There are many hearing tests that you can use to determine if you have a hearing problem. These include tympanometry, acoustic reflex testing and otoacoustic emissions. However, there are some differences between the types of tests.
Otoacoustic emissions, or OAEs, are low-level sounds generated by the cochlea. These echoes are transmitted through the middle ear and into the outer ear and are recorded with a sensitive microphone. They are used to assess the functioning of the auditory nerve and the cochlea’s outer hair cells.
OAEs have been known for many years as a way to detect hearing loss. However, the amplitudes of OAEs may be influenced by fluid build-up in the middle ear. Therefore, OAE testing is not always accurate in children with adhesive otitis.
OAEs are usually considered a screening tool for infants and children.The acoustic emissions test can be conducted on a wide variety of patients. The procedure is painless and quick. The results are displayed on a monitor during the test. Most clinics report a “refer” when the signal/noise ratio exceeds a preset threshold. The patient does not need to cooperate with the test.
The main advantage of an OAE test is that it is non-invasive. It can be done on a busy patient without causing discomfort. In addition, it can be performed on a fussy baby.
Tympanometry and acoustic reflex test
If you suspect you have hearing loss, a tympanometry and acoustic reflex test can help you find the cause. It can also determine how much hearing loss you have. The test can detect eardrum problems, fluid build-up, and Eustachian tube dysfunction.
The tympanometry test is a simple, quick procedure that helps determine your eardrum’s condition. It uses a particular device that pushes air into the ear canal. It is often performed with an acoustic reflex test, which examines the function of the stapedius muscle in your middle ear.
Acoustic reflex testing is a method that measures the response of the middle ear muscle to loud sounds. The results can reveal whether the eardrum is stiff or soft and whether the stapedius muscle is tight or loose. It can also indicate whether your middle ear is infected or has any problems with the cranial nerves, brainstem, or retrocochlear pathology.
Immittance audiometry is another procedure that evaluates the tympanic membrane. It is a diagnostic procedure that is often ordered when a patient has a suspected ear infection or signs of nerve damage. It is not a substitute for tympanometry, but it can help to identify if the tympanic membrane is infected.
Acoustic reflex testing is usually administered by a physician, otolaryngologist, or neurosurgeon. Your referring physician will discuss the tests with you and provide treatment options if needed. Your acoustic reflex and tympanometry results will be recorded on an audiogram.
You may have to sit still for some time when you have acoustic reflexes and tympanometry. Your audiologist or otolaryngologist will record your responses to the sounds. If your acoustic reflex threshold is above a certain level, your ear cannot respond to very loud sounds. Your hearing is impaired if your acoustic threshold is below a certain level.
The tests can help to identify the cause of tinnitus. When it is determined that you have tinnitus, you can get treatments to relieve the symptoms. You can also prevent tinnitus from getting worse.
Air conduction hearing tests are one of the main tests used to determine hearing loss. These tests involve the sounds that travel through the ear canal, tympanic membrane and outer ear. The hearing thresholds are determined and recorded on an audiogram. The results are measured in decibels relative to the population norms.
Air-conduction hearing thresholds are also used to differentiate between conductive and sensorineural hearing losses. If the threshold is similar, it indicates that the patient’s inner ear function is similar. If the test reveals a difference, it may suggest a problem with the middle or outer ear.
These tests are not as accurate as formal audiography. However, they provide a good start for determining the nature of a patient’s hearing loss. The test is conducted at octave frequencies between 250 and 8000 Hz. In addition, the testing is based on the principle of pure tone audiometry, where a series of tones are presented to the earphones of the patient.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the ear’s cochlea or auditory nerve. It can be congenital, acquired, or inherited. It is usually permanent. However, some causes can be reversible. For example, some patients with unilateral sensorineural hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids.
The main online hearing test by audihearing.com.au are air conduction, bone conduction, and pure tone audiometry. These tests determine the degree of hearing loss and help identify the location and hearing loss. They can also be performed on infants during newborn screening.
Air conduction and bone conduction tests are often combined to make a more accurate assessment of the condition of the ear.
The pure tone audiometry test uses specially designed headphones to deliver a series of pure tones of a specific frequency to one ear at a time. The sound waves travel through the outer and middle ear to the eardrum. The eardrum vibrates and sends sound information to the brain. The brain is then able to recognize the sounds as words.