Hearing impairment is one of the biggest disorders that are commonly noticeable amongst masses across the globe. The medical fraternity attributes various reasons for this problem such as genetics, birth-related complications, ageing, exposure to loud noise, ear infections, ear trauma and some medications. It must be definitely noted by all that hearing loss is preventable to a certain extent. Now, we will look into the methods used to diagnose hearing loss.
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This is commonly done by every general practitioner to find the actual cause of hearing loss. Your ear canal will be examined to find out whether there is wax accumulation in the ear or an ear infection. He will also look out if any structural deformity could be the reason for hearing loss.
Pure Tone Audiometric Testing
Pure tone audiometric testing is a standard test that is usually followed. Normally, an audiologist conducts this test where he will first ask you to wear a headphone and listen to pure tones at different pitches and volumes with one of the ears, closed. This will make the audiologist find out at which point in time you face hearing difficulty.
Likewise, the audiologist will even test your capacity to observe speech in quiet and loud situations. He will make an assessment of the middle year to find out if problems like heavy fluid build or negative pressure exist.
Bone Conduction Test
In bone conduction testing, a different kind of headphone called the bone vibrator is utilized. It helps the ear specialist to identify the type of hearing loss. The results will clearly show where the hearing loss problem emanates from, whether the outer or inner or middle ear.
Speech Audiometric Test
Headphones will be fitted on your ears to make you listen to many words at different volumes. You need to repeat those words to the audiologist. Through this test, a precise measurement can be taken of how clearly and softly you can understand speech.
Tuning Fork Test
Tuning fork testing consists of two types. In the first test, a tuning fork is through hitting a metal instrument to produce sound. This helps to notify if there is a hearing loss or not for the person who undergoes diagnosis. Secondly, the exact reason for hearing loss is notable wherein it may be due to: damage to the vibrating areas in the inner ear, damage to the nerves of the inner ear and even both the problems
Transtymphanic Electroochleography (ECOG)
In this test, an audiologist will put a recording sensor on your ear. The sensor will measure the electric signals given by your nerves in the inner ears to a sound.
Conditioned Play Audiometry
In the case of children, an audiologist will first look at how the child responds to his instructions. Later, the child could be trained to play a game and see how it understands speech. The child could be asked to observe the various sources of sounds.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Test
The purpose is to measure the hearing level of a person and if the nerves in the brainstem are smoothly transmitting sound. During this process, electrodes are placed on the head to note the electrical response of the brain to sounds while being asleep.
Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR) Test
Analogous to ABR test, but ASSR applies a modern objective algorithmic method to detect and define a hearing threshold for normal persons and those with a hearing problem. ASSR test is performed on both ears at the same time to assess the variation of frequencies.