Hearing loss affects more than just your ability to hear. Research confirms what our patients tell us. Your hearing health contributes to your overall health, well-being and quality of life and the quality of your relationships. Professional Hearing Services stresses the importance of an accurate and timely audiological assessment. The earlier we identify the issues, the better chance you have at improving your hearing, your health, and the lives of those around you. Our in-depth assessment is essential to setting your unique hearing treatment plan in motion and taking action.

Step One: The Interview

To help us understand your hearing or tinnitus issues, and how this is impacting you, your family and friends, and your relationships. Questions often uncover information that might reveal its cause.
Typical questions include:

  • Has anyone else in your family had hearing loss?
  • Have you had any illnesses or injuries that might have affected your hearing?
  • Have you taken any medications that might have affected your hearing?
  • Have you been exposed to loud noises in your job or leisure activities?
  • In what types of situations do you find you are experiencing the greatest difficulty with your hearing?
  • In what types of situations do you wish you could hear better?

Pre-hearing test interview

Step Two: The Examination

Our Doctors of Audiology will take a close look inside your ear and figure out whether the hearing difficulty you are experiencing could be caused by an obstruction or damage to the ear canal or eardrum. We use a special instrument called an otoscope or video otoscope to inspect your outer ear.

Hearing loss examination

Step Three: Audiological Assessment

The goal of this evaluation is to determine the cause of your symptoms and to diagnose your potential hearing loss, to explain the cause of the sound voids TM, your struggles with communication, the tinnitus or other symptoms you may be experiencing. Our comprehensive assessments typically include:

  • Audiometric pure tone evaluation to measure your hearing sensitivity at various frequencies.
  • Speech evaluations to measure how well you hear and understand speech at various volumes in quiet and in noise.
  • Acoustic immittance assessment to evaluate the eardrum, the middle ear space, and a muscle reflex that involves the middle ear, the inner ear, the auditory nerve, the auditory brainstem pathways, and the facial nerve to determine the etiology and whether medical consultation is indicated.

Diagnostic hearing test

Step Four: Treatment Options

With this step, we will explain your audiological assessment results to you and your companion and relate the diagnosis to your particular symptoms. If indicated, we will proceed with audiological consultation, and your Doctor of Audiology will recommend and explain the benefits and details of a personalized hearing treatment program for your specific hearing or tinnitus needs, including your listening lifestyle. Options include:

Hearing Aids
Amplification with hearing aids is the preferred treatment for most types of hearing loss and can provide significant improvements in one’s ability to communicate effectively and without a burdensome degree of effort.

Today’s digital hearing aids come in a variety of designs (including invisible-in-the canal models) with a wide range of functions and features to address an individual’s specific needs.

Assistive Listening Devices
ALDs are specialized hearing technologies that help people with all degrees of hearing loss. These devices can facilitate face-to-face communication and improved experience with media such as televisions and telephones adapted to help the hearing impaired.

Surgery & Implants
More severe hearing losses may benefit from devices surgically inserted into the ear to improve hearing, facilitate lip reading, and make it easier to distinguish certain sounds. Typically, these are most helpful to deaf or profoundly hearing-impaired people who are unable to achieve sufficient benefit from hearing aids.

A few examples of surgical implants:

  • Cochlear Implants
  • Middle Ear Implants
  • Bone-Anchored Hearing Systems
  • Auditory Brainstem Implants

Hearing aid fitting

Frequently Asked Questions

How is hearing assessed in newborns?
Before your child leaves the hospital, they’re given an otoacoustic emissions (OAE) assessment. When sleeping, an earphone and microphone are placed in the ear, sounds are played, and their response is measured. If the newborn does not have a hearing impairment, an echo is reflected back into the ear canal being measured by the microphone. When a baby does have a hearing loss, no echo can be measured on the OAE assessment. This assessment is generally administered twice. Please see our section about child hearing loss for more information on hearing impairment and preventive measures for all ages.
How long does a hearing assessment take?
Actual assessment time varies from 20-40 minutes. However we schedule new patient appointments for 90 minutes for your Doctor to complete all 4 steps to fully assess your hearing needs.
How often should I get my hearing assessed?
This depends on lifestyle as well as age. Typically, we recommend an annual hearing assessment, whether there are signs of hearing loss or not, particularly if you are exposed to noise consistently through work or play. If you are exhibiting signs and symptoms of hearing loss, please call today to schedule an appointment.