- When you come in for an appointment our first goal is to learn more about you and your hearing. We will ask you questions about your current hearing health, along with a questionnaire that will give us information on how much, if any, you’re struggling with your hearing. If you are coming in for a tinnitus evaluation, we will evaluate how much your tinnitus is affecting you and in what areas it is most bothersome. In all things, our goal is learn more about you and understand your goals in order to work together to come up with the best solution for you.
After your testing, we also want to ensure that you learn about and understand your test results. We will explain what you can hear and what you cannot, how well you can understand speech when it’s loud enough for you to hear, and perhaps how well you can understand speech in background noise. For your tinnitus, we want to help you understand the pitch and loudness of your tinnitus, along with if your tinnitus can be masked.
It is our goal to help you learn more about hearing loss and tinnitus and of course, education on the vast spectrum of options that can help!
- For all new patients, we complete a comprehensive audiologic evaluation, which includes several tests of your hearing along with your word recognition, or how clear speech sounds to you when it’s loud enough for you to hear. We conduct otoscopy on each patient, which means we look in your ear with an otoscope, to see how your eardrum looks and if there’s any wax that needs to be removed. Next, if it’s suspected that there is an issue with your eardrum or middle ear, we will perform tympanometry, which checks several things including how well your eardrum is moving. We can also conduct speech in noise testing, which is helpful because people with hearing loss often report difficulty hearing in noise.
If you report tinnitus, or hearing sounds in your ear that might sound like ringing, buzzing, roaring, or crickets, we can also conduct a full tinnitus test battery. During this appointment we will test ultra-high frequencies not normally tested during a hearing evaluation, match the pitch and loudness of the sound you hear, and play a static noise to see if we can “mask” or cover up your sound. If we can, we play it for one minute and see if that briefly changes how you hear your sound.
3. Multiple Options
- Whether you have hearing loss, struggle with tinnitus, or experience both, we offer several options for treatment and management. These may be simple options such as phone applications to help alleviate tinnitus symptoms, hearing devices for both hearing loss and tinnitus, or an at-home program to strengthen your hearing skills.
If your hearing loss or tinnitus does indicate a need for hearing devices, or if you already have hearing devices and need adjustments, we do provide and service all major manufactures. If you need new devices, we can demo options and ensure that you are choosing the device that is most appropriate for you.
4. Fine Tuning
- If you need new devices, or if you already have devices that need adjustments based on a new hearing test, we ensure that your devices are fine-tuned to your hearing loss. Most importantly, we offer Real Ear Measurement (REM) in which a small tube microphone is placed in your ear with your hearing devices. This way, we are able to see exactly what you are hearing and make adjustments so you are matching your hearing prescription! This is incredibly important because everyone’s ear canal is shaped differently, and that changes how the sound reaches your eardrum. This is why we cannot simply trust the computer or your personal report of how the hearing aid “sounds”.
5. Protecting Investment
- Whether you are just purchasing hearing devices, or if you have been wearing yours for several years, it is our goal to ensure that they last as long as possible. To do this, we recommend frequent check and cleans. This upkeep and maintenance of the devices involves changing all of the parts we can in-house, vacuuming the microphones and speaker, and conducting a thorough listening check and catching any issues before they become a problem. Routine, extensive cleaning and checking of hearing devices will help to ensure that they remain functional long past the expiration of their warranty.
Also, when it comes to protecting your investment in your hearing and quality of life, regular follow-up visits ensure that any necessary adjustments are completed in a timely manner. It is all too frequent for patients to not return after being fit with hearing devices, and they often settle for struggling! As you’ve invested in your hearing, we strongly encourage coming back if you’re still having trouble so we can try and fix it before it gets frustrating!