Patients who are new to JHBI will undergo a complete audiological evaluation prior to meeting with the medical provider. Whether the concern is for hearing loss, dizziness or balance issues, tinnitus or other disorders related to the ear the audiological evaluation provides important diagnostic information.
The inner ear houses both the hearing and balance sensory organs. In addition, the same cranial nerve innervates both the hearing and balance system. By evaluating the status of the ear, we can gain insight into what may or may not be causing the problem you are having.
- The first part of the evaluation is a visual inspection of the ear canal and eardrum. This allows us to assess for excessive earwax, obstruction or abnormality of the ear canal and eardrum. This not only begins to provide insight into your problem but it helps us to know which further tests are warranted and which may be contraindicated.
- The second part will evaluate the middle ear which includes the eardrum and the space behind the eardrum which houses three tiny hearing bones. We will also measure a reflex initiated by two cranial nerves. The test is comprised of pressure introduced into the ear canal and then a series of tones. This provides information about the movement of the eardrum and the state of the middle ear space as well as the presence of the reflex.
- The third part will evaluate the response of sensory cells located in the inner ear. This is an important step in confirming reliability of the final test as well as providing differential diagnosis information.
- The final part of the evaluation is the hearing test. This provides information about the type and degree of hearing loss as well as the brain’s ability to discern words.
Each part of the test battery provides vital information into the status of the ear as a whole and is a necessary step in working towards a diagnosis regarding your hearing or balance disorder and allows us to develop an effective treatment plan.
If you have difficulty hearing, ringing in the ears, dizziness or vertigo or other concerns related to the ear give our office a call today at 904-399-0350.