At Dr. Dominick Servedio Audiology a complete Audiological examination is designed to evaluate the degree and type of hearing loss. It begins with a thorough discussion of your medical and hearing history. Testing consists of pure tone testing, speech audiometry, Tympanometry, acoustic reflex testing and Otoacoustic emissions. This type of examination is the first step in the diagnosis of hearing and balance disorders.
Pure tone testing and speech audiometry are performed in a soundproof booth. You will be wearing earplugs in your ears or headphones during the test. Pure tone testing determines the lowest level you can detect sounds at selected pitches (frequencies), from low to high. Testing results in an audiogram which tells us the degree, type, and configuration of your hearing.
Speech audiometry is a test that will determine the lowest level you can identify sound and how clearly you hear speech. You will simply be asked to repeat a series of words.
Impedance audiometry and acoustic reflex testing evaluate middle ear function. Impedance audiometry measures the middle ear pressure and mobility of the eardrum. Acoustic reflex testing evaluates a reflex in the middle ear that protects the ear from loud sounds. A small earplug is placed in your ear canal and you will most likely feel a slight change of pressure followed by a series of tones.
Otoacoustic emissions is designed to evaluate the hair cells that transmit frequency specific information to the auditory nerve. Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are sounds given off by the inner ear when the cochlea is stimulated by a sound. When sound stimulates the cochlea, the outer hair cells vibrate. The vibration produces a nearly inaudible sound that echoes back into the middle ear. The sound can be measured with a small probe inserted into the ear canal.
Types of Hearing Loss:
A conductive hearing loss occurs when sound cannot be transmitted properly through the ear canal to the eardrum and ossicles (tiny bones) of the middle ear. This results in a reduction in sound level reaching the inner ear. This type of hearing loss can often be medically or surgically corrected.
A sensorineural loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear which consists of the cochlear and auditory nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Most sensorineural losses cannot be medically or surgically corrected. In this case the use of hearing aids is very successful.
When a conductive hearing loss occurs in combinations with a sensorineural loss it is called a mixed hearing loss. This means that there is a problem with the middle ear and inner ear