without the assistance of visual cues such as lip reading. You then repeat the word you believe you heard. Our hearing care professionals use this information to better understand your hearing ability.
 

Speech in noise testing

People generally have more difficulty understanding speech if there is competing background noise. This is why we sometimes add a noise stimulus to the background at various volumes to determine how this affects your ability to understand spoken words or phrases. 


Aided vs unaided testing

After fitting a client with a hearing aid, our hearing care professionals will conduct follow up speech assessments, with and without background noise. The results of these tests will be compared to measure the amount of improvement provided by a hearing device. 

 

Tympanometry

A tympanogram is used to examine the functioning of your eardrum, which is also known as your tympanic membrane. During this test, we study the movement and flexibility of your tympanic membrane.

 

Arrange a free hearing test

In order to reduce the barriers to addressing hearing loss, Acoustic Hearing Clinics offer free hearing checks for people aged 55 years or older. Call 5443 6633 between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday or click here to make an appointment. We have clinics located throughout the Sunshine Coast at Maroochydore, Buddina, Caloundra, Cooroy, Noosa Heads and Nambour.  We also have a clinic at Gympie.