An audiogram is a comprehensive test that measures thresholds of hearing and overall function of the middle and inner ear. To ENT providers it provides valuable information about the overall function of the ear–function beyond what we can see when we actually examine an ear. We often discuss with patients that an audiogram is (to us) what an EKG would be to a cardiologist when they are evaluating patients. You can’t see a heart with your eyes to assess its function–you use a test like an EKG among others to assess function. Well, for us an audiogram does just that.
It gives us information about the conductive aspects of our hearing (delivering the sound wave where it needs to go) as well as the nerve aspects of hearing. It also measures mobility of the ear drum and the brain’s ability to interpret our hearing.
We order and request patients to have audiograms for many reasons outside of just hearing loss and hearing concerns overall. We would use a test like this if patient’s have concerns for: ear pain, ear pressure, a plugged sensation in the ear, tinnitus (sounds in the ear), dizziness/vertigo among others. It tells us if your ear drum movement, middle ear
bones (the ossicular chain), and inner ear nerve function is working properly or not. We use this test to help determine the diagnosis for the symptoms you are seeing us for.
If you are asked to get an audiogram, know that we are asking for it because it is something that we need to help care for you and maximize your appointment with our providers.
Audiologists in our area:
Accucare Audiology- Sarah Nelson
Essentia Health- Whitnea Engelbrecht
Cuyuna Regional Medical Center- Kris Schmidt
To learn about our in-office ear tubes, click here.