Are you readying for your first visit to a clinic for a hearing test in Toronto? Here are some things you should know beforehand. First, a practice nurse would ask you if you are experiencing anything unusualsuch as pain, discharge of fluid, noise in ears, hearing loss, dizziness. The nurse would also ask you whether you have any history of a hearing problem. Following this verbal inspection, the staff will physically examine your ears with an instrument called aurioscope, which is a handheld torch that has a magnifying glass to see the eardrum. There are a number of problems that doctors can detect using an aurioscope.
Here are some common hearing problems that a doctor can detect:
- Discharge of fluid coming out of the ear.
- Bulging of eardrum that can be a result of infected fluid in the middle ear.
- A retracted eardrum which indicates that the Eustachian tube is not working properly. A Eustachian tube is a canal that joins the middle ear to the nasopharynx that consists of the upper throat and the back of the nasal cavity. It helps regulate the pressure within the middle ear and matchesit with the outside pressure.
- A dull eardrum, which could signal the presence of uninfected fluid in the middle ear. It is also called glue ear.
- Perforated eardrum which is a hole in the eardrum that can be with or without signs of infection.
- Ear wax or foreign bodies that may block the ears.
A general practitioner can also do a simple hearing test using voice in order to check the level of hearing loss in a patient. If anything serious is detected, one would be directed to Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist for further checkups.
Understanding the human ear
The human ear can be divided into three parts- the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. A problem detected in any part of the ear may require a hearing test to detect the type of hearing loss a person is experiencing.There are three different parts of an ear as listed below:
- The outer ear: The noises that get into the outer ear further go through the ear canal to the eardrum or a thin membrane to vibrate.
- The middle ear: This part of the ear is an air-filled cavity that consists of three small sized bones that carry vibration to the inner ear from the eardrum.
- The inner air: This part of the brain contains the vestibular system, which is a balance organ, and the cochlea, the hearing organ, which is a tube filled with coiled fluid. This tube turns the vibration into electrical signals that goes along the auditory nerve linked to the brain.