Hearing may be affected if sounds don’t reach the inner ear efficiently known as conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss can be caused by problems such as a blockage in your ear canal wax or in the middle ear . An infection of your outer ear or middle ear may also be responsible.Hearing loss of this type is often temporary and reversible. If sounds reach the inner ear but are still not heard, the fault lies in the inner ear or rarely in the hearing nerve. This is called sensori-neural hearing loss. Inner ear hearing loss may occur for a number of reasons, most commonly as a result of age-related change. Inner ear hearing loss is nearly always permanent.
What happens during a hearing tests ?
A number of different tests are used to check how well the ears are functioning and their ability to detect different levels of sound. The tests used generally differ between children and adults, but they are all completely painless.The results of some of these tests are recorded on a graph called an audiogram, so that the type of hearing loss can be identified.
Some hearing tests prescribed for you :
Pure Tone Audiometry Test takes place in a sound-attenuated room and requires your active participation. Your hearing Care Professional plays you varying tones in varying loudness through headphones. As soon as you hear a sound you make a sign, generally by pressing a button. The volume at which you have heard the tone for the first time, in conjunction with the corresponding frequencies (pitches), is recorded in the audiogram .
Tympanometry/Impedance Because tinnitus is perceived differently by each sufferer, an exact diagnosis is essential. The first step: establishing whether the case can be medically treated or not. To do this, your doctor may conduct ENT, dental, orthodontic and orthopedic examinations. The pitch and volume of the tinnitus can be determined by special diagnostic tests, and a hearing test can reveal whether hearing loss is also involved.
Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry (BERA) Should hearing impairment be suspected in the auditory nerve or even in deeper areas of the brain we will recommend BERA. For brain stem audiometry, an acoustic stimulus is supplied. Head-mounted electrodes measure the electrical impulses of the auditory nerve. Abnormalities shown give an indirect indication of a possible disease of the auditory pathways in the brain. This test also serves as evidence of other neurological diseases, that may result in a loss of hearing.
Otoacoustic emission (OAE) This test reliably determines whether a person’s hearing is healthy or whether the inner ear is damaged. A probe that emits certain sounds, is inserted into the ear. The inner ear responds to the signals and transmits an acoustic response that can be measured by the probe. This is typically used as a screening tool for hearing impairment most oftenly used with newborns.
ASSR is similar to the Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) in some respects. For example, ASSR and ABR record bioelectric activity from electrodes arranged in similar recording arrays. ASSR and ABR are both auditory evoked potentials. ASSR and ABR use acoustic stimuli delivered through inserts (preferably).