Pure-tone air and bone conduction test: Determines the faintest tones a person can hear at selected pitches, typically by asking them to raise their hand when they hear a tone being played. This can indicate the degree, configuration, and type of hearing loss. In children, it can rule out hearing loss as a factor of speech or language delay.
Speech tests: Often these tests are used together with the pure-tone test to assess a person’s understanding of speech and their ability to hear a conversation (with or without background noise) clearly.
Immittance evaluation: Using a small probe in the ear canal, slight pressure is applied on the eardrum to determine how well it vibrates and how much air is behind it. This test can determine the specific area in the ear affecting the hearing loss. It also can identify medically treatable problems of the ear, such as an ear infection.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR): Electrodes are placed on the head and ear, and record brain waves in response to sound. The ABR is helpful for people with signs, symptoms, or complaints of a type of hearing loss stemming from the brain or a brain pathway. It also is used to determine the degree and type of hearing loss in infants and children without behavioral responses.
Otoacoustic emissions: The emissions in this case are sounds produced by hair cells in the inner ear. The emission can be measured by a small device placed in the ear canal, and used to evaluate hearing in infants or other difficult-to-test populations.
Real ear analysis: Measurement of the unique physical properties of an individual’s ear for successful hearing aid fitting.