Monaural Testing Homework Discussion

The ears are the organs that enable the sensation of sound. The sound energy in the form of mechanical waves is collected by the outer ear and channelized through the canal to the eardrum. The eardrum converts the waves to vibrations. These vibrations pass through the three tiny bones – ossicles to reach the inner ear – cochlea. Hair cells within the cochlea convert the vibrations to nerve signals. Monaural testing is the testing of the hearing capacity in one ear. This test is called audiometry evaluation. This evaluation deciphers whether the individual has single-sided hearing loss, bilateral hearing loss, and the type of hearing loss ; sensorineural or conductive hearing loss. The tests expose the individuals to sounds of different volumes, pitch, and frequency – one ear at a time. Based on the results, individuals have mild, moderate, moderate to severe, severe, and profound types of hearing loss.

Auditory testing is required to decipher the hearing capacity of the individual in one ear or both ears. The test measures an individual’s ability to decipher sounds, pitch, and frequency. An audiometry evaluation is often part of a routine health check-up. Individuals who require monaural or binaural testing include the following:

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Those who work in a loud noise zone, construction site

Frequently utilize lawn mowers, shotguns, and other weapons

Frequently listen to loud music

Have excess ear wax

Trauma or injury to the head


Drugs, recreational and medicinal

Genetic problems of hearing loss

Three types of tests determine the hearing capacity of individuals, which are as follows:


Pure tone audiometry test: It measures the lowest decibel perceived by the test taker.

Word recognition or speech discrimination test: Individuals’ capacity to distinguish between speech and background noise.

Tympanometry test: For detection of burst eardrums, tumors, damaged ossicles, and bones.

Monaural Low Redundancy Speech Test
The monaural low redundancy speech test is the test conducted in each ear independently. Generally, doctors recommend a monaural low- redundancy test to confirm input-informative problems such as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). Students with CAPD possess normal hearing ability and are sensitive to sound. However, they face difficulty in the reception of the sound and interpreting the auditory information. Students with CAPD exhibit symptoms similar to that of hearing loss. However, it is entirely different from the output disorder called hearing loss. It is difficult for the CAPD children to understand the message in loud sound. There are different types of monaural low redundancy speech tests to confirm CAPD. Some of them include the following:

Filtered speech test: It is a monotonic test performed independently on each ear. Doctors ask children to listen to slightly distorted monosyllabic words. They make the distortions by filtering high-frequency information. Then, they ask the students to repeat the words that they heard. It helps the doctor to evaluate the depth of their interpreting difficulty.

Time compressed speech: Doctors play the compressed words with increased speed and then asks the students to repeat the word they heard. Time compressed speech test can sense cortical lesions but it exhibits moderate sensitivity toward brainstem lesions. It is helpful for the assessment of the ability of the auditory system to process rapidly changing acoustic spectra. The doctor marks the score using the degree of accuracy of students toward compressed words.

Time compressed speech with reverberation: Experts play compressed words with slight distortion. They add reverberations to distort the compressed words and then asks the student to repeat the words.

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