We’re here to help you and/or your loved ones hear better and get
more out of life, and a hearing evaluation is the first step to achieve better hearing.
What happens during a hearing test?
When you arrive for your hearing exam, you will be asked to fill out a few short forms, including those that record your personal information, medical history and the office’s privacy practices. When your hearing evaluation begins, the audiologist will review those forms with you and will ask a few questions to discover what you have been experiencing with your hearing. We want to know what challenges or issues you are being faced with so we can provide you with answers and solutions that are tailored to you. Next, we will perform a thorough examination of your ears and conduct a variety of hearing tests to determine the degree of hearing loss, as well as the nature of the hearing loss. The examination includes:
- Otoscopy- the audiologist will look in your ear canals to determine if the hearing difficulties are being caused by obstruction, damage, or infection
- Pure tone testing- beeps at different pitches will be played to you to determine the softest sounds you can hear at various frequencies
- Word testing- you will be asked to repeat back words played at a comfortable listening level to determine how clearly you are able to understand speech
Following the testing portion of the evaluation, we will review the results and conclusions with you and recommend a course of action.
Tinnitus is the perception of sound in one or both ears when that sound is not present in the environment. It is often described as a ringing, whistling, hissing, chirping, roaring, buzzing, or pulsing. Tinnitus is a symptom associated with many forms of hearing loss. It can also be a symptom of other health problems. Roughly 50 million Americans have experienced tinnitus. Some cases are so severe that it interferes with their daily activities. People with severe cases of tinnitus may find it difficult to hear, work, or even sleep.
If you or a loved one is experiencing tinnitus, a hearing and tinnitus evaluation is recommended. A careful history and audiometric testing will lead to the most likely causes and best treatment for your tinnitus. You may be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist to complete the diagnosis.
The Tinnitus Evaluation includes:
- Comprehensive case history
- Diagnostic hearing evaluation
- Tinnitus Questionnaire to evaluate your subjective assessment of the tinnitus and its effect on your daily life
- Tinnitus matching to objectively determine the frequency and volume of the tinnitus you are experiencing
Hearing Aid Consultation
Using results of a recent (within three months) hearing evaluation, our audiologist will discuss your hearing and communication needs with you. We will be asking several questions to further determine your specific concerns and areas of hearing difficulty. This helps us select the best hearing aid style and technology that will be most beneficial to your unique listening and lifestyle needs while also fitting into your budget.
A demonstration of the selected hearing aid will then be completed in the office. With the hearing aids in your ears, speech testing will be completed in both a quiet and noisy environment, as well as up close and far away, to assess how much benefit we expect the hearing aids to provide, as well as to give you a chance to listen with the hearing aids.
Next, we will select the color for your new hearing aids and take measurements, and in some cases an impression, of your ear to ensure a comfortable fit. Then a contract will be completed and signed. An appointment will be scheduled for the hearing aid fitting, usually within the next 3 – 5 business days.
Hearing Aid Fitting
When you return to the clinic for your hearing aid fitting, your audiologist will program your new hearing aids based on a personalized prescription adapted from your diagnostic test results. This will specifically tailor the settings in the hearing aids to the level and range of your hearing loss. Obtaining a proper hearing aid fitting is critical for you to successfully adapt to wearing your hearing devices.
Once the hearing aids have been programmed appropriately, your audiologist will begin asking you questions about the comfort of the sounds you are hearing. Be honest about what you hear so that the audiologist can work with you to create the best listening experience with your new hearing aids. You will also be learning how to operate the hearing aids, put them in your ears correctly, change the batteries, and clean and take care of them.
Your hearing aid fitting is only a starting off point. Further changes to customize the hearing aids to your liking may be needed over the next few appointments, as you wear the hearing aids in more situations and adapt to all the new sounds you are hearing.
You will have 45-days from this appointment to adjust to hearing better with your new hearing aids to make sure you are able to handle the devices, and to verify that they are meeting your hearing needs for your lifestyle. During this time, you can exchange for a different hearing aid or you may return them and receive a full refund for the cost of the devices.
Hearing Aid Programming and Servicing
We welcome patients wearing all types and brands of hearing aids. At our clinic, we work with a variety of manufacturers and repair labs. We can program, service, and repair most hearing aids, whether they were purchased from us or not. We are happy to check any hearing aid to determine the best solution for programming or repairing them and will give you the most efficient and cost effective option.
Earwax, also called cerumen, is naturally produced by glands in the ear canals to protect our ears. Earwax moisturizes the skin of the ear canal to prevent dry, itchy ears. It also contains special chemicals that fight off infections in the outer ear, and it traps dust and dirt so it cannot travel too far down the ear canal. Most of the time, excess wax finds its way out of the canal and either falls out or is washed away.
When your glands make more earwax than is necessary, it may get hard and/or block the ear canal. Common signs of earwax buildup include:
- Hearing loss
- Tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing in the ear
- A feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear
If a blockage occurs, it will likely need to be removed. Depending on the size and severity of the blockage, this may be able to be done at home using an over the counter wax removal kit, or it may need to be cleaned out in an audiology or doctor’s office.
Removal by the audiologist will be performed using either irrigation or a curette. The irrigation method utilizes drops and a device to flush out the blockage. The curette method uses a long, curved tool to gently pull out the blockage. Many people do well after earwax removal and notice that hearing returns to normal immediately.