Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center

Buffalo, NY (716) 885-8318
Williamsville, NY (716) 204-8680
Niagara Falls, NY (716) 236-7887
West Seneca, NY (716) 558-1105
Hearing Aid Seminar | Buffalo, NY | Williamsville, NY | Niagara Falls, NY | West Seneca, NY
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Audiological Evaluations (for adults and children)

All diagnostic appointments begin with a thorough case history.  During this interview the audiologist will ask about your social and medical history.  The audiologist will then check your ears for wax build up that can affect hearing , as well as for any abnormalities that would require physician follow up. 

A Tympanogram will also be performed.  During this very quick test, a probe will be placed in the ear canal and pressure changes will be introduced into the ear.  A computer will measure the movement of the tympanic membrane, or the eardrum, in response to these pressure changes.    

A number of tests are available to evaluate the type and degree of hearing loss, as well as determine the appropriate treatment.  The most common hearing test is the audiological evaluation or audiogram.  During this evaluation you will be placed in a sound treated test booth.  You will wear earphones and listen to sounds at various pitches (frequencies) and loudness levels (intensity).  The audiologist will record the softest sound that you can hear at each frequency.  Hearing loss is seldom equal among all frequencies.  People with hearing loss often lose the highest frequencies first.

You will also be tested on how clearly you understand and recognize words (speech discrimination).  In addition, bone conduction testing, which assists in determining the type of hearing loss, may be performed.  

At the end of the appointment the audiologist will counsel you on the results as well as any recommendations that they may make.  A complete report will be written and sent to your physician.

Hearing testing can be performed on patients of any age by using various methods of obtaining the information.  For example, very young children may be conditioned to respond to sounds by playing a game or turning their head towards speakers.  

An Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test may also be performed.  An ABR is a test used to measure the electrical activity that your ear produces when it hears sounds.   An ABR is indicated when complete results cannot be obtained with routine hearing testing such as in cases that involve infants, young children, or individuals with developmental delays.

During an ABR test children can play quietly or watch a video during this testing.  The electrical energy is detected through the placement of electrodes on the head and face.  These electrodes do not cause discomfort and in fact many patients fall asleep during this testing.  The responses are sent to a computer which then records a brain wave pattern.  

Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) testing may also be performed in combination with some other tests.  OAE’s are low level inaudible sounds generated within the normal cochlea in the inner ear in response to external sounds.  OAE tests are used to determine if the cochlea is responding normally to sound.   During this test a microphone is placed in the ear canal and used to detect sounds emitted by the cochlea.  These sounds are then recorded on a computer.  While OAE testing can be extremely helpful in detecting hearing loss in infants, it should not be used as the sole means of identifying a hearing impairment.