Audiology

Researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that hearing loss affects approximately ten percent of the population and is the third most common health related problem in the United States. The Center’s audiologists assist people of all ages with hearing loss so that they can function independently, sustain social relationships and succeed in school and employment.

We begin with a complete and comprehensive diagnostic evaluation for our young patients and adults.

This encompasses the following:

  • Otoscopy-evaluation of the pinna, ear canal and eardrum
  • Acoustic immittance testing
  • Air and bone pure tone testing
  • Word discrimination testing in quiet and noise
  • Distortion product otoacoustic emission testing

There are Many Types of Hearing Loss


Conductive Hearing Loss


Conductive hearing loss is a problem with the outer or middle ear. This type of hearing loss can be brought on by issues such as wax in the ear canal, middle ear bone disease like otosclerosis, or an infection. These issues can typically be treated medically or through surgical procedures.

Retrocochlear & Central Hearing Loss


Retrocochlear and central hearing loss are both caused by issues with the central nervous system. Depending on what is causing the problem, these conditions can be treated medically or by working with a hearing specialist in order to control the patient’s listening environment.

Mixed Hearing Loss


Mixed hearing loss is a problem with both the outer or middle ear (which is known as the conductive component) and the inner ear or auditory nerve (which is known as the sensorineural component). Depending on whether the hearing loss is more conductive or sensorineural, a combination of hearing aids and surgical procedures may be needed.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss


Sensorineural hearing loss results when there is dysfunction with the inner ear or auditory nerve. It is typically considered to be permanent, but depending on the severity of the hearing loss, hearing aids or other hearing technology may help the patient to hear more clearly.

Levels of Hearing Loss



Mild loss is the ability to hear when it’s quiet and the speaker is close and speaks directly but may have trouble hearing if the speaker turns away.
Moderate means many speech sounds are not audible making understanding difficult.
Severe only allows in loud noises and understanding is poor.
Profound is the equivalent of “deaf” and only very loud noises will be heard, requiring vibrations and visual information.
Unilateral is the loss of hearing in one ear and can affect both understanding and the ability to tell where sounds are coming from.
Mild Loss
20%
Moderate
35%
Severe
50%
Profound
80%
Unilateral
100%

Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss falls into two categories: Conductive and Sensorineural.


A conductive hearing loss may be improved or corrected medically or surgically. Its causes range from an ear infection or Eustachian tube dysfunction to a perforated eardrum, otosclerosis, or cholesteatoma.

A Sensorineural hearing loss treatment would require a hearing aid or cochlear implant. This type of loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea), or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Inner ear damage occurs in a number of ways. Medical conditions like Meniere’s Syndrome, tumors, and viruses may cause the hearing loss. A severe head injury, genetic or hereditary disorders, certain medications may be the cause and aging.

Steps to Better Hearing


Step One: Meet the Audiologist

Doctors of Audiology are university trained professionals, who specialize in hearing health care. They are trained to evaluate, identify or rule out and treat many types of hearing disorders. They hold a doctorate degree in audiology and must complete a clinical fellowship prior to being licensed by the state licensing board. Our Audiologists are also certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. You will be in great hands.

Your hearing tests will be performed by the Audiologist. They will review your case history and complete a series of hearing test in a sound proof booth. At the end of the testing your Audiologist will review your test results with you. If you have a hearing loss, your Audiologist will develop a treatment plan for your individual needs. In some cases, you may need to obtain medical clearance before you can be fit with a hearing aid.

Step Two: Purchasing a Hearing Aid

A hearing aid consultation: We are not here to sell hearing aids; as a non-profit we are here to help you make an informed choice for your lifestyle and hearing needs. Purchasing a hearing aid is an investment in “yourself”. Styles and circuitry are so advanced and vary among manufacturers. We work with many of these manufacturers, thus giving you a wide range of options in style and price. This process can be overwhelming to the consumer. This is why the Audiologist’s guidance is so vital; it helps ensure a successful outcome.

The purchase of a hearing aid is the beginning of an ongoing relationship between you and your Audiologist. This is why we want to make sure that your hearing aid is the right fit for you. After your first fitting, we will ask that you come back in two weeks for a free follow up appointment. We want you to let us know at this time, what things are working well for you. Please, let us know if something is not working as you expected; so we can adjust the device to its best possible fit. Having a good relationship with our clients is how we have stayed in business for 60 years.

Hearing Aids


We offer a wide range of state-of-the-art hearing aids and price ranges. All equipment is technologically current. We offer profession-based ear protection, swim molds, ear molds, do minor hearing aid repair, and are proud to offer hearing screening to the community, at health fairs and in schools.

Hearing Aid Technology

Hearing aids are amplifiers that new technology has taken to the next level, but only a professional can advise you on the correct model and set it up to work at optimum efficiency. Hearing aids will not restore your natural ability to hear, but they will greatly improve it, thanks to microelectronics. Hearing aids are lighter and smaller with superior sound quality. They are custom made to fit your ear and enhance our level of hearing clarity.

We support and service all brands of hearing aids including…

Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aids

This device rests behind the ear and connects to a custom-molded earpiece, fitting in the ear canal. These are appropriate for all types of hearing loss and all types of circuitry are available. Many of these hearing aids are smaller, but the bigger they get, the more powerful they become. They are not old-fashioned, and some individuals benefit more from this type of device.

Open-Fit Hearing Aids/ Very Small Behind-The-Ear with Slim Tubes

These types of hearing aids also fit behind the ear, but they are significantly smaller than standard behind-the-ear hearing aids, making them almost unnoticeable. A thin tube routes the sound from the hearing aid to the ear canal. They are appropriate for patients who hear low-frequency sounds normally but have trouble with high-frequency hearing loss.

In-The-Ear Hearing Aids (ITE)

As the name suggests, in-the-ear hearing aids are worn in the ear. To get the right fit for the patient, the hearing professional makes an ear impression, which is used to custom make the hearing aid. Because they are made just for the patient, they are usually very comfortable and are suggested for patients with mild to severe hearing loss.