Assessing Hearing 

from the Outer Ear to the Cochlea


Examining the Ear (Cursory Otoscopy)

Every hearing assessment begins with a brief examination of  the outer ear, ear canal and eardrum. It is essential  to identify any physical abnormalities, and determine if excessive earwax (cerumen) or other obstructions may be hindering the transmission of sound to the eardrum and beyond.

Tests of Middle & Inner Ear Function

Immittance audiometry assesses middle ear function objectively by measuring how much sound is being absorbed by the eardrum and ossicular chain in response to air pressure changes. It also allows us to evaluate Eustachian tube function. Measuring the reflexes of the middle ear muscles provides valuable information about how the auditory system and neural pathways react to high intensity sounds, allowing the identification of neural problems that may occur beyond the inner ear.


Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)  is another objective  test that evaluates inner ear (cochlear) function. The outer hair cells of the cochlea help to tune and sharpen incoming sounds. The responses of these cochlear hair cells to specially selected stimuli can be recorded. This  information allows us to determine the health of these delicate structures and how they impact auditory function.

Hearing Tests (Behavioural Audiometry)

In addition to more objective tests, behavioural audiometry enables us to determine how well you hear sound. This test requires the audiologist's determination of the lowest  that the person reliably responds to pure tone and speech sounds. This is called a threshold or minimum response level, and can be obtained in a variety of ways, depending on the person's age, developmental level and physical ability.



The Audiogram

The results of a hearing test are recorded on a graph known as an audiogram. Symbols representing the ear and method of sound transmissiont are placed on a grid. these symbols indicate the frequency and lowest intensity level that the sound was heard by the patient. This visual tool helps us to easily communicate the type and degree of  hearing impairment.  Greater hearing impairments have increasing levels of negative impact on hearing and understanding in everyday listening situations.  


At AudioLogic, we believe that clearly understanding hearing/hearing impairment helps you to make better decisions about management strategies designed to improve your ability to hear and communicate with others. We help you make sense of what you hear!

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