A quality-hearing center offers a wide variety of auditory, diagnostic services to pinpoint any sort of problem related to auditory loss. Just one of these techniques involves the use of specialty equipment designed to measure the type and degree of that loss. In addition, once the loss is determined, there is an additional assessment done of the type of amplification needed to help restore sound recognition to normal levels. This restoration may or may not require rehabilitation services. Some of the techniques used involve immittance audiometry, central audit processing assessment, and auditory evoked response testing.
Audiometry is the science of measuring your acuity in recognizing sound. In other words, these tests at the hearing center will measure your ability to determine the variations in a sounds intensity, frequency, and pitch. The device used for this type of test is an audiometer. An audiologist, who is a highly trained audio specialist, operates the device. You, the patient, are separated from the doctor in a sound proof room where you are instructed to signify when you hear the sound by raising your hand or depressing a button. As the test proceeded the audiologist details each of your responses on a graph, and the doctor can determine the amount and severity of your loss by the graph results after testing has ended.
Immittance audiometry tests the vitality and function of the middle ear and the eardrum. This test can detect disease or damage to this critical area of sound recognition to determine if the problem of your loss lies in this area. Central auditory processing assessments can detect APD or central auditory processing disorder. This is a complex problem that affects a large number of school-aged children and causes the child to not be able to process speech correctly. With APD, the ears and the brain do not coordinate correctly. It is important to note that this condition is almost exclusively a childhood disease and rarely if ever affects adults.
If, after all testing is concluded, the audiologist determines if there is a need for some form of amplification device to correct your loss. If it is proper for your situation, it is selected for a test trial. These amplification devices come in a variety of sizes and have a variety of functions from being able to restore a minor loss to a major loss of function. Amplification devices also come in a variety of sizes from the standard in the ear device to invisible canal implants that are impossible to see. After all testing is completed a frank discussion with your audiologist is in order to help determine which aid would be your best choice.
In addition to testing adults a quality hearing center will also have available services for the diagnosing and treatment of hearing impaired infections, toddlers, and school-aged children. Children's services are extremely important, as hearing loss in children can be caused by delayed language development or learning disabilities.