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Auditory Acuity

 
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Overview

Whispering numbers into a patient's ears can be used as a gross estimate of auditory acuity.
  • How to Assess

  • Whisper numbers into the patient's ear from 1m and ask them to repeat them. Alternatively, rub hair fibres together next to patient's ear.
  • Causes of Hearing Loss

  • Conductive

  • External auditory canal - wax, foreign body, tumour, otitis externa
  • Middle ear - perforated eardrum, otitis media, otosclerosis
  • Sensorineural

  • Presbycusis (age-related hearing loss)
  • Trauma - noise trauma
  • Inflammation - meningitis, encephalitis, SLE, giant cell arteritis
  • Ototoxicity - gentamicin, frusemide, cisplatin, aspirin
  • Tumour - acoustic neuroma, meningioma, SCC, metastasis
  • Idiopathic - Meniere’s disease
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