A graph depicting the ability to hear sounds at different frequencies and used to provide a detailed description of hearing ability. It can be described as a picture of your sense of hearing. It illustrates hearing ability by showing hearing threshold (how soft a sound gets before becoming inaudible) at various frequencies.
- Vertical axis represents sound volume/ intensity measured in decibels (dB)
- Horizontal axis represents sound frequency or pitch measured in Hertz (Hz)
Computerized, pure-tone audiometry to precisely measure hearing acuity, speech-recognition thresholds and word-recognition thresholds. Allows the doctor to test hearing in a frequency range 250 to 8,000, but can expand to 20,000 Hz.
- The patient sits in a comfortable, soundproof booth.
- They’ll wear a set of specially calibrated headphones and listen to a series of very quiet beeps.
- Next, the audiologist will read a series of words over the headphones, and the patient repeats the words.
After the tests are completed the doctor reviews and interprets the audiogram. Those findings will be discussed with the patient.
A doctor of Audiology; trained in the science of hearing and hearing impairments that can administer tests and provide rehabilitation. All Newport-Mesa Audiology Balance & Ear Institute doctors of audiology have their Au.D. designation, are Board-certified, and are skilled to treat adults and children of all ages.
The science of hearing. The profession dedicated to the diagnosis and rehabilitation of hearing loss. A subspecialty focuses on balance disorders with symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo.
The measurement of hearing acuity.
The nerve carrying electrical signals from the inner ear to the base of the brain.
The outer flap of the ear. Also known as the Pinna.
A medical condition that causes dizziness or unsteadiness even when holding still or lying down. There are more than a dozen types.
Balance disorders include:
- Meniere’s disease
- Vestibular Neuronitis
- MdDs (Mal de Debarquement Syndrome)
Symptoms and sensations may be described as:
- Vertigo or spinning sensation
- Lightheadedness, fainting or floating sensation
- Impaired balance
- Falling when trying to stand up
- Staggering when trying to walk
- Blurred vision
- Disorientation or confusion
Thin sheet of material which vibrates in response to movements in the liquid that fills the cochlea.
Non-cancerous; usually a growth.
The conduction of sound waves through reverberations of the mastoid bone to the inner ear.
The cavity in the skull which contains the inner-ear mechanism.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is a type of balance disorder. It occurs when crystals in the utricle fall into the semicircular canals of the inner ear. Symptoms: Brief periods of vertigo when changing position of the head
Measures hearing sensitivity without requiring responses from very young patients or persons who are unable to communicate.
Closed Captioned. A broadcast television program may include a signal which produces descriptive subtitles on the screen. Requires a CC converter.
Shaped like a snail’s shell, this organ of the inner ear contains the organ of Corti, from which nerve fibers send hearing signals to the brain.
Replacement of part or all of the function of the inner ear.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Hearing loss caused by a problem of the outer or middle ear, resulting in the inability of sound to be conducted to the inner ear.
Congenital Hearing Loss
Hearing loss that is present from birth which may or may not be hereditary.
That surface of the brain where sensory information is processed.
Sensory cells within the semicircular canals which detect fluid movement.
Tiny crystals are found within the inner ear. The crystals make you sensitive to gravity and help you to keep your balance. Normally, a jelly-like membrane in your ear keeps them where they belong. If the ear is damaged the crystals can shift to another part of the ear. When they’re out of place, the crystals make you sensitive to movement and position changes that normally don’t affect you, sparking vertigo.
A jelly-like covering of the sensory hairs in the ampullae of the semicircular canals which responds to movement in the surrounding fluid and assists in maintaining balance.
Cycles (per second)
Measurement of frequency, or a sound’s pitch.
Measurement of the volume or loudness of a sound.
A range of specialized audiological, vestibular, imaging and other investigations to support an accurate diagnosis for possible causes of dizziness and imbalance.
The sensation of being off balance. Feeling off balance or ‘tilted’ toward one side, may be accompanied by frequent fall in one direction.
Feeling of lightheadedness; unsteadiness and imbalance sometimes associated with fainting. Results when the brain has conflicting messages from the ear and other senses. Does not involve the feeling that either you or something in your environment is moving (please see Vertigo) Dizziness is often misunderstood, often described as a medical condition in a non-specific way before a comprehensive evaluation establishes a precise diagnosis.
Abrupt without warning; patients risk serious accidental injury.
The short tube which conducts sound from the outer ear to the eardrum.
Membrane separating outer ear from middle ear: the tympanum.
Electronic health record.
Electronic medical record.
Ear, nose and throat physician specialist (also Otolaryngologist) trained in the medical and surgical management of disease. May see patients for: hearing loss, ear disorders, nerve disorders, allergies, infections, growths and tumors injuries, congenital or acquired abnormalities, swallowing, sleep, or speech disorders.
Treatment for BPPV that involves guiding the patient’s head into a series of positions designed to move dislodged crystals out of the semi-circular canals of the inner ear.
Supports precise diagnostic testing and treatment plans. Specialty chair
designed to precisely diagnosis and treat positional vertigo, including BPPV and it many variants. Patients with classic BPPV can experience dramatic relief of symptoms in as little as one session.
Tube running from the nasal cavity to the middle ear. Helps maintain sinus and middle ear pressure, protecting the ear drum.
The number of vibrations per second of a sound.
One of three bones of the middle ear that help transmit sound waves from the outer ear to the cochlea. Also known as the Malleus.
An indication of how soft a sound may get before it is inaudible. A hearing threshold of 0-25 dB is considered normal.
A collapsed tolerance to normal environmental sounds, or hypersensitive hearing.
Imbalance or disequilibrium is a term used to denote difficulty maintaining one’s center of gravity in a set position. Rather like dizziness, it is a non-specific term which may be due to a wide spectrum of disorders. Imbalance is not a specific diagnosis but generally refers to a type of medical problem.
Test for measuring the ability to hear sound waves transmitted through bone.
One three bones of the middle ear that help transmit soundwaves from the outer ear to the cochlea. Also known as the Anvil.
he portion of the ear, beginning at the oval window, which transmits sound signals to the brain and helps maintain balance. Consists of the cochlea and vestibular apparatus.
A balance disorder caused by a viral infection or inflammation of the inner ear. Symptoms include:
- Loss of balance
Pre-syncope. Feelings like you’re going to faint or pass out; usually occurs with quick changes in position while dehydrated, or with cardiovascular disease.
Within the organs of balance, area containing sensory cells which measure head position.
Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS)
A balance disorder with sensation that occurs after travel. Symptoms:
- Continuous feeling of rocking or bobbing
Cancerous; usually a tumor.
One of three bones of the middle ear that help transmit sound waves from the outer ear to the cochlea. Also known as the Hammer.
The bone in which the entire ear mechanism is housed. Part of the larger temporal bone.
Balance disorder that is associated with a change in the fluid volume (fluid build-up) of the inner ear (labyrinth); believed to be excess fluid. It is a chronic condition. Nausea and trembling may accompany episodes. Episode symptoms can progress to include:
- Fullness or ringing in the ear (Tinnitus)
- Heightened sensitivity to sound
- Hearing loss
- Sense of pressure in ear
The portion of the ear between the eardrum and the oval window which transmits sound to the inner ear. Consists of the Hammer, Anvil and Stirrup.
May be 2nd of most common causes of vertigo, especially in women. About 40% of migraine patients have vertigo before, during or after a headache, or even unrelated to headache.
- Episodes likely to be more severe, longer lasting, and more frequent than those of BPPV.
- Triggers may bring on episodes.
Characterized by nausea, vomiting, pallor and sweating when traveling in a moving vehicle. It is a physiological response to a mismatch between vestibular and visual information about the moving environment.
Sense of unclear head.
Commonly associated with any type of dizziness or imbalance.
Nerve Loss Deafness
A term used to differentiate inner-ear problems from those of the middle ear.
The brain’s ability to adapt and constantly learn new things.
Noise-induced Hearing loss
N-I-H-L; damage to the sensory hair cells in the inner ear. Can be caused by prolonged exposure to loud noise, or exposure to a single loud noise.
An involuntary eye movement; seen in many types of balance disorder.
Organ of Corti
The organ located in the cochlea. Contains hair cells that transmit sound waves from the ear through the auditory nerve to the brain.
The illusion that the environment is moving. Bobbing oscillopsia is a condition when objects or the horizon appear to jump or bob up and down spontaneously when the subject is walking or running.
Collective name for the three bones of the middle ear: Hammer, Anvil and Stirrup.
Infection of the middle ear.
A surgical specialty of the ears, nose and throat.
Stone-like particles in the macula which aid in our awareness of gravity and movement.
ranch of medicine concentrating on diseases of the ear.
A conductive hearing loss caused when the middle ear no longer transmits sound properly from the eardrum to the inner ear.
hemicals that are damaging to hearing, can cause tinnitus and/or can affect balance. Some medications, such as aspirin, several types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, sedatives, anti-depressants and quinine medications can negatively affect hearing health and cause tinnitus.
The external portion of the ear which collects sound waves and directs them into the ear. Consists of the pinna (auricle) and the ear canal and is separated from the middle ear by the ear drum.
The membrane that vibrates, transmitting sound into the cochlea. Separates the middle ear from the inner ear.
Watery liquid that fills the outer tubes running through the cochlea.
Balance disorder that is associated with a leakage of inner-ear fluid into the middle ear. Symptoms:
- Unsteadiness that increases with activity and decreases with rest
The outer, visible part of the ear, also called the Auricle.
Conditions in which sudden change of head position (such as lying down) or dizziness looking upwards at a high shelf) induce.
Hearing loss that develops as part of the natural aging process. It is considered a hereditary sensory-neural hearing loss. The cochlea and other parts of the ear deteriorate. Tinnitus may occur.
Inner ear area which contains some of the organs that measure position and gravity.
Curved tubes containing fluid, movement of which makes us aware of turning sensations as the head moves.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Hearing loss resulting from an inner ear problem.
Alternating low and high pressure areas, moving through the air which is as interpreted as sound when collected in the ear.
One of three bones of the middle ear that help transmit sound waves from the outer ear to the cochlea. Also known as the Stirrup.
One of three bones of the middle ear that help transmit sound waves from the outer ear to the cochlea. Also known as the Stapes.
Thin strip of membrane in contact with sensory hairs which sound vibrations move producing nerve impulses. In the organ of Corti.
The sensation of a ringing or buzzing in the ears when no other sound is present.
- Subjective tinnitusis the most common; 99% of all cases. Because the noise is caused by a malfunction of the inner ear, no sound waves are involved and only the affected person can hear the noise.
- Objective tinnitusaccounts for less than 5% of all cases. Usually involves sounds are detectable by others. For example, those who hear a whooshing sound with each heart beat may have pulsatile tinnitus, a condition their physician can hear with his stethoscope.
Phone device-enabled; dialogue is achieved at any distance as words, typed into a TTY, are converted to phone signals and appear, or are printed, as words on a receiving TTY machine.
Examination to assess the condition and mobility of the ear drum. This examination indirectly tests for holes in the ear drum, a partial vacuum behind the ear drum, fluid behind the ear drum and the function of the Eustachian tube.
Membrane separating outer ear from middle ear. The Eardrum.
Sensation that you or your surroundings are moving or spinning while sitting or lying still. Vertigo can be associated with nausea and vomiting. This false sense of rotation is due to a variety of causes. Vertigo is a symptom, not a disease. The most common type is B-P-P-V or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Vertigo implies that there is a rotational component to your dizziness – either the room is spinning around you or you are spinning in the room.
This is the response of central nervous system (and body) to prolonged vestibular activity.
As part of the cochlea concerned with maintaining balance.
Various strategies used by a patient to reduce symptoms.
A long-term reduction in response to stimulus from repeated exposure. For instance, when a patient becomes desensitized to an exercise or therapy
See Migraine-Associated Vertigo
Vestibular Neuritis (Neuronitis)
A balance disorder caused by a viral infection of the vestibular nerve. Symptoms: Vertigo
Our Institute’s superior form of vestibular rehabilitation is known as Advanced Vestibular TreatmentTM (AVT). Training techniques that promote recovery. It involves balance exercises to help a patient’s system to adapt to and compensate for imbalance. Techniques are based on:
- the disorder diagnosis
- the portions of the vestibular/balance system that is healthy
- patient goals based on Institute expertise and evidence-based research
- patient’s ability
- patient’s comments and feedback
Vestibular Schwannoma (VS)
See Acoustic Neuroma
Known as videonystagmography. The machine has a set of goggles connected to a computer. They analyze the way the eyes beat, the rapid eye movement that happens when the eye attempts to see something in the periphery of vision and then jerks back to the center of vision.
A distance between the peaks of successive sound waves.
A sound, such as running water, which masks all speech sounds.