During your initial consultation, our Audiology team at Lawrence Otolaryngology may perform a series of test and evaluations to determine the extent and severity of your hearing loss.
Audiological Evaluation (AE):
This is commonly known as a hearing test. The hearing test includes a series of tests that provides us with more information regarding your ear’s response to pure tone sounds as well as checking to see how your ear processes speech. The evaluation can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. The result is recorded as a characteristic audiogram curve. An audiogram is a graphic representation of your hearing ability.
During a hearing test, your hearing is checked across a spectrum of frequencies while listening to a series of tones or words varying in pitch and loudness. The purpose of this test is to determine the softest level the patient can hear at each pitch and can also indicate if hearing loss is related to fluid, a hole in the eardrum or another factor interrupting the flow of sound, or if it is nerve damage related to age or excessive noise exposure. These tests also reflect the hearing system’s ability to receive and transmit complex signals, like speech.
This test examines the function of the middle-ear and mobility of the ear drum. It measures the impedance of the middle ear to sound by using an airtight seal and a microphone to deliver sound into the ear canal. The amount of sound that is absorbed from the middle ear is measured at the microphone at normal, positive, and negative air pressures. Tympanometry is useful in identifying middle-ear disfunctions.
Otoacoustic Emission (OAE):
This specialized hearing test takes about 10 to 15 minutes and gives information about the hearing organ itself. OAEs are most typically completed on newborns, including those that may have failed a screening at birth. A small probe is inserted into each ear canal independently, and tones are introduced into the ear canal. A microphone in the probe will then measure if there is an “echo” produced.
A Videonystagmography (VNG) test battery may be ordered for patients who are struggling with vertigo, dizziness or imbalance. The test battery is a set of small tasks taking anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes each. The entire battery typically lasts about an hour and a half to two hours. Testing evaluates the function of different parts of the balance systems including visual tracking, body orientation and the balance organ itself. It also evaluates the organization of those three systems in order to give an overall function. Certain medications can interfere with testing. For that reason, our procedure schedulers and audiologist review which medications need to be held for 48 hours with each patient prior to testing.
VNG testing is meant to stress the balance system and that can, unfortunately, leave patients feeling uneasy or unsteady for a short period afterward. We request that our patients have a driver in case they are not feeling well enough to drive.
WE CAN HELP!
We’ve been serving people in the Lawrence area for over thirty years. If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, we’re here to help at Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates, LLC. Click here if you would like to learn more about hearing loss.