Diagnostic Hearing Tests

Our state-of-the-art equipment allows us to carry out pre-employment screening and hearing assessments of noise induced hearing loss.

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Why Have a Hearing Test?

Hearing loss is more prevalent than asthma, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes - and it can have wide-ranging effects on your general health and wellbeing.

Hearing loss can affect anyone regardless of age and as the loss is often gradual, you may not even notice you have an issue until you start to experience symptoms. So undertaking a baseline hearing test and annual follow-up hearing tests can help you identify and treat any hearing issues early.

The purpose of a hearing test is to determine not only if you have a hearing loss, but how mild or severe it is. Diagnostic hearing test can also help define the type of hearing loss you have and whether it will respond best to medical treatment i.e., a Cochlear implant or hearing aids.

Diagnostic Hearing Assessment for Children & Adults

1Puretone Audiometery: Pure Tone Audiometry is an important part of the test battery to determine both the degree, type and configuration of your hearing loss. This information is important for prescribing the most appropriate hearing aid, if required. This information is also used to verify and fine-tune hearing aids to your individual ears.

2Ear pressure check (Tympanometry): This test is usually performed as a cross-check with other tests but is also used to assess the status of the middle ear (ear drum and middle ear cavity). The results of this test can give your Audiologist insights into possible middle ear pathologies of the middle ear as well as confirming a conductive or mixed hearing loss.

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Hearing Assessments for Children

Ear & Hearing clinic is passionate about testing children's hearing and ensuring they receive the necessary help in a timely manner. We are experienced at obtaining accurate test results while at the same time making your child feel comfortable and relaxed. To help with this, we are dedicated to paediatric testing to make sure your child is comfortable, relaxed and ready to perform at their best.

There are many different characteristics of hearing loss in a child. These may include behavioural problems at school, decline in academic progress, TV needs to be turned up and asking for repeats just to name a few.

Your child's age and ability will determine the battery of audiological tests that we will perform on the day. It will also be dependent on the kind of information we are trying to obtain.

Three to Five Year Olds

Diagnostic Hearing Assessment includes air and bone conduction thresholds at all octave frequencies and an evaluation of the ear drum. A report is provided on request.

Six to Twelve Year Olds

For children in this age group, the primary reason most get a hearing assessment is to rule out hearing loss for a speech and language delay. We provide the following service for children in this age group:

Hearing Assessment using play audiometry measuring air conduction thresholds at all 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz and 4kHz. These are the most important frequencies to hear for speech and language development and can quickly answer the question of whether the child has adequate hearing for speech. To assist in clinical management, bone-conduction thresholds may also be sought. You can also expect tympanometry which can tell us if there is any fluid behind the eardrum (a common cause of a temporary conductive hearing loss). A report is provided on request.

Hearing Screening for Babies and Toddlers

Unfortunately babies and toddlers up to the age of around 2 are too young to be tested reliably. If you have any concerns regarding the hearing of your baby/toddler, we recommend you get a referral from your GP to a HSE diagnostic audiology department at your local hospital.

Pre-employment Medical Screenings

We provide timely hearing assessment reports for pre-employment medical screening including commercial drivers license, aviation license, police force applications, all manufacturing and industrial jobs.

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a reduced ability to hear speech and other sounds. Hearing loss, also called hearing impairment, can present itself in many different ways for different people. For example, it can be temporary or permanent, it can affect one or both ears, and it can vary greatly in severity from one individual to the next. While some people may experience complete loss of hearing in one or both ears, most people with hearing loss will experience a partial loss of hearing.

These individuals may have a reduced ability to hear certain pitches of sounds, and they may require certain sounds to be louder than normal in order to hear them. Hearing loss can vary in severity, ranging from mild to profound. Some people may have a mild hearing loss for low-pitched sounds (such as vowel sounds) and a severe hearing loss for high-pitched sounds (such as “th” and “sh” sounds). As you can see, hearing loss is not as straight-forward as simply “hearing” or “not hearing”, and this is one of the reasons why it may often be overlooked.

Hearing loss will typically result in difficulty understanding speech. In particular, it often presents itself as difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds; this can make many high-pitched consonants such as “s” and “f” difficult to distinguish, which results in reduced clarity of speech. Some individuals with hearing loss may hear vowel sounds quite well, with hearing loss primarily affecting their ability to hear higher-pitched consonant sounds. For most people with hearing loss, it’s not that they don’t hear; they are simply lacking clarity in what they do hear. They may be “hearing” but not necessarily “understanding” what was said, or misunderstanding parts of what was said. Because some of the important speech sounds are not being heard properly, similar words may start to sound the same (ex: “pass” versus “path”, or “tie” versus “pie”); the words within a sentence may not be distinct from one another; and it may start to seem as though other people are mumbling.

Impacts of Hearing Loss?

“Blindness separates you from objects, hearing loss separates you from people.”

We know a hearing loss can occur at any age and can have a huge impact on your quality of life. It can strain relationships as communication becomes more laboured. It can impact employment opportunities and your readiness or confidence to participate in social outings. There have even been a number of studies that showing a link between hearing loss and dementia and how even with a mild hearing loss, early intervention can lead to better long-term outcomes.

In summary, hearing loss of all degrees and types affects everyone differently. Although there are many repercussions of having a hearing loss, the unifying aspect is how it impacts our relationships with the people around us.

What are the Types & Causes of Hearing Loss?

Hearing Loss can be caused by many conditions and can described as either being sensorineural, conductive or mixed. To find out if you have a sensorineural, conductive or mixed hearing loss, you will require a comprehensive hearing assessment.

Sensorineural

Sensorineural hearing loss is due to damage or wear and tear to the delicate structures inside the cochlear or auditory nerve. With this kind of loss, the problem is permanent and accounts for 90% of all hearing losses. This includes hearing loss due to ageing (presbycusis), noise exposure or damage to the outer/inner hair cells within in the cochlear. People will often describe that not only volume but clarity is compromised with this hearing loss.

Conductive

Conductive Hearing Losses occur due to complications, blockages or infections in the middle or outer ear (middle ear cavity, ear canal or pinna). It attenuates sound being transferred to the cochlear thus making sounds more dull and soft. These hearing losses are usually temporary if due to earwax or middle ear infections. However, for some pathologies or anatomical abnormalities, the problem can be permanent.

Mixed

Is is quite common for a patient to present with both a sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. In this case, their hearing loss would be described as a mixed hearing loss.

Causes of Hearing Loss in Adults

Possible Causes of Hearing Loss or Listening Difficulties in Children

If you are concerned about hearing loss, get expert support and advice today. Just call.

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