How To Guides
PENTA provides a full range of diagnostic services
Below you will find all the testing procedures that we provide here at PENTA. Please click the + to learn more about the procedure.
What to expect during a Comprehensive Audiogram: Audiometry provides a more precise measurement of hearing. This is accomplished via headphones or inserts. The audiogram begins with testing your understanding of speech. First, you are asked to repeat two-syllable words that will gradually get softer in level. Then, a list of monosyllabic words will be presented at your most comfortable listening level, which you are asked to repeat. Once speech testing has been completed, pure tone thresholds(the softest level you can hear) are obtained. Pure tones of controlled intensity are delivered to one ear at a time. You are asked to raise a hand, press a button, or otherwise indicate when you hear a sound. The minimum intensity (volume) required to hear each tone is graphed. An attachment called a bone oscillator is placed against the bone behind each ear (mastoid bone) to test bone conduction. By combining the results of all the different parts of an audiogram we are able to determine your amount of hearing as well as the type of hearing loss.
What to expect during a Tympanogram: A small tip is pressed against the opening of the ear canal. You may hear a slight hum and feel a little pressure (as if you are going up a mountain). This will only last about 10 seconds per ear. This evaluates the mobility of the tympanic membrane (eardrum) to help with diagnosis of middle ear problems.
What to expect during Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs): You must remain silent and still during this test. It is very similar to the hearing test but you are not required to respond to the tones if you hear them. This test is completely objective. A small tip is inserted into the opening of the ear canal. You may hear a series of tones in your ear.
What to expect during an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR): After being scheduled for this test, you will receive a set of instructions informing you about the test and your preparation for this test. Click below view the ABR Instruction Form:
What to expect during a Videonystagmography (VNG) test: After being scheduled for this test, you will receive a set of instructions informing you about the test and your preparation for this test. Click below to view the VNG Instruction Form:
- During the oculomotor testing, you are required to follow a small object moving in various ways, using only your eyes.
- During the positional testing, you are moved into different positions to attempt to evoke nystagmus.
- During the caloric testing, air pressure is directed into each ear to stimulate the vestibular system of that ear, for a minimum of 4 times (typically, once for each ear with cool air and once for each ear with warm air); however, this process may be repeated, at maximum, two more times to verify responses. Recordings for each ear are compared to ensure both sides of the vestibular system are responding the same.
- The air is placed in the ear for about one minute and then following removal of the air, you are asked to answer questions. This test may make you feel as if the room or your own body is spinning. It is very important that you do your best to focus on answering the questions and not on the way you feel. The answer to these questions are not important; the main focus is to keep your brain busy so that it does not suppress the response we are trying to see.
What to expect during Electrocochleography (ECOG) testing: After being scheduled for this test, you will receive a set of instructions informing you about the test and your preparation for this test. Click below to view the ECOG Instruction Form
Please refer to the information above referencing the ABR and ECOG.
BPPV is a disorder of one of the balance centers in the inner ear, usually the posterior semicircular canal. It is one of several types of positional vertigo and by far the most common. BPPV is benign because it is not life threatening; paroxysmal because the dizziness comes on suddenly and without warning; it is positional because the dizziness either starts or is made worse with head or body movement; and it is vertigo because the dizziness is a whirling type of sensation. It is believed that BPPV occurs when small particles break free from the walls of the semicircular canals located in the inner ear and float in fluid contained in these canals. These floating particles can gather to form tiny clots that may act like a tiny plunger that pushes and pulls the fluid that fills these canals. This is important as the semicircular canals control our sense of balance. The changes in fluid movement can cause false messages to be generated which lead to vertigo. BPPV is thought to be caused by a previous head injury that could have happened years before the dizziness started. The main symptoms of BPPV are vertigo, imbalance and nausea that last for a short time, only to return with a change in body or head position. Some people report a feeling of imbalance that lasts throughout the day. BPPV is a very common problem and accounts for almost half of the balance problems seen by our group. Performing special balance exercises or using a canalith repositioning maneuver usually relieves BPPV. This is moving the free floating particles to an area into the vestibular system where they will not stimulate fluid movements and cause false messages. The canalith repositioning maneuver, or Epley maneuver, is a physical therapy we perform in our office that effectively eliminates the dizziness associated with BPPV in 90% of people. What to expect during a Canalith Repositioning Maneuver, or Epley Maneuver: After being scheduled for this test, you will receive a set of instructions informing you about the test and your preparation for this test. Click below to view the Epley Instruction Form