Verbal audiometry is a test used to complement pure tone audiometry. Verbal audiometry is used to evaluate the understanding of speech heard by the tested person. Speech audiograms (verbal tests) are prepared for each language. This test helps your doctor or hearing care professional to evaluate social hearing performance – the ability to communicate in everyday life.
What is a purpose of verbal audiometry?
This test is designed to set the curve of discrimination, in other words, the curve of speech understanding for the various volume levels of the administered sound stimulus (speech in this case). Verbal audiometry is used to diagnose types of hearing loss, impaired balance, dizziness, also being helpful when selecting hearing aids (allows to assess the benefits of speech understanding in hearing aid).
How is the verbal audiometry test performed?
Verbal audiometry test is a non-invasive exam. It is carried out in special headphones for air conduction, separately for the right and left ear. The ear is given words / numbers / pseudowords, with different volume levels, while the examined person is to repeat the audio material immediately after its administration.
The test is carried out in co-operation with the patient and may be a complementary test for a type of hearing loss diagnosis and other auditory and labyrinth disorders.
The result of the verbal audiometry is a curve showing the percent of discrimination in speech understanding in a given level of stimulus intensity. The result is a complementary diagnostic.
Normal hearing Conductive hearing loss Sensorineural hearing loss
Verbal audiometry in children:
Due to the need of a patient’s cooperation with a hearing care professional or an audiometrist verbal audiometry test is performed in children from 6-7 years of age. The child should repeat words heard in headphones or speakers.
In children younger than 6 years, verbal audiometry can be aided by pictures. For children, such a test is more understandable and appealing, which also increases the level of cooperation. In this test, the child should identify the appropriate image based on auditory information, provided by headphones or speakers in an open field.
Verbal audiometry test in children is a diagnostic test for Central Auditory Processing Disorders suspicions, attention and auditory attention disorders, as well as the speech impediment, delayed speech development, and any speech, pedagogical and psychological therapies.
Author: Aleksandra Stojak