Determination of the hearing status
The patient is in a sound proof chamber, wearing headphones and listening to various sounds in succession, which are played back first for one ear and then the other. With the push of a button, the patient signalizes when the sound become recognizable. Usually, the volume is increased in small increments until the hearing threshold can be determined. This indicates at which pitch (Frequency in Hertz = Hz) and at what volume (sound pressure level in decibels = dB) the patient is able to hear an acoustic signal.
With special diagnostic methods, the inner ear function can be objectively measured - without the patient’s active participation. These include the measurement of otoacoustic emissions, which can provide information about the function of the so-called outer hair cells. Hereby special microphones catch the sounds, which the hair cells from the inner ear send back into the ear canal when they respond to acoustic noise.