Hearing Testing

Wichita Ear Clinic provides state-of-the-art medical and surgical treatments for diseases of the ear and cranial base. We treat all types of hearing loss, vestibular and balance disorders, otologic (ear) infections, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), facial nerve disorders, acoustic neuromas, and tumors of the ear and cranial base. Our physicians specialize in both pediatric and adult cochlear implantation, and implant mapping and programming is accomplished on-site at Wichita Ear.

Puretone Hearing Test

This test determines your ability to hear sound. Puretone tests register the faintest sound the ear can perceive. Various tones of high and low frequencies will be presented both through the ear canals and also on the mastoid bone behind the ear. The tests will be performed in a soundproof room. In many cases, it will be necessary to produce a loud noise into the ear that is not being tested. This is called masking. This distraction is necessary to assure that the test tones are heard only in the ear under evaluation. This test may take from 10 to 20 minutes.

Speech Tests

Speech tests are used to determine your ability to hear and understand simple and uncomplicated speech. Several different types of test material may be given. A test known as the discrimination score, in which a series of words is given at a comfortable listen level, lets the doctor know how well the patient understands the clarity of words.

In another test, words will be given at various levels of loudness to determine the level of hearing or the speech reception threshold. These tests take from 15 to 20 minutes.

Electonystagmograph (ENG)

This test is designed to electronically determine the response of the vestibular or balance center in each ear. It is similar in concept to other electronic studies of the body, such as the electrocardiogram of the heart action and the electroencephalogram to study brain function.

During the test, five electrodes are put on each side of and above the eyes. Tracings of eye movements are recorded with the body in different sitting and lying positions. Cool and warm probes are alternately inserted in the ear canal, and recordings of eye movements are taken after this stimulation.

This test gives the doctor a permanent record of the balance mechanism after caloric stimulation of the patient. This test also helps determine the cause of dizziness and localize whether the dizziness is in the inner ear or elsewhere. It takes about one hour. The patient should have nothing to eat or drink for twohours prior to the test.

In order to accurately evaluate the balance center certain medications should not be taken for 72 hours before the tests are performed. These medications include motion sickness tables such as Dramamine, Antivert, all antihistamines, all tranquilizers and all type of alcohol and sedatives.

Impedance Test

Impedance audiometry is a diagnostic test that differentiates various middle ear and inner ear problems. A soft plastic probe tip is placed in the ear canal opening. Measurements of the middle ear function are made as the air pressure through the probe tip is varied in the ear canal.