How well-versed are you with hearing loss? Hearing loss is common among seniors in their 80s. You may be worried that hearing loss is a problem that you or a loved one will begin to experience. With this, you think of conductive hearing loss audiogram.
Another key point is that you should be aware of the developing problems in your body – even if they’re small. Thus, with the conductive hearing loss audiogram, you can be sure that you’re staying healthy.
The audiogram measures hearing lapses in decibels on a chart and allows you to quickly understand what to improve.
Here’s what you need to know about a conductive hearing loss audiogram:
Audiograms and Audiometry – What is Conductive Hearing Loss Audiogram?
Hearing loss audiogram evaluates and measures severity of conductive hearing loss. This is a condition in which sounds fail to reach the inner ear correctly. Hearing loss are caused by issues, such as:
- earwax build-up
- a foreign object blocking the ear canal
The audiogram works by using a room equipped with speakers, headphones, and an audiologist. The audiologist will measure the patient’s hearing. Using different tones and volumes through speakers is the way to carry out the test. The patient is going to raise a hand or push the button as they hear the sound.
As a result, the audiologist gets an idea of how loudly the patient needs to hear to properly make sense of the sound. This test is invaluable for proper diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss.
What is Conductive Hearing Loss?
Conductive Hearing Loss is a type of hearing loss where the auditory system has a decreased ability to respond to sound. It is caused by a problem in the:
- ear canal
- ear drum
- ossicles (tiny bones in the middle ear)
Thus, this prevents the sound from being conducted to the inner ear and the auditory nerve. In most cases, treatment can improve hearing levels. Do not confuse conductive hearing loss with sensorineural hearing loss. The cochlea or the auditory near causes the problem.
Treatment is carried out through medical therapies or surgeries. This includes:
- repairing the eardrum
- amplifying sound with hearing aids
- hearing implants
- cleaning the ear canal
After that, ask for medical advise and get regular hearing tests.
How is Conductive Hearing Loss Diagnosed?
Conductive hearing loss diagnosis is done through various examinations.
- The first way is through a medical history and physical examination. This will help the doctor to rule out any other possible causes of hearing loss.
- The second way is through an audiogram test. This is a test that measures how well you can hear different tones. The third way is through an impedance audiometry test. This test measures how well your ear responds to sound waves.
What Are the Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss?
There are many potential causes of conductive hearing loss. Some common causes include:
Earwax is a natural substance that helps protect the ear from dirt and debris. Too much wax can build up and block the ear canal, causing conductive hearing loss.
Infections of the ear canal or middle ear can cause conductive hearing loss. These infections can be bacterial, viral, or fungal.
Fluid in the Middle Ear
Cold and allergies in children causes fluid in the middle ear. The fluid prevents sound waves from reaching the inner ear, causing conductive hearing loss.
A perforated eardrum is a hole in the thin membrane that separates the middle ear from the outer ear. The occurence of a perforated eardrum is due to an:
- head injury
- loud noise exposure
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves cannot travel through the perforated eardrum to reach the inner ear.
Otosclerosis is a condition that results in abnormal bone growth inside the middle ear. The growth of Otosclerosis leads to conductive hearing loss. This happens as it interferes with sound wave transmission.
How is Conductive Loss of Hearing Treated?
Treating conductive hearing loss is by medical intervention or lifestyle changes. Depending on the cause of the hearing loss, there are several treatments available. The most common treatment for Conductive Hearing Loss is surgical intervention to correct physical deformities or blockages.
This may include:
- the insertion of stents or grafts in the middle ear
- the replacement of a missing middle ear ossicle
Anti-inflamatory drugs are use for treating the underlying conditions. This is useful for those with allergies and infections. When medical treatments are not available, lifestyle changes can be helpful, such as:
- avoiding loud noises
- using hearing protection
- using assistive devices
Thus, correcting or improving the underlying condition of conductive hearing loss is the goal of the treatment. This helps improve the restoration of hearing.
What Media is Used to for Hearing Loss Signal Masking
Hearing loss signal masking is the use of technology to reduce the impact of hearing loss on an individual’s quality of life by masking it with specific audio, video, or multimedia information. Different media is used to mask signals in different ways. Audio can be used to reduce the suprathreshold level of sound that a person with hearing loss can detect.
As said, this can help them make out speech more clearly. Video media can be used to create distractions and create a calming environment. Signal masking can incorporate visual cues to help amplify speech or sign language. With multimedia, people with hearing loss can learn more quickly and develop their auditory skills.
What is Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed hearing loss is a type of hearing impairment that occurs when a person has both a conductive issue as well as a sensorineural issue. It is a combination of the two hearing loss types. Typically, the conductive component is due to something physical blocking sound from entering the ear, such as ear wax, a tumor, or damaged middle ear bones.
Consequently, the sensorineural component is due to damage to the inner ear (called the cochlea) or to the auditory nerve. Hence, this type of hearing loss can cause a decrease in the ability to understand speech, especially in noisy settings.
It is also sometimes difficult to determine the degree of the hearing problems or deafness. It is treated with loss hearing aids and other assistive listening devices. In some cases, individuals with mixed loss of hearing may benefit from cochlear implantation.
Understanding Sensorineural Hearing Loss Audiogram
There are several types of loss in senses we might experience in our lifetime. Sensorineural and conductive are two types of hearing loss. The damage to the nerve pathways from the ear to the brain causes sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is usually permanent. The blockage in the middle or outer ear also causes conductive hearing loss. This is when the outer ear prevents the sound waves from reaching the inner ear. This type of hearing loss can be temporary or permanent.
An audiogram for conduction hearing shows the softest sound a person can hear at each frequency (pitch). Measuring frequencies is in in hertz (Hz) and the loudness in decibels (dB). The y-axis plots the loudness and the x-axies plots the frequency.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss Audiogram
A sensorineural hearing loss audiogram will also show a sloping downward pattern from left to right. The further down the slope, the more severe the hearing loss.
Conductive Hearing Loss Audiogram
A conductive hearing loss audiogram will show a flat line or a series of peaks and valleys. The severity of conductive hearing loss depends on how high or low the peaks and valleys are.
Sensorineural Vs Conductive Hearing Loss Audiogram
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and conductive hearing loss (CHL) Audiograms are two types of audiograms. Both are being used in determining the extent of hearing impairment. SNHL is being caused by damage to the auditory nerve or cochlea. It usually occurs without any obvious outer ear pathology. In contrast, outer ear pathology causes the CHL, i.e. from an obstruction or lack of mobility of the ear structures.
The conduction audiometry for SNHL also shows a descending slope, with a sharp drop or flat range percept at high frequencies and an increase in low-frequency response. For CHL, the audiogram shows a flat line indicating a completely uniform clarity of hearing at all frequencies.
The main difference between the two audiograms is the presentation of the frequency response curve, and the interpretation of the audiogram results will depend on the nature of the hearing loss and the clinical history of the patient.
An audiogram is also being used to determine if if a patient has just one ear with sensorineural hearing loss. An audiometric testing is being used to identify if the patient has bilateral CHL.
Bone Conduction Audiogram
A conductive hearing loss (CHL) audiogram is a graph that shows the softest sound a person can manage to hear at varying frequencies (pitches). It is used to measure the severity of CHL basing on the conduction thresholds. The audiogram is divided into left and right columns, with each column representing one ear.
The top of the bone conduction audiogram or the air conduction of the bone represents high frequencies and the bottom low frequencies. The numbers along the top and bottom represent decibels (dB HL), which measure the intensity (loudness) of sound. The audiogram is essential in managing conductive loss of hearing through noise-induced hearing. It can help identify the cause of CHL and guide treatment options.
In some cases, no treatment is also necessary and the patient hearing loss will resolve on its own. Removing the obsruction of hearing is through medical or surgical intervention. This is if also an obstruction in the ear canal or middle ear is causing the CHL.
Importance of Audiogram Interpretation
Audiogram interpretation is essential to properly diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss. It provides the clinician with detailed information about the individual’s hearing thresholds. This can then be used to develop an appropriate plan of care.
Audiograms also tests to evaluate the response of the individual’s hearing to certain tones and sounds. By accurately interpreting audiograms, health professionals can identify issues in the ear. Thus, these issues may be causing the hearing loss, as well as determining the potential best course of treatment.
Additionally, audiogram interpretation is integral in determining the degree of hearing loss. Detecting any changes in hearing capability over time. Overall, audiogram interpretation is also an invaluable tool used by healthcare professionals to accurately diagnose and treat hearing loss.
Treatments One Should Go For After a Hearing Audiogram
As has been noted, following a hearing audiogram, there are several different treatments one should consider. Here are some treatments to consider:
Depending on the results of the audiogram, a hearing aid may be the most beneficial first step. Hearing aids help amplify sound and improve hearing.
Balance Retaining Treatment
If the audiogram also reveals hearing issues, the patient is referred to a specialist. If they suffer from nerve damage, an evaluation and treatment will be next. Balance retraining may be needed. Those who have vertigo or are experiencing dizziness from hearing issues will be going through a therapy.
Patients with hearing impediments gets a speech therapy prescription. This goes the same to those with current or former hearing loss. Cognitive therapy is beneficial if one is suffering from cognitive impairment.
As also mentioned, all of these treatments can help improve the quality of life and assist with hearing issues.
We hope this quick guide on the conductive hearing loss audiogram has helped provide an overview of what it is and how it is used. If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of hearing loss, be sure to consult an audiologist for a comprehensive assessment and tailored treatment plan.
Thus, audiograms can inform diagnosis and treatment planning. Audiograms are essential for managing your hearing health. The use of audiograms for testing helps maintain your quality of life.
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