Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Tests
If you notice that your hearing is not like it used to be, maybe because you are struggling to hear sounds unless they are loud, it is high time you visited an ENT specialist. Ensure you don't delay the visit, claiming to wait and see whether your hearing might get better; more damage can occur, meaning you can easily become permanently deaf or require extensive and expensive treatment. Here's everything you need to know about ENT specialists and what they can do for you:
ENT Clinic Visit
Your ENT specialist will ask you a series of questions to better understand when your hearing problem started and why. All you need to do is answer the questions to the best of your knowledge and in detail, even if some information seems irrelevant to you.
Examinations and Tests
Once your ENT specialist gets the answers he or she needs from you, hearing tests can be conducted. However, the ENT specialist may want to physically look inside your ear with the help of an otoscope. This is a tool that has a flashlight and magnifying glass to help the ENT specialist view your ear canal and eardrum. Problems like ear wax build-up and injury to your eardrums are ruled out by this examination.
Sometimes, your symptoms may require other tests to be conducted; for example, CT scans and blood tests. CT scans are performed on your head to examine your brain, sinuses, skull and blood vessels in your head. On the other hand, blood tests are conducted to rule out infections and elevation of various blood contents.
There are two types of hearing tests: a bone conduction threshold and an air conduction threshold test:
Bone conduction threshold tests
Your ENT specialist places a bone conductor on the bone behind your ear, which transmits vibrations to your inner ears. You are expected to react in a particular way so that the ENT specialist can record these responses and generate a graph known as an audiogram.
Air conduction threshold tests
Your ENT specialist provides headphones and plays a series of sounds through them. Just like the bone conductor threshold test, you are required to respond in a particular way, which the specialist records to generate an audiogram.
What Is an Audiogram?
It is a graph that plots out your hearing and classifies your condition as normal hearing or as having mild, moderate or severe hearing loss.