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Audiology studies the various forms and degrees of hearing loss and deals with diagnosing and examining people with hearing problems.
Any injury, illness or dysfunction in the anatomical areas contributing to hearing can lead to hearing loss. One essential purpose of audiological testing is to define the form of hearing loss: whether it is conductive or neurosensory. It is important to understand that both cases can be related to the disorders of more than one area. Another important part of the examination is to determine the degree of hearing loss and which side is affected. We perform testing over the age of 5.
Symptoms that require an audiological visit
- Problems with hearing and understanding speech
- Balance problems
- Tinnitus, ringing in the ears
Audiological screening available in our office:
- The tuning fork test is a subjective method, during which a vibrating tuning fork is held against the forehead or on the top of the head and in front of and behind the ears to determine the type and degree of hearing loss.
- Another subjective form of examination is the hearing threshold audiometry, which is carried out in a soundproof chamber. During the examination the patient sits in this booth wearing headphones or a device placed behind the ear (on the bone). Through this device and the headphone, vibrations or pure tones are transmitted to the patient, who has to indicate the perception of those impulses.
- Middle ear analysis (tympanometry) is an objective method. We measure the pressure and possible fluid in the middle ear, and the stapedius reflex is also tested. During the examination a special probe is placed in the ear canal. Then the patient hears a loud tone while the tympanometer automatically varies the air pressure between the special probe and the eardrum.
Apart from the tests listed above, we also provide otoacoustic emissions hearing tests at the RMC Center for Pediatrics, which helps us examine the hearing of infants under the age of 1 year.
For audiological screening we accept patients with ear-nose-throat clinical evidence no older than 3 weeks.