Terminology

Richmond Hearing Doctors EquipmentAudiogram – A graphical representation of how a person behaviorally responds to specific sounds. The sounds vary by pitch/frequency and loudness/intensity. The graph is plotted with decibels/loudness on the vertical axis and frequency on the horizontal axis. The top of the graph is the normal range of hearing with the bottom of the graph representing significant hearing loss.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss – This type of loss is often referred to as “nerve damage”. It is the most common type of hearing loss. It is caused when hair cells in the inner ear are damaged by loud sounds, aging or disease. It can also be caused when there is damage to the auditory nerve.

Conductive Hearing Loss – This type of loss is usually caused by an obstruction in the outer or middle ear. Common causes of conductive hearing loss are wax or middle ear fluid. Most conductive loss can be treated medically.

Mixed Hearing Loss – This type of loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.

Tympanometry – Tympanometry tests how the eardrum and middle ear are functioning. This test is helpful to indicate if there is fluid or blockage in the middle ear.

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) – iagnostic OAEs measure an echo response from the outer hair cells in the inner ear. This test is helpful for testing patients who are unable to behaviorally respond. It is often used in newborn hearing testing.