TWO most common diagnostic procedures used for testing one’s hearing are Audiometry and Tympanometry. They work in tandem, done one after another during a hearing test, and the results show the Audiologist the status of the current hearing acuity of a person. The test results are always compared to the last ones done, and in my case, suffering since long from hearing loss as a late effect of Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) I inherited from my father, the gradual deterioration of my hearing are evident in all the quarterly checks report being kept in my file. My very first Audiometry test was done when I was 38 years old and shortly thereafter, I started wearing hearing aids.
Audiometry is a branch of Audiology and tests one’s ability to hear sounds. It’s coined from Latin words audire “to hear” and metria “to measure”. It is through this examination that hearing loss is scientifically proven.
Tympanometry is “an examination used to test the condition of the middle ear and mobility of the eardrum and the conduction bones by creating variations of air pressure in the ear canal. Tympanometry is an objective test of middle-ear function,” as defined by Wikipedia.
Conduction of sound is the role of the three tiny bones in the ear and because of my OI, also known as “brittle bone disease”, my hearing gradually deteriorated as the bones got porous. This means that the more porous the bones become, the more hearing is lost.
Now at age 60, I hear no sound at all without my bilateral hearing aids. And yet the sound which I hear when I wear the gadgets is not clear. I need to “lip read” when talking to a person. My lip reading ability though is still not perfect so I rely on my caregiver’s notations during any visit to doctors. Time will come when even with the use of the most sophisticated hearing aids I will not be able to hear any sound at all!