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The audiogram is a medical test performed to determine the degree of hearing a particular patient. Its main objective is none other than to check the state of the ear and if it suffers from some type of hearing loss.

In an audiometry key factors such as the tonality of the sound are evaluated , as well as the hearing threshold of the patient.

What is audiometry?

Audiometry is a medical test used to assess the ability of a certain person to hear the sounds around them . In general, it evaluates the functioning of the auditory system.

Successful hearing is considered to be a process that follows a series of stages. First, the person receives the sounds in the ear ; It is in this phase that you can differentiate the place from which the sound in question is being emitted. The sound then passes through the ear canal and hits the eardrum, which vibrates slightly. The next step consists of transmission through the chain of ossicles, which connect the eardrum with the cochlea.

In this way, the vibration is converted into electrical nerve impulses in the cochlea , to finally interpret the neural signals in the brain.

Audiometry allows the medical professional to know if the hearing failure occurs in the transmission of sound or in relation to the nervous system ; in this way, the most effective treatment for the patient can be established.

When it’s made?

As is logical to think, audiometry is performed at the moment when a person feels that they are not hearing well. Hearing loss can present itself in many different ways: muffled sounds, distorted sounds … Thus, in general terms, audiometry is recommended in the following cases.

  • Newborns: nowadays, in the vast majority of developed countries, an audiometry is performed on newborns to rule out any type of problem in the ability to perceive sounds. It is a somewhat special type of audiometry since it is based on evoked potentials; that is to say, in the reflections that allow to know if a baby hears or not. It is a very valuable test since it allows the implantation of an artificial cochlea in time, thus reducing the number of deaf-mute people from birth.
  • People over 65 years: although people over 65 do not notice any symptoms of deafness, audiometry is a highly recommended medical test from this age. It is best to repeat it every three or five years since the vast majority of cases of deafness occur in elderly people.
  • Diseases: this medical test is also highly recommended after suffering certain risk diseases in people of all ages, such as meningitis or otitis. They are disorders that have deafness as one of the main sequelae.

Process

It is interesting to know the audiometry procedure, how this medical test is performed. In general, its duration does not exceed 30 minutes , so it is very fast. It does not require hospital admission; it is done on an outpatient basis in the hospital. It is not even necessary to be accompanied since it is an invasive test and, moreover, completely painless.

In relation to food, patients can eat with complete normality ; it is not necessary to attend the test on an empty stomach. Similarly, it is not necessary to take any medication beforehand.

Pregnant and lactating women can perform audiometry without any problem.

How is the test performed

In the first place, the patient must answer a series of questions about his state of health; whether or not you have a chronic disease and if you are taking any medications that can cause deafness. In addition, you must explain the situations in which you notice difficulty hearing sounds.

The doctor then proceeds to look inside the ear canal with an otoscope ; it also evaluates the eardrum. It is a basic study prior to the beginning of the audiometry itself.

To begin the test, the patient must place one earbud in the right ear and then another in the left ear. The cases are used to evaluate air conduction , that is, the transmission of sound through the auditory system.

Then some hooves are placed behind each ear, supported by the bone. In this way, the medical professional studies bone conduction , determining whether or not the nervous system works properly when it comes to understanding sounds.

With each of the headphones, different beeps are emitted with different intensity and pitch. The patient must make a signal every time he hears a beep, in order to know at what volume and pitch he is not able to hear sounds properly.

Then the medical professional tests with each of the headphones if the patient understands the different words , the limes are emitted with a different intensity and tones. To check that you have understood them properly, you should repeat them after listening to them. It is precisely this second part of the test that is the most important, which assesses whether there is any difficulty in understanding the words and phrases.

The patient stands or sits during the test. As we have pointed out, audiometry is completely painless. It is a very simple exam and, in addition, the results of it are obtained at the moment.

Audiometry results

The test results are obtained instantly, which is a great advantage for the patient himself. The report presents data that allows you to determine what type of deafness you suffer from.

  • Tonal Audiometry Data – This is a table that links the intensity of sounds to their pitch. Thus, it shows those sounds that the patient has heard correctly; in this way, it is perceived whether or not there is some kind of decrease in the perception of certain sounds.
  • Liminal audiometry data: shows the percentage of words that have been repeated correctly both completely and partially; also those that the patient has not been able to understand.

These data have certain statistical limits that allow us to determine whether the hearing problem is a problem that requires treatment or not. However, it is the patient himself, as well as his family and friends, who must consider whether deafness is any kind of inconvenience to his day to day.

Audiometry: complications

It is a painless and non-invasive medical test, so there are no known complications in people of all ages. It is a very safe exam.

The only problem can be when the test is not performed properly and, therefore, the results are not correct.

Deafness

The loss of anatomical and / or physiological function of the auditory system is known as deafness , which prevents hearing sounds normally. Assuming that hearing is the main development pathway for both language and speech, any type of disorder in the perception of sounds in children can significantly impair their linguistic and communicative development. Deafness can be congenital or develop over time; it is a very common condition in people over 65 years of age.

Classification

Deafness can be classified into different groups based on the location of the injury, as well as the hearing loss.

Depending on the location of the injury

  • Conduction: there are alterations in the transmission of the ear through the outer and middle ear.
  • Perception: Sodera occurs due to injury to the inner ear or to the nerve pathway of the auditory canal.
  • Mixed: the location occurs in the whole of the ear; external, middle, and internal.

According to the degree of hearing loss

  • Minor losses: the hearing threshold was between 20 and 40 decibels.
  • Average losses: hearing loss is between 41 and 70 decibels.
  • Severe losses: the patient in question suffers a hearing loss between 71 and 90 decibels.
  • Deep loss: one that exceeds 90 decibels is considered as such.

If you want to put your hearing system to the test, we leave you an audiometry test that you can do through a video on YouTube:

Conclusion

It is important that at the slightest symptom that there is a hearing problem, you go to the appropriate doctor; in this case, the ENT. He will proceed to perform an audiometry to know the dimension of the problem and, if he deems it appropriate, establish the most appropriate treatment.

 

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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