I feel like my hearing has declined recently. What necessary tests should I do?

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Hearing is a very subtle sense of the human body. A slight decrease in hearing may greatly reduce your quality of life. When hearing loss occurs, you should promptly seek help from a professional otologist for necessary examinations.



I feel like my hearing has declined recently. What necessary tests should I do?
The first step: consultation and external ear examination
First, the otolaryngologist will generally ask the patient what discomforts he or she is feeling, and whether there are any symptoms of deafness such as tinnitus, ear fullness, dizziness, and hearing loss. After a simple consultation, the doctor will have a general understanding of the course of the disease, and then the doctor will wear a forehead mirror to examine the patient's external ear.

The purpose of external ear examination is to check whether the external auditory canal is blocked by foreign bodies, damaged, or bacterially infected. Because the external auditory canal is not a straight line, but is slightly S-shaped. Therefore, when examining the external auditory canal, it is necessary to pull the auricle and tragus to straighten the external auditory canal so that the deep part of the external auditory canal and the tympanic membrane can be clearly seen.


Step 2: Tuning Fork Experiment
The tuning fork is a "Y" shaped steel or aluminum alloy sounder that will make a "buzzing" sound when struck. A low vibrating sound. The tuning fork is a test for the nervous system's sensitivity to vibrations and can test the differences between the left and right ears in bone conduction and air conduction. Bone conduction refers to the conduction of sound to the inner ear through bones to stimulate the auditory nerve to the brain to produce hearing. Air conduction means that sound propagates in the form of sound waves in the air to produce hearing.
After striking the tuning fork, place it next to the subject's left ear, and then place it next to the right ear with the same steps and distance. If the subject's two ears sound obviously different in intensity or the duration of the sensation is different, It proves that the patient's air conduction is hindered and there is a possibility of disease.

Step 3: Ear Cleansing
For those whose ears secrete a lot of cerumen (earwax), the doctor will arrange for ear cleaning before the hearing test. When cleaning the left ear, the patient holds the ear cleaning cup with his right hand and places it under the left ear. The doctor uses a needle to inject warm saline into the ear canal to flush the external auditory canal. The cerumen (earwax) in the ears will flow into the cup with the water flow. Use a cotton swab to drain the remaining water in the ear canal to complete ear cleaning.

Step 4: Pure-tone audiometry
Pure-tone audiometry is a standardized subjective behavioral response audiometry that tests hearing sensitivity. The purpose of the test is to understand whether hearing is normal or not, as well as the degree and nature of hearing loss, and to serve as a basis for diagnosis and treatment. This operation is tested by professional audiologists.

  Before the test begins, the subject will enter a test room with good sound insulation, wear test headphones, hold a button, and press it to indicate hearing if a sound is heard during the test. Subjects will measure their hearing thresholds (the decibel reading at which they can hear the smallest sound) in different tones and draw a pure-tone audiogram. A normal pure tone audiogram should fluctuate in the 0-25 decibel range in the sound insulation band. If there is a sudden drop in a certain audio frequency, it proves that the subject has difficulty hearing at this frequency.


Step 5: Acoustic Impedance Test
The purpose of the acoustic impedance test is to analyze the condition of the middle ear. It is used to understand and diagnose the middle ear tympanic pressure, Eustachian tube function and stapedius muscle reflex.
The subject only needs to sit and wear the test instrument, and the condition of the middle ear can be understood by reading the pressure in the ear. The normal acoustic impedance test chart should fluctuate between 50 daPa. If it shows a straight line, it means that the middle ear system is inactive, such as middle ear effusion, probe cerumen obstruction, etc.



After discovering hearing loss, the most important thing is to find out what caused the hearing loss and provide timely treatment. After all, not all hearing loss is irreversible and permanent. For example, the occasional high-intensity noise and ear canal obstruction mentioned above mostly cause temporary hearing loss. Of course, if the diagnosis is sensorineural deafness or the disease lasts for more than 3 months, most of the cases are permanent hearing loss that cannot be eliminated. But don’t worry, there are hearing aids that can help improve listening. If you feel that your hearing has declined, it is best to go to the hospital or hearing aid fitting center to have your hearing tested as soon as possible. Pure tone air conduction audiometry, bone conduction audiometry and discomfort threshold tests are usually performed. If you determine that the hearing loss is untreatable, it is best to choose a hearing aid as soon as possible. Hearing aids. Therefore, don’t be afraid of hearing loss. Prescribe the right medicine and take care of your hearing!