Our Hearing Tests: In 4 Easy Steps!

Hearing problems affect your health and your overall quality of life, so it’s important to get regular hearing checkups to catch potential issues early. Learn about our four-step initial hearing assessment that helps us evaluate your hearing health, understand your unique listening needs, and – together with you – create a solution that fits your individual lifestyle.

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*Only a true diagnostic hearing test can accurately gauge your hearing health

Step One: The Interview

The interview between you and your hearing-care specialist helps us determine how you’re experiencing hearing loss and what may be contributing to it.

Typical questions include:

  • Does anyone else in your family have hearing loss?
  • Have you had any illnesses or injuries that may affect your hearing?
  • Have you taken any medications that might impact your hearing?
  • Have you been exposed to excessive noise on the job or during recreational activities?
  • In what situations do you experience the greatest hearing difficulties?
  • In what types of situations would you like to hear better?

Pre-hearing test interview

Step Two: The Examination

Next, our highly trained provider will physically examine your ears, using an otoscope to check for signs of infection, wax buildup, ear damage, or other issues that could affect your hearing. The process is quick and painless, taking just a couple seconds per ear.

Hearing loss examination

Step Three: Key Tests

The third step involves determining the specific nature of your hearing difficulty using one or more of the following tests, depending on your needs:

  • Audiometric pure tone evaluation to measure your hearing at different frequencies.
  • Speech evaluation to measure how well you hear and understand ordinary conversation at different volumes.
  • Immittance middle-ear evaluation to measure how your eardrum and hearing react to varying degrees of air pressure.

Your provider will chart your hearing test results on an audiogram, which can show any hearing impairment frequency by frequency.

Diagnostic hearing test

Additional diagnostic testing

  • Tympanogram – tests the eardrum and the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum).
  • Acoustic reflexes – measures the movement of the tiny bones behind the eardrum.
  • Otoacoustic emission (OAE) – checks the function of the tiny little “hair cells” in the inner ear.
  • Speech testing – evaluates the effect of the hearing loss on understanding speech. Sometimes this is performed in both a quiet and noisy background, using live or recorded voice.
  • Auditory Evoked Potentials (ABR) – checks the acoustic nerve function up to and in to the first part of the brain.
  • Electronystagmography (ENG) – evaluates the part of the inner ear controlling balance. Usually performed on individuals who experience dizziness or balance problems.
  • Auditory Processing Testing (APD/CAPD) – evaluates how the brain perceives or understands what the ear sends. Many times, this test is recommended for children who experience attention or learning problems, or adults who have standard ear function but still have “hearing” difficulty.

Step Four: Treatment Options

In the final step of this assessment, we recommend and explain the benefits of specific solutions – if needed – for your level of hearing loss and your individual lifestyle. Options include:

Hearing Aids
Most hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids, which have evolved dramatically over the years to offer cutting-edge technology in discreet, diverse styles with a wide range of functions and features.

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.

Hearing aid fitting

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. They’re typically most helpful for deaf individuals or people with profound hearing loss who don’t sufficiently benefit from hearing aids.

A few examples of surgical implants:

  • Cochlear Implants
  • Middle Ear Implants
  • Bone-Anchored Hearing Systems
  • Auditory Brainstem Implants

Assistive Listening Devices
ALDs are specialized hearing technologies that help people with all degrees of hearing loss. They can improve face-to-face communication and enhance your experience with media such as televisions and telephones.

Ready to Begin Your Journey to Better Hearing?

Contact our hearing professionals today to begin.

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