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AudiometryAudiometry is a test that allows to know the capacity that a person hear the sounds. Thus evaluates the proper functioning of the human auditory system. A proper hearing is a process which follows these steps:
- Reception of sounds in the pinna or ear, which helps us to differentiate from where a sound is emitted.
- Passage of the sound through the ear canal.
- Clash of the sound in the eardrum, which vibrates as if it were a drum.
- Transmission of vibration by the chain of ossicles, which connect the eardrum with the cochlea.
- Converting vibrations to electrical nerve impulses in the cochlea.
- Interpretation of the neuronal signals in the brain.
Modified in its intensity and tone sounds are used for testing. The intensity is the volume that has a sound and is measured in decibels; tone refers to the acute or grave that a sound and is measured in Hertz. The sounds that humans can hear are 20-150 dB (the ears can be damaged from 85 dB) and 20-20000 Hz.
When a hearing test is doneA hearing test is recommended to everyone in which hearing loss, is logically suspect. There are also stages of life in which, although there is a clear suspicion of hearing loss, it is recommended to undergo a hearing test to detect hearing loss in time. It is suitable to do a hearing test in the following cases:
Babies: nowadays between the medical evidence to the newly born is a special type of hearing test based on the "potentials"; These are reflexes that indicates if a baby hears or not without need to tell us it. Thanks to this test has decreased considerably the number of deaf from birth in our society, because it can be implanted them in time an artificial cochlea.
Over 65 years old: even without suspicion of deafness, it is recommended to perform this test to all people older than 65 years to detect hearing deficits in time. If the test is normal, it is recommended to repeat it every 3-5 years.
Suspicion of deafness: anyone at any age can suffer temporary or permanent hearing loss for different reasons. Audiometry helps the diagnosis of hearing loss and oriented towards the cause of it.
Following diseases risk: meningitis, mostly in children, brain trauma and extensive otitis are the most common causes of deafness that occur as a consequence of illness or accidents. Watch the hearing in all these cases it is recommended.
Other: taking medications that damage the ear (gentamicin, for example), or the rupture of eardrum (to use after a very loud noise or cleaning swabs), are also frequent causes of hearing loss, and the patient may benefit from a hearing test
Preparation for audiometryIf they are going to do a hearing test, these are issues that you must take into account:
Duration: usually takes very little time, as much as 30 minutes.
Admission: admission is not needed, it can be done on an outpatient basis by a specialist or other medical in the hospital. There are also settlements in many localities. If you decide to do it in a private facility, be sure that meets the necessary conditions and that perform you a full hearing test.
Is it necessary to be accompanied?: no, is a painless and not invasive, so you can only attend the clinic and return in the same way.
Drugs: don't need to take any prior medication. You must tell your doctor all the medicines that you eat so that you assess if they could be that cause of the lack of hearing.
Food: you can eat normally, it is not necessary to go on fasting to the clinic.
Clothes: you can wear normal street clothes. Prevents wear helmets of music the hours prior to the test.
Documents: there is no type of document, but may give you the results at the time of completion of the test and you need to save them.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: neither pregnancy nor lactation are contraindications for performing this test.
Contraindications: do not have any contraindication. If the person who needs a hearing test can not communicate (for example, by being in a coma, suffering from some mental retardation or be a baby) should be a test of "evoked potential".
How audiometryMake you a hearing test, when you arrive at the clinic will make you a few general questions about your state of health and about the situations in which you have noticed difficulty to hear sounds, if so. Immediately afterward, they'll see you with the Otoscope inside the ear canal and eardrum. After this basic study, you will be asked to pass to a cabin where you put different helmets with speakers.
First, you will be asked to put a case on the right ear and then another in the left ear. Air conduction, i.e. the transmission of sound normally through the auditory system is studied with these helmets. Then they will put a pair of headphones that are placed behind each ear, supported by bone. With them we have studied bone conduction, which serves to find out if the nervous system work properly as to understand sounds.
With each of these helmets, the Director of the test beeps different with different intensity and tone. It will ask you to do a signal whenever you hear a beep; so you can identify what volume and tone do not hear well sounds. It will then try with every helmet if you understand different words be pronounced correctly, but will hear different tones and intensity. It will ask that you repeat them immediately after listening to them. The second part of the test is the most important, since we study how in every day there is difficulty understanding words or phrases.
Throughout the test you can be sitting or standing. In no time you will notice pain or discomfort, since it's a simple test. If you have a sound system very sick can you feel dizziness, as it can happen in other situations. If it happens to you, it notifies the technical test so interrupt it for a moment.
Immediately after the test results may be obtained. The professional who carried out the test or a doctor can interpret the results at the time, and even recommend some treatment, such as a hearing aid. Due to the high price of these devices, it is recommended you think during a time before the disbursement, and that you consult a doctor before, if it has not already.
Complications of audiometryAudiometry complications are not known. It is a completely safe test that does not entail risks for persons who are subjected to it. The only problem that could arise is that testing is done improperly and its results are not reliable, which can lead to the patient to perform an unnecessary expense in a hearing aid. Therefore it is recommended to always consult the specialist in case of doubt and go to centers offering guarantees.
The audiometry resultsThe audiometry results obtained at the time of the test, and must be interpreted by an expert. The report shall contain a series of data that help to understand which type of hearing loss or deafness have.
Tonal audiometry data: a table that relates the intensity of sounds with his tone. In the table are marked the sounds you heard correctly and so will note if there is a decrease in the perception of some sounds by its own characteristics. Listening to sounds by air or by bone, compares, in addition, which helps detect if the problem is in one way or another.
Data delete audiometry: it exposes the percentage of words that have been correctly repeated completely, partially, or not have understood nothing.
Although the data have statistical limits which are used to decide if the hearing problem deserves to be taken into consideration or not, is the person who suffers from deafness and people live with that, those who know if it is a problem for every day.