When you come in to see Charles Reger 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.)
Comprehensive Audiological Evaluation
The basic comprehensive audiologic test battery takes approximately 30-45 minutes to compete. Charles wants you to feel very comfortable during the evaluation and will explain each step to you. On the day of testing, you may take your typical medications and follow your normal routine. If you happen to work in a loud, noisy environment, you must be away from this loud sound exposure a minimum of 13 hours prior to your appointment. These types of tests are non-invasive, painless, with easy-to-follow instructions.
The test findings and any recommendations will be shared with your during your visit. 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.
Tympanometry is a test that looks at the condition of the middle ear, the mobility of the eardrum and the ear’s conduction bones. A sound tip is placed in your ear canal that creates slight changes in air pressure and measures how sound waves reflect off of your eardrum. Results are recorded on a graph called a tympanogram.
Acoustic Reflex & Decay Testing
An acoustic reflex is an involuntary reflexive action that occurs in the middle ear. To test if these two muscles are healthy, Charles will present a series of pure tones inside your ear canal. Acoustic Reflex Decay is performed if a retro-cochlear (acoustic nerve) abnormality is suspected or is being ruled out. This pure tone is presented for about 10 seconds. If the reflex is functioning normally, the muscles stay contracted for the full 10 seconds the tone is on.
Earwax is normal and healthy. Everyone makes ear wax, although some people make more than others. It is produced by two kinds of glands inside the outer ear canal. It is suspected that its purpose is to collect dirt and small particles and to protect the skin of the ear canal from harmful bacteria.
Earwax becomes a problem when it does not naturally work its way out of your ear and obstructs your canal and prevents sound from entering. Impacted wax can cause pain, fullness, noise in the ear or hearing loss. Charles can help to determine if you are experiencing problems due to wax and can use a variety of techniques to clear your ears with minimal discomfort.
Diagnosing for Tinnitus involves a series of tests.
Because tinnitus is frequently a by-product of hearing loss, the above group of tests outlined under comprehensive hearing evaluation is completed.
Pitch & Loudness Match
This is our way of identifying the approximate loudness and central frequency make-up of your noise. This process helps to create a ‘footprint’ or ‘signature of your head noise which, in turn, helps to demystify it.
Some patients with tinnitus also struggle with hyperacusis – an abnormal perception of moderately loud sounds as almost unbearable.
Minimum Masking Level
We need to assess the capacity of sound therapy or certain kind of noise in changing your perception of your tinnitus.
Questionnaires & Inventories
These are paper and pencil tests that look at your subjective impressions of your tinnitus, your emotional reactions (if any) to this head noise and any impact on your lifestyle. Your views are extremely important!
Depending on the suspected cause of your tinnitus, Charles may recommend a CT or MRI scan. For more information on Tinnitus, visit our Tinnitus page.