On Friday, March 13th Lauren went in for her first audio gram testing since the surgery. She had one completed the day before her Atresia surgery in California. This recent test was conducted almost identically to the first test. They test her hearing on both sides and graph out the results. They use different frequency levels and then score them at what decibel level she was able to hear.
In the test, she is put into a sound proof room with an audio gram technician to instruct her what to do. Another technician will be outside and control the test. In the first exam she had, they started her out by having her repeat certain words. Then they played a game with her to see if she could hear different tone levels. She was told if she could hear the "birdie" noise, she was to throw a colored ball into a basket. After the first test, she scored at or below 15 decibels at all frequencies on her good side and was around 60-70 decibels on her other side. The goal of the surgery is to improve her hearing to at or below 30 decibels.
The results from the second test showed much improvement. In two particular frequency ranges she improved by 50%. She was at or close to the 30 decibel level. However, in the higher frequency ranges, she scored lower than before the surgery. This was a concern for us, but after speaking with the doctor in California, he felt it wasn't anything to be worried about. He would however like to test her hearing again in a month. Usually the next test wouldn't be until four months out, but he wants to make sure that the areas she decreased in are checked. He mentioned that she may still have some undissolved packing that could be behind her new ear drum as to why there was a decrease. Overall, he was encouraged that she made good improvements. So, the good news is she definitely has shown improvement and we are hopeful that with some additional healing, she will improve even more. As of now, all packing has been removed from the ear and we no longer have to use the ear drops with her. She has been doing very well and we are planning to the make the next trip to California the first week in May for her outer ear reconstruction.