Diagnostic Balance Testing
With such a wide range of hearing and balance disorders, many of which have similar symptoms, it iis important for an audiologist to make an accurate diagnosis to formulate an appropriate and successful treatment plan. Diagnostic testing plays a critical role in determining the condition responsible for a patient’s symptoms.
Types of Diagnostic Tests
There are a number of diagnostic tests available, ranging from X-rays and CT scans to more in-depth tests. Here are some of the most common:
- Acoustic Immittance Measures. These tests evaluate the integrity of the middle ear (eardrum, pressure mechanism and bones of the middle ear) and are used to determine which part of the ear is responsible for hearing and/or balance symptoms.
- Audiometry. This hearing exam measures one’s ability to hear sounds at different pitches or frequencies. It can determine the nature and extent of hearing loss and whether one could benefit from hearing aids or surgery.
- Videonystagmography. This test is used in the evaluation of patients with vertigo or dizziness/imbalance. It measures whether a balance disorder can be attributed to a vestibular deficit (inner ear disease).
These diagnostic tests are relatively quick, painless, and can help us diagnose and evaluate a variety of hearing and balance disorders.