Hearing Loss Identification

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Audiologists are among a team of hearing healthcare professionals who work to identify and assess disorders of hearing and balance in both pediatric and adult populations. If hearing loss is identified as impacting the patient’s life the audiologist can also recommend, select, and fit appropriate amplification. Additional assessments may also be needed to find out if the patient is a cochlear implant candidate or could be helped through other hearing assistive technology devices (HAT).

Identification of hearing loss has never been easier than it is now. Patient populations of all ages and developmental levels can be tested subjectively or objectively to provide information about the function of their auditory system. Specialized testing for difficult to test populations has become more widely accepted and is able to be performed safely and easily. Some or all of the following testing may be performed as part of a battery of tests to assess your auditory system.

  • Pure Tone Audiometry: Utilizing age appropriate techniques
  • Speech Audiometry: Speech Detection Threshold, Speech Reception Threshold, Word Recognition Score
  • Immittance Measures: Tympanometry, Acoustic Reflexes, Acoustic Reflex Decay
  • Otoacoustic Emissions
  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Testing
  • Hearing in Noise Testing

Degree of Hearing Loss

While hearing loss type is important the affect on a patient’s life is often determined by the degree of hearing loss. In the past, audiologists and physicians may have defined hearing loss through a percentage (i.e. 20% loss, 50% loss etc.). However, due to the fact that most hearing losses are not flat the degree of loss may vary at different pitches. It has become widely accepted practice to describe the hearing loss based on a classification system.

  • Mild hearing loss: Speech may be heard in quiet, but becomes difficult to understand when there is background noise in the environment or when speech is at a distance.
  • Moderate hearing loss: Speech can be heard at a normal level only in quiet and in very close proximity.
  • Moderately- severe hearing loss: Even in a quiet environment speech must be loud in order to be heard, understanding may be impaired even with this louder signal.
  • Severe hearing loss: Speech is very difficult to understand in all situations.
  • Profound hearing loss: Communication can be very difficulty even with hearing aids.

Call us for an Appointment

To find a head and neck specialist for your needs, contact the Head & Neck Institute at 216.444.8500 (or toll-free 1.800.223.2273, ext. 48500)

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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