The condition of outer ear canal and tympanic membrane will be examined by using a hand-held otoscope or a video otoscope. The otoscopic exam is performed by gently pulling the auricle upward and backward. A healthy ear canal should be free of earwax and foreign body, while a healthy eardrum should be pinkish gray in color, translucent and intact. A photo of your ear canal and tympanic membrane will be shown after examination. Medical referral will be given if any abnormality such as earwax occlusion and otitis externa is identified.
Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA) is a behavioural test to assess the hearing sensitivity (i.e the softest sound) that a client can perceive in an acoustically controlled environment. The client will wear headphones or insert phones to listen different pure tones from 250Hz to 8k Hz at different loudness level. The client is instructed to respond when a sound stimulus is heard by pressing a response button or raising his/her hand. Air conduction and bone conduction thresholds will be obtained to diagnose the degree and type of hearing loss of client and identify any possible middle ear involvement.
Tympanometry records changes in middle ear immittance with varying air pressure in the ear canal. It is a test used to detect disorders of the middle ear. It involves inserting a probe tip in the ear canal to obtain ear canal volume, pressure and static compliance of the middle ear. Tympanometry may reveal possible middle ear problems, such as middle ear fluid, perforated eardrum, impacted earwax and ossicular disorders.
An acoustic reflex threshold is a middle ear measurement using a constant pressure and various frequency-specific sounds are presented at higher intensity to examine stapedius muscle contraction. Acoustic reflexes thresholds measurement can identify any possible retrocochlear lesion and help crosscheck the pure tone audioemtry and tympanometry result.
Speech audiometry provides information about the clients sensitivity to recorded or live speech materials and understanding of speech at suprathreshold levels. It can be used diagnostically to examine speech-processing abilities of the whole auditory system and identify any possible retrocochlear lesion. It can also be used to crosscheck the validity of pure-tone thresholds.