Have you recently been listening to music at a higher volume than normal? Or did you have a buildup of fluid in your ear and are now finding it difficult to hear clearly? You may be experiencing conductive hearing loss. A middle ear analysis with us might be just what you need to enhance your wellness. Here's everything you need to know about middle ear analysis for patients with hearing loss.
What is Middle Ear Analysis?
Hearing loss can occur in patients of all ages for a variety of different reasons. Damage to the middle ear, which connects the outer ear to the inner ear, can result in conductive hearing loss. Patients experiencing conductive hearing loss often listen to music or sound at higher volumes as the regular transmission of sound significantly decreases depending on the severity.
Conductive hearing loss can be caused by:
- fluid buildup in the ear
- ruptured eardrum
- trauma to the head and neck
- high-noise work environments
Trained professionals known as audiologists run a series of diagnostic tests called middle ear analysis. This will help them determine the type and extent of hearing loss a patient may have, as well as prescribe suitable forms of treatment.
What Are the Benefits of Middle Ear Analysis?
There are multiple benefits to undergoing a middle ear analysis. As mentioned before, audiologists may conduct two important diagnostic tests during your appointment to help determine the extent of your conductive hearing loss:
- An audiogram—an audio test that plots the hearing threshold of a patient at various frequencies, from low to high.
- A Rinne test—compares bone conduction to air conduction in the transmission of sound in patients with hearing loss. The Rinne test can evaluate the degree to which hearing loss occurs by using a tuning fork.
- Tympanometry—helps determine whether patients have otitis media with effusion (OME) or fluid in the middle ear, which is a frequent cause of conductive hearing loss.
What to Expect During a Middle Ear Analysis Appointment
If you've never had a middle ear analysis before, you might wonder what to expect during the appointment. A certified and licensed audiologist at Reuhl Audiology will begin by asking you a detailed set of questions to determine your current health, as well as any medications you may be currently taking.
Depending on your symptoms, your audiologist will carry out one or more diagnostic tests, such as an audiogram. During the actual audiogram, you will listen to pure-tone sounds released by an audiometer at various frequencies. Your ability to hear each of these sounds is plotted on a graph, which will then be interpreted by your audiologist. From there, you may require more tests or need to be fitted with a custom earmold or hearing aid to prevent the onset or worsening of hearing loss and improve your overall quality of life.
For more information about middle ear analysis, contact Reuhl Audiology at (630) 230-2373.