Audiometry Screening And Interpretation
JENNIFER JUNNILA WALKER, MD, MPH, U.S. Army Health Clinic, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
LEANNE M. CLEVELAND, AuD, Fort Richardson Troop Health Clinic, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
JENNY L. DAVIS, AuD, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl, Germany
JENNIFER S. SEALES, AuD, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
Am Fam Physician. 2013 Jan 1 87:41-47.
This version of the article contains supplemental content.
Nearly 30 million American adults have some degree of hearing loss.1 The prevalence of hearing loss varies with age at least 25 percent of patients between 51 and 65 years of age, and more than 50 percent of patients older than 80 years, have objective evidence of hearing loss.2,3 Particularly concerning is the increasing prevalence of hearing loss in adolescents and young adults, which affects between 8 and 19 percent of this population.1,4 The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force finds insufficient evidence for or against screening for hearing loss in asymptomatic adults 50 years or older.3 However, the USPSTF does affirm the effectiveness of screening questionnaires and clinical techniques such as the whispered voice, finger rub, and watch tick tests, all of which can be performed in the primary care clinic.3,5,6 Other guidelines list subjective hearing screening as a preventive service that should be offered to adults starting at 40 years of age.7
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Looking For A Provider
If you are searching for an Audiologist who follows best practices in your area, you’ve come to the right place. Providers in the DrCliffAud Network have committed to following Audiology best practices as well as several additional criteria to ensure the best possible outcomes for you , the patient. If you or someone you love are seeking quality hearing healthcare, click below to find a Dr. Cliff Approved Provider near you.
How To Get A Hearing Test
To get your hearing tested, consult a licensed audiologist with a Doctorate degree in Audiology .
To find an audiologist, search for the American Academy of Audiology website and click on the heading, Find an Audiologist. You can also ask your general physician, friends, or family members to recommend an audiologist.
If you do not need a comprehensive hearing evaluation, take a hearing screening test instead. This test will determine the presence of hearing loss by indicating a pass or fail. If you fail the test, you should consider scheduling a full hearing check-up.
Remember that screening tests for hearing may not provide accurate results. A comprehensive hearing exam is better if you suspect hearing loss.
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How Is Hearing Loss Diagnosed
If you exhibit symptoms of hearing loss, you should see an audiologist to have a formal hearing evaluation. This hearing test, or audiologic evaluation, is diagnostic and allows the audiologist to determine the type and degree of your hearing loss. There will also be a hearing test that evaluates your sensitivity, acuity and accuracy to speech understanding. Your audiologist may also test for speech understanding at different volume levels and conditions like noise to help the professional recommend the best hearing aids for your particular needs.
The hearing evaluation will also include a thorough case history and a visual inspection of the ear canal and eardrum. Additional tests of middle ear function may also be performed depending on your symptoms. The results of the evaluation can be useful to a physician, if the audiologist believes your hearing loss may benefit from medical intervention.
Results of the hearing evaluation are plotted on a graph called an audiogram. The audiogram provides a visual view of your hearing test results across various pitches or frequencies, especially the ones necessary for understanding speech. The audiogram and results from your speech understanding tests are used to create a prescription by which hearing aids are programmed, if necessary.
A Hearing Health History
The first step is to understand and find out about your medical history. There are various possible causes of tinnitus and hearing loss so your information can help to determine whether your family has something hereditary or genetic which might be contributing to your current condition.
A hearing loss or tinnitus can also occur in medical circumstances such as allergies, head cold, ear infections and even impacted earwax. We might also enquire whether you have experienced any recent trauma to the head or ears, as any injury to these areas may cause temporary or permanent hearing damage.
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Book A Hearing Test With Us Today
At Brentwood Hearing Center, we can provide you with a comprehensive hearing test to see the state of your hearing health. If youre interested in learning more about your hearing health, then feel free to call 615-377-0420, and we can discuss things further with you.
You received a score of
You are not experiencing common signs of hearing loss. However, if you suspect you may have hearing loss or are experiencing other symptoms not listed here, please contact our office for a consultation.
It appears you may be experiencing signs of a hearing loss. A hearing test can help detect early signs. We recommend contacting our office to schedule a hearing test.
Your responses indicate that you are experiencing common signs of a hearing loss. We recommend that you contact us to set up an appointment for a hearing test.
You are experiencing many signs of a hearing loss. It is highly recommended that you contact our office today for an appointment to meet with a hearing professional.
List Medications And Key Medical Events
The audiologist will take a medical history before examining your ears or testing your hearing. Some illnesses can negatively impact your ability to hear. This part of the exam will go smoothly if you have listed key medical events. You dont need to cover every cold, but if you have a history of ear infections, the audiologist needs to know.
Also, some medications can cause sensorineural hearing loss. Make a list of all medications and supplements you are taking.
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Why Do Some Forms Of Hearing Loss Go Unrecognized
The reason some forms of hearing loss may go unrecognized in the clinic is that hearing involves a complex partnership between the ear and the brain. The central auditory system can compensate for significant damage to the inner ear by turning up its volume control, partially overcoming the deficiency. This means that although you may be able to hear ok in quiet situations you may struggle to hear when there is background noise. These things need to be accounted for and will be accounted for when you are tested by a trusted audiologist.
Screen Your Own Hearing
There are several ways to check your own hearing from the comfort of your own home.
Whilst these screening tests are useful, they should not be taken as a diagnostic test of your hearing and if in any doubt to discuss the results with your GP or local audiologist.
Online screening hearing tests are available from the majority of hearing aid manufacturers and major suppliers or dispensers. They can be found by typing Online hearing test into search screens.
Alternatively a telephone screening test is available via RNID. However, please note it does not matter which way a screening test is performed it is only a screen, and needs to be considered as such.
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Why Dont Audiograms Identify All Types Of Hearing Problems
Audiograms do identify the majority of hearing issues and are an effective way for audiologists to assess hearing function. In fact, a comprehensive hearing assessment should always include an audiogram. However, further tests should also be undertaken if an individual reports experiencing hearing problems despite performing well on an audiogram.
When audiograms are undertaken, the patient is typically assessed in a quiet room, using headphones. Leading researchers believe the brain can amplify sounds in certain environments, thus enabling the individual to present with good hearing function in particular surroundings. In a quiet room, while using headphones, for example, the brains ability to compensate for reduced hearing function may mask the patients hearing loss.
Despite receiving a clean bill of health, the individual will revert to experiencing hearing problems when they are in a different environment, such as a noisy office or at a loud concert.
Why Do I Have High
High-frequency hearing loss occurs when the tiny hair-like sensory hearing cells in your cochlea are damaged. These hair cells, known as stereocilia, are responsible for translating the sounds your ears collect into electrical impulses, which your brain eventually interprets as recognizable sound. Learn more about how we hear.
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Discussion Of The Results
Once the tests are administered, the audiologist will interpret the obtained results. During the discussion portion, the audiologist will explain whether you have hearing loss, the possible causes for your hearing loss, the type of hearing loss type and severity, and the different available treatment options.
During this portion, you can ask questions you have about your results.
How Testing Is Conducted For Tinnitus
Tinnitus is characterized by noises in the ear that don’t come from an external source. They can include whistling, ringing, crackling, popping, humming and various other sounds. Not only can tinnitus affect your hearing, but it can also affect you emotionally. You might find that it makes it difficult to sleep and that the sounds bother you throughout the day. While there is no definitive way to diagnose tinnitus, there are several tests that audiologists can carry out to diagnose it and determine the best treatment. Here are some of the tests that can help to diagnose tinnitus and possibly find a cause.
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What Are The Symptoms
- Tinnitus is a symptom in itself.
- Tinnitus is often a standalone symptom, but it may be accompanied by hearing loss, dizziness, pain in the ears or dislike of loud sounds .
- Many people with tinnitus also feel that their ears are blocked.
Your specialist will consider these other symptoms when making a diagnosis and developing a plan for your treatment.
After Your Hearing Assessment
After you exit the amazing soundproof booth, you sit down with Dr. Tanner and discuss your results. Donât expect her to tell you âHow bad your hearing is.â She wants to present your various options for improving your hearing with a modern hearing aid device. The choices in technology and budget from Oticon, Widex, Unitron, and others will probably astound you!
If there is a time to get hearing aids, itâs now! Make an appointment soon to find out how easy it is to âaceâ your hearing test!
Call us at 916-646-2471, use our simple request form on this website, or visit us at 650 University Avenue, Suite 108, in Sacramento.
Interested in learning more? Attend one of our regular hearing solution events to learn more about our unique approach to hearing loss or give us a call at 916-646-2471.
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No Abr Evidence For Tinnitus
The nature of these noise-induced changes is very much less clear, since our measures revealed no evidence for cochlear synaptopathy in TNA. In particular, the expected reduction of ABR wave I amplitude was not observed. This finding stands in contrast with those of , whose TNA subjects exhibited reduced wave I amplitudes relative to matched controls: reductions of 25% and 26% at 90 and 100 dB peSPL, respectively. compares Schaette and McAlpine’s 100 dB data with the data obtained in the present study.
ABR data from the present study, elicited using 102 dB peSPL clicks, presented alongside those of , elicited using 100 dB peSPL clicks. Points and error bars represent the mean ± standard error of the mean. A: The raw amplitude of ABR wave I. B: The ratio of wave I amplitude to wave V amplitude.
Type II error is unlikely to account for these divergent findings, since post-hoc power analysis for the present study indicates 90% power to detect a 26% reduction in wave I amplitude . This is despite inclusion of participants of both sexes, which might reasonably be expected to increase ABR amplitude variability. The present study’s wave I amplitude data are less variable than those of Schaette and McAlpine, perhaps due to the use of research-grade recording equipment. Therefore, other possible explanations for our null result must be considered.
Who Needs A Hearing Test
You may need a hearing test if you think there might be problems. For example, you might have hearing problems if you can only understand people if they face you or if you find it hard to understand people talking in noisy places.
If youre concerned about a child’s hearing, they might need a hearing test if theyre slow to speak, struggling at school or have the TV up too loud.
If youre not sure whether you’re suffering from hearing loss, you can do an online test. Online tests are a guide only – if you have any doubt, see an audiologist or your doctor.
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Mayo Clinic Q And A: Tinnitus Can Interfere With Hearing But Doesnt Cause Hearing Loss
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: For the past several months I have had a high-pitched ringing in my ears. It comes and goes, but lately it seems to happen more frequently. My doctor said that it is tinnitus and is quite common, but I am concerned and want to know what could have caused it. Could it be related to stress? Does it ever lead to hearing loss?
ANSWER: Tinnitus involves hearing noise in one or both ears that is not caused by an external sound. Tinnitus is common, but it is not a condition on its own. Rather, it is a symptom of another underlying condition.
The noise of tinnitus often sounds like a ringing in the ears, but it can also be buzzing, clicking, roaring or hissing. The noise may vary in pitch from a low roar to a high squeal. In some cases, the sound can be so loud that it interferes with your ability to concentrate or to hear actual sound. Tinnitus may be present all the time, or it may come and go.
You need additional evaluation to see if the cause of your tinnitus can be found and treated. If after that assessment the cause remains unclear, then you and your health care provider should discuss how to best treat your symptoms. Although severe tinnitus can interfere with your hearing, the condition does not cause hearing loss.
Worried You Have Hearing Loss
If you suspect you have hearing loss, use our online directory of consumer-reviewed hearing clinics to find hearing aid centers near you and make an appointment to get your hearing tested. Research indicates most hearing aid wearers are satisfied with their hearing devices and enjoy a richer quality of life than those who decide not to seek treatment.
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What Are The Signs Of Hearing Loss In Children
Hearing loss in children can occur at any time in life from acquired factors such as ear infections, head trauma, certain medications and genetic factors. You may suspect your child has a hearing loss if you observe any of the following:
- Failed newborn hearing screening
- Delays in speech and language acquisition, including baby babbling
- Frequent ear infections
- Not startled by loud sounds
- Not turning to the location of sounds after six months of age
- Difficulty following verbal directions
- Concerns by school teachers or failed school hearing screening
- Loud volume on the TV or radio
- Complaints from the child that they cannot hear
A pediatric audiologist is trained to test children of all ages. Any symptom of hearing loss in children should be addressed promptly so that speech, language and academic development are not delayed or negatively impacted.
How Is Hidden Hearing Loss Treated
If you are experiencing hearing loss, its important to consult an audiologist. As well as carrying out an audiogram, your audiologist will be able to undertake a variety of other tests to help identify hearing problems. No matter what the cause or specific symptoms of your hearing problems, an audiologist will be able to provide an accurate diagnosis. Furthermore, your audiologist can discuss a range of treatment options with you and provide vital information and advice regarding your hearing.
For patients who experience hearing loss in certain environments, for example, responsive hearing aids may be a viable option. With the ability to automatically adjust their settings based on the external environment, the latest hearing devices offer an intuitive and comfortable experience for wearers, particularly those who experience different levels of hearing function in varying environments.
Types Of Hearing Loss
Hearing tests can distinguish the type of hearing loss, including:
- conductive a sound blockage in the middle or outer ear , usually caused by middle ear infections or by wax build-up in the ear canal
- sensorineural the cochlea or cochlear nerve is damaged
- mixed the hearing loss is caused by a combination of conductive and sensor neural problems.
Hearing loss can also be described as:
- congenital when the hearing loss occurs before or just after birth. Exposure to certain diseases in utero or soon after birth can harm the hearing mechanism of the baby
- acquired when the loss happens later .
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