Hearing impairment affects more than just your ability to hear — it affects your quality of life. Professional Hearing Services stresses the importance of an accurate and timely hearing test. The hearing evaluation is just the beginning of your treatment, and it’s essential to setting your unique care plan in motion and taking action on hearing loss. Your in-depth hearing evaluation will help us craft a treatment plan that renews your ability to hear, allowing you to truly hear your best and live life on your terms.
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?
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.
Step Three: Hearing Tests
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. We operate a medical model and bill for diagnostic testing. 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 testing 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.
Step Four: Treatment Options
With this step, we will explain your hearing evaluation (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:
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