Upper Valley Hearing & Balance, Inc. | (937) 308-7000 | 31 Stanfield Road, Suit 306 | Troy, Ohio, 45373

Kate Williamson Lins, Au.D. Mallory Mercer, Au.D. Alison Bailey Au.D. Jane H. Rudy, Au.D.
Dr. Kate Williamson Lins
Dr. Mallory Mercer
Dr. Alison Bailey
Dr. Jane H. Rudy

Hearing Testing

We encourage patients to attend our lecture series.

 tinnitus-lectureCall us today for more information! 


Audiologic care is the protection, preservation, evaluation, and treatment of hearing and balance funtions of the human audio-vestibular system, and is provided only by Audiologists, either individually or as part of a health care team. The goal of the Audiologist is to use her professional skills to improve the quality of life for each patient.

At Upper Valley Hearing & Balance, Inc., we strive to provide our patients with quality, state-of-the-art audiological services while maintaining a caring and family-friendly patient atmosphere.

We continue to expand our scope of practice as technology moves forward and are able to offer a wide range of services related to the diagnosis and rehabilitation of the auditory and vestibular systems.

Diagnostic Services

Includes careful hearing and health history, physical examination of the ears, and hearing evaluation. Additional testing will be determined based on the individual needs of each patient, and may include Tympanometry (to assess middle ear function), Otoacoustic Emission testing (an objective test of inner ear function), Videonystagmography (for assessment of balance disorders), or Auditory Brainstem Response (objective measure of auditory function).


Tympanometry is an examination used to test the condition of the middle ear and mobility of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and the conduction bones by creating variations of air pressure in the ear canal. Tympanometry is an objective test of middle-ear function. It is not a hearing test, but rather a measure of energy transmission through the middle ear.  A small probe is inserted in your ear canal. You will feel slight pressure, as you might going up in an elevator. You will be asked to be very quiet and still as the test is performed.  The test takes approximately 1-2 minutes for both ears.  Your audiologist will share your test results with you at the completion of testing

Pure Tone Audiometry

Pure tone audiometry is a hearing test used to determine the presence or absence of hearing loss. If hearing loss is present, your audiologist will be able to determine both type and degree of hearing loss.

You will be seated in a soundproof room, with headphones on or in your ears, and a bone conduction headband on your head. Your audiologist will be seated on the outside of the sound booth and manipulate the audiometry equipment while testing your hearing.  Your audiologist will first test to see if you are able to hear a variety of different pitches. You will be asked to push a button or raise your hand when you hear the different tones.  This part of the test examines air conduction and bone conduction. Both the headphones for air conduction testing and the headband with the oscillator are placed behind your ear for bone conduction testing.  Your audiologist will compare the results of the two types of conduction to determine which part of your auditory system is responsible for the loss.

Your evaluation will last approximately 20 to 25 minutes.  Your audiologist will review your test results with you when your testing is completed and show you how to understand your audiogram.

Understanding Your Audiogram:  The audiogram is a graphical display of the hearing test. The two main components that are graphed are frequency and intensity. These results are displayed for each ear. When you had your hearing tested, the audiologist was determining the softest sound you could hear at each specific frequency.


Frequency Frequency or pitch is measured in Hertz (Hz). Frequencies range from low-pitch to high-pitch and read from left to right on the audiogram. Each vertical line represents a different frequency. The ones used most often during testing are 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000 and 8000 Hz.

Intensity The intensity is measured in decibels (dB). The intensity relates to how loud or soft a sound is. Each horizontal line represents a different intensity level. The softest sounds are at the top of the chart and the loudest sounds at the bottom. Each mark on an individual’s hearing test would represent the softest sounds they could hear. The softest intensity tested is typically 0 dB and the loudest is 120 dB.

Right Ear – Left Ear The right ear is graphed with either a circle or triangle when testing is performed using headphones. The left ear is graphed with an X or a square when headphones are used. These responses would all represent the air conduction results of either the right or left ear.

Another symbol used when testing is performed through the speakers or in the soundfield is S. This would represent the response of at least one ear or the response of the better hearing ear.

Other symbols seen on the audiogram may depict the responses obtained during bone conduction testing. The right ear is graphed with < or [ and the left ear with > or ]. These responses can help determine whether a hearing loss is sensorineural or conductive.

Hearing loss is classified in degrees of hearing from normal to profound. This classification is determined by the hearing threshold (or the softest a sound was heard at a specific frequency).

Normal Hearing 0 to 20 dB
Mild 20 to 40 dB
Moderate 41 to 55 dB
Moderately-Severe 56 to 70 dB
Severe 71 to 90 dB
Profound 91+ dB






Depending on your result, your audiologist will recommend further testing, an otology consult, or discuss the possibility of using hearing aid technology to improve your hearing.

Speech Audiometry 

There are 2 different speech tests that will be completed. One will determine how softly you are able to hear words and the other will measure how clearly you are able to understand words.  You will be seated in the sound booth and will be wearing headphones.  Your audiologist will ask you to repeat a list of words to determine your Speech Reception Threshold (SRT) or how soft you were able to repeat common words.  Your audiologist will measure Speech Discrimination or Word Recognition ability. The audiologist will be either saying words to you or you will be listening to a CD recording. You will be asked to repeat the words. The audiologist will be measuring your clarity or ability to understand speech.  The test will take 5-10 minutes, and your audiologist will share your test results with you at the completion of testing. Speech Discrimination ability is typically measured as a percentage score.

Otoacoustic Emission Testing – OAE 

The Otoacoustic Emission test is an objective test, which measures hair cell function in the inner ear. An emission is a sound generated within the normal cochlea in response to stimulation.  OAE testing is used for a number of reasons, including screening of infants and other special population.  OAE is a non-invasive test, which requires a small plug to be inserted in the ear and a series of tones, or clicks are presented to the patient. The test takes place in the sound booth and the patient is required to be still and quiet throughout testing.  This test is typically scheduled as a 30-minute appointment.  Your audiologist will share your test results with you at the completion of testing.

Auditory Brainstem Response Evaluations (ABR or BAER) 

The Auditory Brainstem Response test is used for two purposes, for assessment of hearing thresholds in specific populations
or to assess the functional status of the auditory neural pathway.  This test is non-invasive and is performed with recording electrodes placed on the forehead and ears. The audiologist will analyze recordings of electric potentials generated by the auditory neural pathway.  This procedure is performed while the patient is lying down or comfortably seated. The patient is required to be still and quiet throughout the test.  The test will range from 30-120 minutes.  Your audiologist will share your test results with you at the completion of testing.

Videonystagmography - VNG

VNG is a technology for testing inner ear and central motor functions, a process known as vestibular assessment.  It involves the use of infrared goggles to trace eye movements during visual stimulation and positional changes. VNG can determine whether dizziness is caused by inner ear disease, particularly Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), as opposed to some other cause such as low blood pressure or anxiety.  VNG evaluations are typically scheduled for 90 minutes.  Your audiologist will review your results at the completion of your test.

Electrococheography – ECOG 

What is Electrocochleography (ECOG)?
Electrocochleography (ECOG) is a specialized test, which measures the electric potentials or signals generated in the inner ear in response to sound. ECOG may be used to help diagnose whether you have any disease which may cause an accumulation of inner ear fluid, such as Meniere’s disease.  ECOG is performed with a recording electrode placed as close to the inner ear as possible, typically in contact with the tympanic membrane (eardrum).  Your audiologist will share your test results with you at the completion of testing.

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