Various parts of the auditory system produce electrical signals in response to sound stimulation. This objective test measures those compound electrical signals produced by the cochlea (action potential/summating potential complex) and auditory nerve. It is in effect an “ECG” of the cochlea. It can give useful information about the function of the cochlear hair cells and in particular the pressure of endolymph fluid in the surrounding membrane compartment. Because the pressure of fluid in the cochlea closely mirrors the fluid pressure in the labyrinth an EcoG may therefore give objective diagnostic information in Ménière’s disease and other allied disorders affecting inner ear fluid balance at a very early stage, before all the typical clinical features are apparent and irreversible damage has occurred.
Local anaesthetic cream will be applied to the outer surface of the eardrum. You will have surface skin electrodes placed on your head and a tiny electrode and sponge foam speaker will subsequently be inserted into the external canal of the ear that is being tested. You will hear some repetitive clicking noises but you are not required to respond to them. It is very important that you try and be as relaxed as possible, since any tension can affect the skin resistance/electrode interface and slow down the recording process. This test takes about 30 minutes to complete.
Dr Gerald Brookes is regularly consulted by the media for his expertise. He has been interviewed by the Daily Mail, featured on Channel 4's Embarassing Bodies, looked after The X-Factor contestants and recently, appeared on BBC Radio 2 with Chris Evans.
Adele was experiencing dizziness and balance problems so severe that she could barely function. In desperation, after consulting her GP to no avail, she got in touch with Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies team. The show then contacted Dr Gerald Brookes, who was able to diagnose her rare condition as Basilar Migraine.
Related link: Embarrassing Bodies
Catherine Eade was having dizzy spells and balance problems. When inexplicably she started suffering memory loss too, she consulted Dr Gerald Brookes at The Harley Street ENT Clinic who correctly diagnosed her problem as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
Read her full story in the Daily Mail: Memory like a sieve? Why a simple ear infection may be to blame.
The Harley Street ENT Clinic looked after The X-Factor TV show contestants for many seasons. At the end of the 2010 season, Dr Gerald Brookes was interviewed by Nicky Broyd of Boots WebMD on the perils of high pressure performing.