Happy New Year! And with that comes the onslaught of resolutions; some you may keep while most will fall by the wayside. Make this the year the year you finally do something about your hearing loss. Start the process now by calling your Tucson hearing loss doctor and scheduling an appointment.
Once you arrive for your first visit, your audiologist will review your medical and hearing history. They will then perform a physical exam of your ears with the use of a magnifying light called an otoscope.
Your Tucson hearing loss doctor will then perform a series of hearing tests.
Pure-tone testing is used to determine the faintest tones you can hear at a range of pitches. While wearing specially designed headphones, your Tucson hearing loss doctor will ask you to indicate when you are able to hear a series of tones by raising your hand, pressing a button or responding verbally.
The results are charted on an audiogram, a visual representation of the type, degree and configuration of your hearing loss.
Speech testing is used to measure your speech reception threshold (SRT), or the faintest speech you can understand 50 percent of the time. This is compared with your pure-tone test results to confirm the diagnosis.
In addition, your ability to separate speech from background noise will be recorded. Speech testing may be administered in either a quiet or noisy environment; results are recorded on the audiogram for easy visual reference.
Middle Ear Testing
Your Tucson hearing loss doctor will then test how well your middle ear, eardrum and Eustachian tubes are working.
A tympanometry test is performed by applying pressure to the ear (through a burst of air) to see how it reacts. An acoustic reflexes test presents loud tones to each ear and measures how the ear reacts.
An otoacoustic emission test is performed in order to determine if there is damage to the hair cells inside the inner ear. A small plug is placed in the ear and measures your ear’s reaction to sounds.
If needed, an auditory brainstem response test will be performed to see how the pathway that connects the ear to the brain is working. Electrodes are placed around your forehead and ears and the electrical impulses in response to various sounds are measured.
Once your Tucson hearing loss doctor has completed all the hearing tests they think are necessary, they will walk you through your treatment options. You’ll be one step closer to keeping your new years’ resolution!