The office offers full audiology services including hearing tests and hearing aid dispensing. Hearing loss can occur from a variety of causes including infection, general aging process, hereditary, medication induced, and many other medical conditions. Reasons to perform a hearing test include not only hearing loss but ear fullness/pressure, noises (ringing, beating, ticking) and dizziness. A final diagnosis is made by combining all fo the information from your history, exam, and all of the various pars of a hearing test.
A comprehensive hearing test typically takes 30 minutes to complete and includes the following:
1. Pure tone audiometry. This is what most people think of when they think of a hearing test – sitting in a booth and responding to yes or no when they hear a tone. The full test we perform is more involved to be able to differentiate between the two major types of hearing loss – conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. It is important to measure both air conduction how we normally hear through air or headphones) and bone conduction (tested by placing a vibrating piece behind the ear and directly vibrating skull).
2. Tympanometry – measures the air pressure system of the ear (eustachian tube function). Sometimes helpful to make definitive diagnosis if there is fluid behind the eardrum.
3. Acoustic Reflux. There is a uscle that connects to the bones behind the eardrum that reacts to sounds much in the way that we have a knee jerk reflex.
4. Otoacoustic emissions testing (OAE). This does not require any patient responses and is completely objective. The cells of the inner ear (cochlea) actually make their own sounds in response to external noises. We now have the technology to measure these sounds. OAE is very sensitive but not necessarily specific.