If you are experiencing any degree of hearing loss or changes to your hearing, a professional evaluation should be performed as soon as possible. Your Hearing Professionals of Alabama audiologist will ask questions about the degree of hearing loss and your overall health to determine the cause of your issues. Be sure to tell your audiologist about all of your symptoms even if they seem unrelated, including any tinnitus or balance issues you may be experiencing.
Comprehensive Audiologic Evaluations
Hearing testing is an important component in determining the proper course of treatment for your individual needs. These tests can vary based on individual needs and may include:
- Otoscopy and tympanometry: Your audiologist will examine and determine the overall health of your ear canal and inner ear and will test your reflex responses to loud sounds.
- Pure-tone air and bone conduction testing: These tests focus on the quietest tone that the patient can hear and can determine if the hearing loss is related to the outer, middle, or inner ear or if your brain is struggling to process sound.
- Speech testing: This test determines the softest level at which the patient can recognize and process words and sounds. The patient will be asked to repeat a series of words back to the audiologist, who will decrease the volume of their speech until the patient is no longer able to hear their voice.
Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (DPOAEs)
DPOAEs reflect your outer hair cell integrity and cochlear function. This effective diagnostic tool can detect hearing loss in newborns and children and provide information that can help your audiologist determine the cause in patients of all ages.
During this evaluation, your audiologist will examine your ears to check for obstructions like earwax. If your tinnitus is due to a change in your hearing function, Hearing Professionals of Alabama can provide counseling and management strategies like smartphone apps, guidebooks and other materials, and noise generators.
Middle Ear Assessment
Depending on the symptoms you are experiencing, we may need to conduct an evaluation of the middle ear function. These tests could include:
- Diagnostic Tympanometry: Tympanometry tests the movement of your eardrum. This diagnostic test measures the movement of your tympanic membrane in response to changes in pressure. Your audiologist will place a flexible rubber tip into your ear canal, which will change the air pressure in your ear canal as you hear some low-pitched tones. Measurements of your eardrum’s movement are taken and recorded and used to inform your treatment plan.
- Acoustic Reflex Threshold and Decay Testing: This test measures your ear’s response to acoustic triggers. It was designed to diagnose issues affecting your auditory nerve. Your audiologist will insert a probe into your ear canal and administer sounds over the normal threshold to test your auditory reflexes.
If you are concerned you or a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss, reach out to a member of our team today. We will walk you through the testing process and discuss any results and treatments moving forward!