When you come in to see Dr. Story for a comprehensive audiological evaluation, you will be assessed through a series of diagnostic tools to determine your hearing and inner ear health. These tests may include pure tone air and bone conduction testing, speech reception and word recognition, tympanometry (see definition below), and acoustic reflex testing (see definition below.)
The basic comprehensive audiologic test battery takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Dr. Story wants you to feel very comfortable during the evaluation and will explain each step to you. On the day of the testing, you may take your typical medications and follow your normal routine. These types of tests are non-invasive and very simple.
This type of hearing evaluation also provides information about your potential candidacy for hearing aids or other hearing devices. If you have any questions about setting up an Audiological Evaluation, please contact our offices today.
A tympanometry is an examination used to test the condition of the middle ear and mobility of the eardrum and the ear’s conduction bones. Dr. Story will first look inside your ear to make sure nothing is blocking the eardrum. You will then have a small device placed into your ear. This device changes the air pressure in your ear and makes the ear drum move back and forth. Results are recorded on a graph called a tympanogram.
An acoustic reflex is an involuntary reflexive action that occurs in the middle ear. It is a completely involuntary muscle contraction that occurs inside the middle ear. To test if this muscle is healthy Dr. Story will apply a pure tone stimulus inside your ear. Acoustic Reflex Decay is only performed if a retro-cochlea (acoustic nerve) pathogen is suspected or is being ruled out. This tone is played for about 10 seconds. If the reflex is functioning normally, the muscles stay contracted for the full ten seconds that the tone is played.
Otoacoustic Emissions Test is an automatic test to assess the outer hair cells within the cochlea. Otoacoustic emissions are sounds given off by your inner ear when the cochlea is stimulated by a sound. When sound stimulates the cochlea, the outer hair cells vibrate and create a nearly inaudible sound. The sound is measured with a small device set into the ear canal.
This test can detect blockage in the outer ear canal, as well as the presence of middle ear fluid and damage to the outer hair cells in the cochlea.
Auditory brainstem response is a neurologic test of the auditory brainstem function. Ear or head phones are worn and a clicking noise is heard. Your response is measured by electrodes placed on the scalp and ear lobes.
Ear wax is normal and healthy. Everyone makes ear wax, although some people make more than others. It’s produced by sweat glands inside the outer ear canal and acts to protect the ear drum.
A healthy ear cleans itself – small hairs inside the ear remove the wax slowly. Deep or impacted wax can cause pain, fullness, noise in the ear or hearing loss. Dr. Story can help determine if you are experiencing problems due to earwax and can use a variety of techniques to clear your ears with minimal discomfort.
Diagnosing for Tinnitus involves a series of tests.
You will be asked to sit in a soundproof room wearing earphones through which different tones will be presented to one ear at a time. You will respond by pressing a button when you hear the tones.
Dr. Story may ask you to move your eyes, neck, arms and legs as well as clench your jaw. If your tinnitus changes or worsens, it may help identify an underlying disorder that needs treatment.
Depending on the suspected cause of your tinnitus, Dr. Story may request a CT or MRI scan. For more information on Tinnitus, visit our page on Tinnitus here >> or the TPA website here >>