Comprehensive diagnostic hearing tests are performed to evaluate the outer, middle, and inner ear. Each test will determine the function of the ear as well as any possible cause for a hearing loss.
The audiologist will first use an otoscope to look in the ears to ensure that they are clear of wax. For the most accurate audiometric results, any buildup of wax should be removed by a physician prior to the examination.
Following the inspection of the outer ear, imittance testing will be performed to rule out the possibility of any middle ear dysfunction and/or medical intervention.
To determine the status of the outer hair cells in the inner ear, another automatic objective test may be performed known as otoacoustic emissions. Any disruption in the middle or inner ear will result in a referral of this test suggesting the presence of a hearing loss.
Subjective testing will then be performed in a sound treated room. Tested with the use of headphones and a bone conduction headset, pure tone audiometry will determine the lowest level you can hear in each ear. A series of tones will be presented over a range of different frequencies.
The audiologist will ask you to then repeat a series of words. Speech audiometry is necessary to confirm the results of pure tone testing, but more importantly it will assist in the prognosis of the use of the hearing aids.
Unlike generic ear plugs, custom-made ear protection provides a more tailored fit for your specific lifestyle and hearing needs.
Similar to a dental impression, ear impressions are made with silicone material and take form of your outer ear and ear canal.
Whether it be for swimming, concerts or during a day’s work, the impressions are manufactured to block the ear specifically for your desired activity.
Such examples include the following:
Due to consistent wear and tear, it is possible for any instrument to break down in need of a hearing aid repair. If this does occur, it is best to visit your audiologist to determine the solution. All hearing aids that are under warranty can be serviced in the office or if necessary be sent to the manufacturer at no cost to you.
To prevent malfunction of a hearing aid, a minimum of 6-month routine follow-up appointments should be scheduled to thoroughly check and clean each device.
If neglected over time, the sound quality of hearing aids may begin to be weak, distorted, or intermittent.
Causes of Hearing Aid Malfunction
The most common causes include the buildup of wax and lack of proper maintenance and care for the hearing aids. Following the fitting, it is important to be familiar with the components of the hearing aid as it is recommended that the microphone, speaker and battery compartment be cleaned daily.
If your hearing aid is dead, first check if the battery needs to be replaced and if the speaker needs to be cleaned.
Aural Rehabilitation is very useful when beginning the process of using amplification. Since there is no cure for hearing loss, communication strategies become fundamental when speaking with others.
To first cope with hearing loss, one should become assertive and advocate for their hearing impairment. In doing so, it is important to know the best situations optimal for communication as well as repair any conversations that were unintelligible.
Set the Environment
Make sure that there is good lighting to see the speaker’s face, gestures and body language.
Lower or eliminate any background noise.
While in a group setting, make sure you position yourself in the center or at least where you able to see everyone’s face in the conversation.
Repair Communication with Others
Before starting a conversation, ask others to inform you of the topic or to get your attention before speaking.
When you are not able to follow the conversation, repeat what you did understand and ask the speaker to rephrase what was already said.
When others are speaking to you it will be more helpful that they speak slowly and slightly louder than normal rather than exaggerating their speech or yelling.
Approximately 25% of people who have tinnitus suffer from its behavioral symptoms and are bothered by its presence.
Although there is no cure, management options such as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) have been developed to treat tinnitus.
Over a period of 12 to 24 months, sessions are scheduled to habituate to tinnitus and/or decreased sound tolerance through directive counseling and sound therapy. Depending on the severity of the tinnitus, external sound machines or personal ear level devices may be required during this treatment.
To determine eligibility for the program, it is necessary to visit an Otoneurologist to rule out any medical cause for the tinnitus. Once you have received medical clearance from your physician, an initial tinnitus consultation may be scheduled to further discuss the details of the program and your individual needs.
For further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.
At Listen Hear, we are there every step of the way to help you choose the right hearing solution for you and your loved ones. To steer away from many wholesale services, our small boutique private practice was built to educate the community and provide the personal attention you need to better evaluate your hearing and fit your lifestyle.
In addition to in-office appointments, we offer a wide range of onsite services including private house calls and community outreach programs for assisted living facilities, schools, libraries and those who prefer the convenience of their own home.