Hearing Services for Children and Adults
At Morton Plant Mease Hearing Health Center, we offer comprehensive services to assess and diagnose adult and pediatric hearing loss.
Hearing Evaluations for Adults
Your first visit to a Morton Plant Mease Hearing Health Center will include a complete, non-invasive evaluation of your hearing using state-of-the-art equipment. It’s a lot more than “just a hearing test.” This is a thorough, 90-minute assessment to determine the exact type and degree of hearing loss, and how well or poorly you understand speech. It includes a complete case history, as well as visual inspection of the ear canal and eardrum. The audiologist may use the following tests:
- Pure Tone Audiometry: This test measures your hearing ability at different pitches and at different volumes. A machine produces tones that you listen to via earphones and the results are recorded on a graph called an audiogram.
- Word Recognition Testing: For this testing, an audiologist will test your ability to hear, understand and respond to speech by your repetition of simple words.
- Basic Immittance Test Battery: These tests measure how the eardrum responds to sound. They provide information about the status of the middle ear, such as the detection of fluid in the middle ear or any perforation of the eardrum.
Additional Testing Services for Adults
There are a variety of other procedures that assess the auditory system and determine hearing loss. They are sometimes used independently and sometimes to complement the standard series of hearing tests.
- Auditory Brainstem Response Testing (ABR): This is used to evaluate how well sounds travel along the hearing nerve pathways to the brainstem. It can be used to estimate the hearing sensitivity of an adult who is unable to accurately complete a standard hearing test.
- Otoacoustic Emission Testing (OAE): OAEs are inaudible sounds produced by outer hair cells in the inner ear when they vibrate in response to an audible sound. The inaudible sound echoes back into the middle and outer ear and can be measured with a small, sensitive microphone placed in the ear canal. The presence or absence of OAEs is important in helping to identify hearing loss.
- Videonystagmography (VNG) and Rotary Chair: Our inner ear plays a significant role in helping us maintain our balance. Any disturbance in the inner ear may cause a feeling of dizziness. This test is used for patients with balance disorders to help determine the degree and location of a balance dysfunction. For more information, please visit the Morton Plant Neurosciences Balance Clinic.
Hearing health assessment and diagnosis is not a one-size-fits-all process. It is vastly different in children and adults. That's why at the Morton Plant Mease Hearing Health Center at the Ptak Orthopaedic & Neuroscience Pavilion, we separate our children and adult services and use individualized, age-appropriate methods. This includes pediatric-specific booths for evaluating even the youngest patients.
Hearing Evaluations for Children
As of July 1, 2000, the State of Florida requires hearing screenings for all newborns prior to discharge from hospitals and birthing centers. Even if a difficulty is determined at this early age, we can provide the necessary follow-up testing. We are equipped and trained to test children of all ages.
- Pure Tone Audiometry: This test measures your child’s ability to hear different sound pitches and volumes.
- Speech Understanding Testing: An audiologist will test your child’s ability to hear, understand and respond to speech by having him or her repeat simple words or point to pictures.
- Basic Immitance Test Battery: These tests provide information about the status of the outer and middle ear such as the detection of fluid in the middle ear, a perforation of the eardrum, or wax blocking the ear canal.
- Select Picture Audiometry: Your child will use pictures on cards to indicate how he or she hears sounds.
- Conditioning Play Audiometry: Children ages two to five are conditioned to respond to sound through play, such as stacking blocks or filling a peg board.
- Visual Reinforcement Audiometry: Used for children age 7 months to 5 years, this test uses lighted animated toys to train children to look toward sound in the testing booth.
Additional Pediatric Testing Services
There are a variety of other procedures that assess the auditory system and determine the presence of hearing loss. They are sometimes used independently and sometimes to complement the standard series of audiologic tests.
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs): OAEs are inaudible sounds produced by outer hair cells in the inner ear when they vibrate in response to an audible sound. The inaudible sound echoes back into the middle and outer ear and can be measured with a small, sensitive microphone placed in the ear canal. The presence or absence of OAEs is important in helping to identify hearing loss.
- Auditory Brainstem Response Testing for Newborns (ABR): This test estimates the level of hearing acuity by looking at brainstem wave responses to a series of clicks presented to each ear. It can be used as a screening procedure for newborns that are at risk for hearing loss, as well as a diagnostic tool to identify infants and small children with a hearing loss.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (727) 461-8807.