Audiology and Hearing Aid Services
Choosing an audiologist is one of the most important decisions a patient can make when managing their hearing health. We are dedicated to providing you the best possible hearing care based upon your individual needs. We provide a comprehensive array of services related to evaluation, rehabilitation and hearing loss prevention.
Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation
This testing is done by one of our Licensed Audiologists. The patient is seated in a sound treated room with earphones in place. The patient is asked to respond by hand raising or pushing a button to signal that they heard the tones. The tones tested are those important to our perception of speech. Speech discrimination is also evaluated and this provides information on how well we understand and can repeat back specific words. During this testing you will have on earphones. This is referred to as air conduction testing. A second component of the test involves the placement of a headband with a bone vibrator behind the ear which measures bone conduction responses. It is important to do both air conduction and bone conduction testing in a diagnostic evaluation as this helps to identify the degree of hearing loss and the nature of the hearing loss. Learn More
There are three types of hearing loss:
(1) Sensorineural sometimes written as sensory neural- In this type of loss the nerve part of the ear is not functioning appropriately. It is typically the cochlea that is damaged. This can be congenital/hereditary, due to aging, exposure to loud noise, ototoxic drugs as well as others. It is not typically something that can be treated medically or surgically, but can often be helped with hearing aids.
(2) Conductive- In this type of hearing loss, the eardrum and/or the small bones behind it, or ear canal issues such as impacted ear wax can cause hearing loss. Middle ear problems fall into this category such as fluid in the ears which is very common in children. Otosclerosis which is a problem with the small bones in the ear is another type of conductive hearing. Many conductive hearing losses can be medically and/or surgically treated.
(3) Mixed- In this type of hearing loss, there are both sensorineural and conductive components present.
Diagnostic hearing testing is done upon request from patients, family physicians, Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists, neurologists, gerontologists, pediatricians and many other healthcare personnel. The results of the diagnostic testing provide a framework to develop the most appropriate patient care plan.
Tympanometry is an examination that assesses the condition of the middle ear and mobility of the ear drum and small bones behind it. This is done by creating variations in air pressure in the ear canal.
Acoustic Reflex Testing
Acoustic reflex testing provides information regarding the status of the auditory system beyond what we can do with tone testing. It provides information further into the auditory system than we can measure on a conventional test.
Otoacoustic Emissions Testing
Otoacoustic emissions testing allows the audiologist to assess and understand how the outer hair cells of your inner ear are working. This is done by presenting a series of tonal beeps through a small tip inserted in the ear canal. It is a quick test that can provide valuable information.
Hearing Evaluations for Children
A hearing test for a child is often not as simple as a hearing test for an adult. For this reason, audiologists are trained in specific techniques to evaluate the hearing of a child. Toys, games and lights may be used in the testing room to help obtain responses from a child to soft tones, noise or words. The child may wear earphones or listen to the sounds in sound treated room with speakers.
Industrial Hearing Screenings
Workers in certain occupations are required to receive regular hearing tests due to the risk of hearing loss that can be caused by excessive noise in their workplace. These screenings are quick and comply with the standards set by OSHA. Learn More
Tinnitus is often described as a ringing or buzzing in the ears. It can range from not bothersome to very severe. Often a discussion of the tinnitus and possible management strategies can be helpful to patients. There are many options available to consider for some relief from the tinnitus. Learn More
When the hearing testing is completed, the results are reviewed with the patient and if the use of hearing aids is indicated, a discussion of hearing aids will be included. The discussion will include the different styles of hearing aids as well as the many different levels of technology. Our audiologists will guide you through this process and provide a solution for better hearing that best suits your lifestyle. View our hearing aids
Hearing Aid Evaluation and Selection
During the hearing aid evaluation and selection you will meet with one of our licensed audiologists who will discuss with the different styles, colors, technologies and benefits to wearing aids. You may be shown different styles or have the opportunity to try different hearing aids in the office. We use a variety of different hearing aid companies and select the hearing aids that are most appropriate regardless of the manufacturer. Custom ear mold impressions may be taken of your ears depending on the style of the hearing aid selected. You may be asked questions about how you spend your day, what type of work or hobbies you have, how often you frequent restaurants or are you in group settings regularly. This information will assist us in selecting the most appropriate hearing aid(s) for you. Once a decision is made, the hearing aid(s) will be ordered. Learn More
Hearing Aid Fitting
At the hearing aid fitting, you will receive the hearing aids that were selected. They will be programmed through the computer based on your hearing loss. The audiologist will then fine tune the hearing aid(s) for each person. At the hearing aid fitting appointment, the audiologist will review general care and instructions for the hearing aid including: inserting and removing the instrument, changing the battery and cleaning the instruments. Patients will be instructed on adjusting any controls which might be available on the hearing aids. The discussion will include what to expect from the hearing aids and adjustment to the new sounds that will be heard. Each patient is seen for at least two other follow-up appointments during the 45 day trial period. These appointments will include fine tuning the hearing aids and assessing patient benefit through functional gain measures and/or speech mapping. If other appointments are necessary during this time, they will be scheduled as needed on an individual basis. Patients are then scheduled regularly for follow-up visits and year checks. Learn More
Hearing Aid Accessories/ Assistive Listening Devices
Some patients may need additional devices to assist them in their success. There are remote controls, charging units and Bluetooth accessories which can enhance the experience of using the aids. Some patients may require special devices for the telephone, television, alarm clocks, etc. all of which we can assist with. Digital technology has created a full array of devices that allow the hearing aids to be coupled to cell phones, computers, ipods etc.
Most hearing aids are rechargeable and come with a charger, but some still use a traditional battery. The rechargeable instruments are the preferred choice, especially for patients who are interested in streaming or accessing bluetooth. If you have traditional batteries, make sure to check them often. Many hearing aids will emit a low battery warning so patients will know when to change them. Batteries that are working properly will make a noise (high pitched squeal) when cupped in your hand or when inserting it into your ear. We keep a supply of batteries for patients to purchase in our office.
- Size 10 (yellow)
- Size 312 (brown)
- Size 13 (orange)
- Size 675 (blue)
Hearing Aid Repairs
Minor hearing aid repairs can usually be done in the office. We typically have a 24 hour turnaround time for these simple repairs. Others may need to be sent to the manufacturer for repair and this will take typically 10-14 days unless rush ordered with a fee. Cost of repairs will be dependent on the warranty. We offer in-office repairs when possible on most makes and models. Learn More
Loaner Hearing Aids
Occasionally hearing aids will break and require a manufacturer repair. Depending on the fit and style, loaner hearing aids may be available for use by the patient while their devices are being repaired. This loaner service is provided free of charge to patients who purchased their hearing aids through Center for Hearing. A nominal fee may apply to those patients requiring loaner aids who purchased their hearing aids from a different provider.
In Office Hearing Aid Services
We encourage our patients to come in for regular hearing aid checks and cleaning. Hearing aids are susceptible to ear wax, moisture and normal wear and tear. By doing ongoing maintenance and cleaning, it will help to ensure optimum performance from the hearing aids.
Evaluation and Fitting for Musician’s Ear Plugs
Musicians practice and perform in a variety of different settings. They are exposed to high levels of sound, sometimes for long periods of time. This may put them at risk for permanent hearing damage. Musician’s ear plugs are custom-made plugs that help to limit the sound exposure from the instruments, while maintaining a rich musical experience for the performer or audience. Learn More
Custom Swim Molds
For patients who may have PE tubes or perforations in their eardrums, it is important to keep the ear canals as dry as possible when bathing or swimming. For some competitive swimmers the use of swim molds can protect their ear canals from the constant exposure to treated waters. These molds are custom made requiring an impression ( cast) of the ear. They are sent to the manufacturer where the molds are made in a variety of materials and colors.
Noise pollution is a major problem. High levels of noise can be encountered in work settings or in leisure settings. Custom Hearing Protectors are made using an impression (cast) of the patient’s ears.
Everyday activities for some people involve the use of lawn mowers, snow blowers, chain saws and other types of equipment that over time can be damaging to the ears. Sometimes we just need a good night’s sleep and the hearing protectors will reduce that outside noise and snoring too. Use of hearing protection for anyone doing target practice is essential to maintaining hearing levels.