If you suffer from hearing loss or other hearing and balance related conditions, you may benefit from an audiologic evaluation. These comprehensive diagnostic exams can determine the cause, severity and best treatment option for these conditions in infants, children and adults.
Some of the common types of audiologic tests for older children and adults include:
- Diagnostic Audiogram - An audiogram uses sounds of specific frequencies and intensity levels to determine what a person can hear in each ear. The sounds are heard through headphones and the patient is asked to identify each time they hear a sound and in which ear. The sounds will become lower and lower to determine the level at which a patient can barely hear. An audiogram may also include speech in the form of two-syllable words to determine how well a patient can comprehend what is being heard. Normal results allow for a patient to hear a normal speaking voice, whisper and ticking of a watch.
- Play Audiometry - Play audiometry is a modified version of the diagnostic audiogram, sometimes chosen instead when working with preschool and school age children. The sounds are heard through headphones, but rather than raising a hand to indicate hearing a sound, the child places a toy in a container.
- Tympanometry - Tympanometry examines and diagnoses the middle ear by varying air pressure in the ear canal to see how the ear responds. A probe is inserted into the ear to change the air pressure, produce a tone and then measure the responses. The patient may not speak, move or swallow during the test because these actions can affect the ear pressure. Tympanometry measures the functionality of the ear drum or tympanic membrane. Abnormal results may be the result of fluid in the middle ear, perforated ear drum or impacted ear wax.
Tinnitus Evaluation & Treatment
Tinnitus is a noise such as ringing or buzzing in the ears. It is a common and usually not very serious problem, but can become quite a nuisance to people who suffer from it. Almost 36 million Americans suffer from tinnitus. It is sometimes caused by an underlying condition and is most effectively treated by treating that condition.
The symptom of tinnitus is only the sensation of noises like ringing, buzzing, clicking or hissing. The patient is the only one that hears these phantom noises. The noises can vary in volume from very soft to high-pitched and can occur in one or both ears. While the noises do not exist externally, the doctor can hear the noises during an examination in some rare cases. This is known as objective tinnitus and is a result of a broken vessel or inner ear bone condition. All other cases of tinnitus are referred to as subjective, which only the patient can hear the noise.
Tinnitus is commonly caused by inner ear cell damage. Damage occurs when the tiny hairs in the inner ear are bent or broken and "leak" random impulses to your brain, causing you to hear these sounds. Other causes of tinnitus include age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noise and earwax blockage. Stress, depression and head or neck injuries can also lead to tinnitus. A complete audiological exam can help determine the cause of tinnitus.
Treatment of tinnitus depends on the cause of the problem. Some treatment options include earwax removal, a change in medication, hearing aids, white noise machines or masking devices. Prescription medication can help reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. If you suffer from symptoms of tinnitus, talk to Dr. Brian Lee to discuss your treatment options.
To learn more about Hearing Services, please contact us at (480) 994-0308 today to schedule an appointment.