At Advanced Otolaryngology Associates, we have the capability of performing a wide range of tests of the human hearing system. This is very important because the detection of specific deficits in hearing can provide valuable information in diagnosing the cause of hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear(s) and some dizziness disorders.
1. A comprehensive audiogram is a test that measures a patient's hearing sensitivity to sounds at individual sound frequencies (pitch) as well as his or her ability to hear and comprehend speech.
2. Tympanometry measures the response of the ear drum to changes in air pressure in the ear canal, and tells us whether or not there is fluid or air in the middle ear, or whether the movements of the ear drum is too stiff or too compliant.
3. Acoustic reflex testing looks for a reflex stiffening of the ear drum in response to exposure of the ear to a loud sound. Loss of the reflex with repeated exposure to the loud sound, known as reflex decay can also be of diagnostic value.
4. Otoacoustic emissions testing (OAE) detects the presence or absence of a sort of echo-like sound produced by the inner ear in response to being stimulated by sound vibrations. This is the test of choice for newborn hearing screenings, but is of equal or greater value in evaluating a sensorineural (nerve deafness-type) hearing loss or tinnitus in the absence of a measurable loss.