Carol Hawkins, Au.D., Doctor of Audiology

Hearing Testing

Top-Rated Practice in Solon, OH - See reviews
33120 Station Street, Solon, OH 44139

At Hawkins Hearing, we are proud of the quality of service we offer and the help that we give our patients. In order to give you the best help possible, we have invested heavily in state-of-the-art equipment for our office.

We provide comprehensive diagnostic hearing testing, using internationally recognized best practice processes to fully evaluate your hearing and determine the best options for you.

Prior to a hearing test, the audiologist will first examine your ears with an otoscope, looking for any visible conditions which may warrant a medical referral. Next, the hearing test will help determine if a hearing impairment exists and what level that impairment is. This consists of the following tasks:

  • Finding the softest level at which you can recognize words and tones
  • Determining how well you can understand speech in quiet and noise

Additional testing may include:

  • Tympanometry, which evaluates how well your eardrums move in response to pressure changes and can give us information about the status of your middle ear
  • Otoacoustic emissions, which are sounds that are produced by healthy ears in response to acoustic stimuli and whose presence or absence can give us information about the status of sensory cells in your cochlea

The results of the hearing test are reported on an audiogram.

Speech Testing

What is it?

This group of tests allows us to assess the impact that your hearing loss is having on your understanding of speech sounds. We will determine how a hearing loss may be affecting your understanding of speech in both quiet and noisy situations. These tests help recommend suitable hearing aids for your specific situation, if needed.

How is it performed?

The audiologist will present speech to you in both quiet and noisy situations. During these tests you will be asked to repeat words and sentences with varying amounts of background noise.

Audiometry (Hearing Test)

What is it?

The hearing test determines your hearing sensitivity and can also reveal any asymmetry (hearing sensitivity that is not equal between the two ears). The audiometric configuration (the “shape” of the thresholds) and the rest of the testing also gives us more diagnostic information.

How is it performed?

This battery of tests involves carefully listening through headphones that are placed over the ears or insert earphones that are placed in the ear canals. Next, pure tones will be presented through the headphones or insert earphones, as well as through a bone conduction vibrator on a headband placed behind the ear. You will listen for the softest level you can detect, and will push a button or raise your hand in response. This will determine your hearing thresholds.

Additional tests may be added to the group of tests if an asymmetry of thresholds is found, or if you have tinnitus or dizziness.

How to Read an Audiogram

Recording The Hearing Test

An audiogram is a graph form that we use to  record the results of a hearing test. You can see a sample audiogram to the right.

The vertical lines represent the test frequencies, arranged from low pitched on the left to high pitched on the right. Low pitch, is the bass of sound, it is the sound of the vowels or power in speech. High pitch is the treble of sound, it is the sound of the consonants or clarity in speech.

The horizontal lines represent loudness, from very soft at the top to very loud at the bottom.

Circles represent scores for the right ear, and Xs are used for the left ear. The scores are plotted on the audiogram and compared to results obtained from persons with normal hearing (the unshaded area). Speech sounds at an average speech level may also be plotted, to give some information about which sounds are audible to the listener.

Tympanometry

What is it?

This test measures how well your middle ear works. Your middle ear includes your ear drum, the middle ear bones, and your Eustachian tube. The test can reveal middle ear abnormalities consistent with a conductive hearing loss and/or a sensation of pressure in the ear.

How is it performed?

An ear tip is placed in the canal and is connected to a machine that briefly varies the pressure in the ear. By varying the pressure, the movement of the eardrum can be measured. It takes only a few minutes to complete.

Acoustic Reflex Thresholds

What is it?

This test measures how the stapedius muscle contracts in response to a loud sound. The absence or presence of acoustic reflexes can be important for differential diagnosis.

How is it performed?

Often, tympanometry and acoustic reflex thresholds are done together. With the ear tip in your canal, you will hear beeps that are progressively louder. You will not need to respond. Instead, the machine will automatically measure the response.

Distortion Product Oto-acoustic Emissions (DPOAE)

What is it?

This test measures how well the outer hair cells in the cochlear work. The outer hair cells produce low-level sounds called Otoacoustic Emissions in response to clicks. A conductive or sensorineural hearing loss will often result in absent DPOAE responses.

How is it performed?

With an ear tip in the canal, clicks are presented in the ear. In response, the cochlea emits a sound which is recorded by the equipment. The extent of the response and the frequency at which the response occurs is measured and recorded.

Hearing Test Results

The results of your tests will be recorded on a form called an audiogram, which the audiologist will review with you. The audiogram reflects your hearing loss in frequencies and decibels. You will be shown the type, pattern, and degree of hearing loss, as well as the percentage of normal conversational speech that you are still able to hear.

How to Read an Audiogram

Recording The Hearing Test

An audiogram is a graph form that we use to  record the results of a hearing test. You can see a sample audiogram to the right.

The vertical lines represent the test frequencies, arranged from low pitched on the left to high pitched on the right. Low pitch, is the bass of sound, it is the sound of the vowels or power in speech. High pitch is the treble of sound, it is the sound of the consonants or clarity in speech.

The horizontal lines represent loudness, from very soft at the top to very loud at the bottom.

Circles represent scores for the right ear, and Xs are used for the left ear. The scores are plotted on the audiogram and compared to results obtained from persons with normal hearing (the unshaded area). Speech sounds at an average speech level may also be plotted, to give some information about which sounds are audible to the listener.

Hearing Loss Treatment Solutions

The next step is to consider treatment solutions. You can count on our team to take the time necessary to understand your concerns so that they can provide you with everything you need to make an informed personal decision.

A Clear Plan

If you are suitable for a better hearing solution, we will agree on a clear treatment plan that covers all of the elements of your treatment and your individualized patient journey. This way you clearly understand what we propose, how we propose to deliver it and how you can be expected to benefit from it.

"If you need hearing aids, this is the place to buy them.  Friendly service and caring about you!"
-James S., review from Facebook