An audiogram is a hearing test. This test is used to diagnose and to monitor hearing loss. During this test, the audiologist/doctor can assess the sound thresholds at which the patient can hear various frequencies. This can help determine whether the hearing loss is conductive or sensorineural.
Audiograms can be done in some ENT offices or in dedicated audiology facilities. The audiogram is done in a sound-proof cubicle/room. The patient will typically wear earplugs or headphones connected to a machine. This device sends off sounds at different frequency and volumes and the patient will then be asked to press a button or raise their hand upon hearing that sound. Different methods are used for younger children who are unable to follow directions. The whole process should take about 30 minutes, it is completely non-invasive and painless.
Oftentimes a tympanogram is performed at the same time. A tympanogram is a device that measures the movement of the tympanic membrane (ear drum) when air in blown into the ear canal. This can give useful information into a variety of possible ear diseases such as ear infections, perforated ear drums or Eustachian Tube dysfunction amongst others. The sensation may feel a bit odd at first, but it is also non-invasive and painless and children do quite well with this test. At times ear wax may block the audiogram or tympanogram and a visit to the ENT will be required to first remove the wax prior to the performance of a successful audiogram.
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