Hearing & Balance
If your hearing isn’t as sharp as it used to be, or if your balance seems off, perhaps it’s time you got checked out. Often, hearing and balance problems can be traced to an inner ear issue. At Georgetown ENT, our caring and knowledgeable healthcare providers diagnose and treat adults and children for all manner of hearing or balance issues related to the inner ear.
Among the conditions we treat that affect your hearing and balance are ear infections, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness, and hearing loss. We also commonly perform the quick and painless in-office repositioning procedure for patients with dizziness caused by benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV.
Hearing & Balance Tests
Georgetown ENT surgeon Dr. Scott W. Franklin and audiologist Abeda Mueed work together to identify the cause of your hearing or balance symptoms and create a treatment plan most effective for you. They do this through the use of comprehensive hearing and balance testing.
Ms. Mueed will evaluate your symptoms to determine if they are related to hearing loss. She uses different tests to identify the type and degree of hearing loss. Which test you undergo may depend on your symptoms and the suspected issue. She will also perform hearing exams and balance tests to accurately diagnose and treat cases of tinnitus and dizziness.
Hearing and balance tests conducted by our audiologist may include:
These tests measure the volume at which you can hear. More precisely, pure-tone tests and warbled-tone hearing tests can identify hearing loss at specific frequencies.
These are the traditional hearing tests most people are familiar with: you usually wear earphones and indicate when you hear each beep. We test one ear at a time, which helps the audiologist determine the quietest sound you can hear at different frequencies.
Pure-tone beeps are emitted as a continuous sound wave. Warbled-tone beeps vary several times per second over a small range of frequencies. The latter is preferred when testing patients with tinnitus, because this condition can make it more difficult to hear the tones used during a hearing test. Your audiologist will decide whether a pure-tone or warbled-tone test is best for you.
This hearing test bypasses the outer and middle ear to measure your inner ear performance. During the procedure, our audiologist places a device called a bone oscillator either behind the ear or on the forehead. It transmits sound vibrations through your skull to your inner ear.
Bone conduction hearing tests are used to rule out an inner ear or cochlea problem – especially if you have an infection or wax buildup in your outer or middle ear that may temporarily be affecting your ability to hear.
This test identifies the volume at which you can interpret sounds as words.
Your speech reception threshold is the quietest point at which you can hear and understand someone speaking. During an SRT test, you may be asked to repeat certain words you hear at different volumes to assess the level at which you are able to hear and recognize speech.
This test identifies how clearly you recognize words when sound volume is not an issue.
Also called word recognition ability, this test measures how well you understand what you hear when someone is speaking at a decibel you can easily hear. It involves the ability to differentiate between different sounds and understand them as discrete words.
Like the speech reception threshold test, you may be asked to repeat words you hear. If you are able to comprehend 100% of the words you hear, your speech discrimination score will be 100%. This test separates the issue of volume to pinpoint issues regarding sound clarity.
An impedance hearing test assesses the function and integrity of the middle ear. A tympanometry is a type of impedance test concerned with the condition of your eardrum (tympanic membrane).
During the test, our audiologist will gently insert a small probe a few millimeters into your ear canal. The probe delivers low-pitched tones and will change the air pressure in your ear canal. The device measures the resistance a sound wave encounters as it travels through your middle ear. Test results are recorded in a graph.
This hearing test can help identify whether there is fluid in the middle ear, a problem with the eustachian tube, or if the eardrum is perforated. It can also help determine whether hearing aids or other treatments may help you.
An electronystagmography (ENG) is a balance test that is used to identify a possible cause of vertigo, dizziness, and related symptoms.
This test can identify whether you might have an eye condition known as nystagmus, which causes rapid, repetitive movements of your eyes. As you might expect, this can result in vision problems, but it can also impact your balance and coordination.
An ENG is painless and noninvasive. It is performed by placing electrodes on the skin above and below your eyes to record electrical activity associated with involuntary eye movements in response to various stimuli.
Hearing Aid Evaluation
Only after a thorough medical evaluation can you know if hearing aids are an appropriate treatment option for your hearing loss. If audiology testing reveals that you are a good candidate for hearing aids, your friendly and knowledgeable Georgetown ENT audiologist, Abeda Mueed, can guide you toward finding the type of hearing aid best suited to your condition.
We work with some of the best national and international hearing aid companies to get you the hearing aid best suited to your hearing needs and lifestyle. Ms. Mueed keeps abreast of the latest technological advances in the industry so you will always be informed of the most current hearing instruments available and any additional accessories you might need to achieve the best hearing possible in most situations with family and friends.
It is important to understand that once you have your hearing aid, you may need periodic adjustments to the hearing aid because your hearing loss may change over time. As a hearing aid patient of ours, we will regularly monitor your hearing so that your hearing aid is always appropriately adjusted to complement and meet any changes in your hearing loss.
If your hearing evaluation shows that you are a good candidate for an in-the-ear hearing aid, then impressions of your ear canal will be taken so that customized hearing aids or ear molds can be made to fit your ear perfectly. We take impressions and perform fittings right here in our Georgetown ENT office, so you don’t have to travel anywhere else.
Hearing Loss and Balance Evaluation near Austin, Texas
At Georgetown ENT in Georgetown, Texas, we diagnose and treat hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, and more. You won’t get better one-on-one hearing and balance care from any other ENT practice in the greater Austin area. Find out about our superior patient care by calling Georgetown ENT at (512) 869-0604 or request your appointment now.