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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 like wax in the ear canal, middle ear bone disease like otosclerosis, or an infection. These can usually be treated medically.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed Hearing Loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss. In this type of loss, sound is not being transmitted normally from the outer or middle ear to the inner ear, and there are problems with the inner ear and neural parts of the auditory system as well.

Retrocochlear & Central Hearing Loss

Retrocochlear and Central Hearing Loss lies in the lower or central portions of the brain and can be caused by tumors, strokes, or dementia.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss 

Sensorineural Hearing Loss stems from the inner or neurological portion of the ear.  The sensory receptors (or hair cells) of the ear are damaged or not functioning normally. It may be genetic, occur during pregnancy or birth, be a side effect of certain drugs, be caused by excessive noise, or may be due to high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, or diabetes, however it usually occurs with aging. Sensorineural hearing loss is not medically treatable.

Mild 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 Loss:

Moderate means many speech sounds are not audible making understanding difficult.

Severe Loss

 Severe only allows in loud noises and understanding is poor.

 

Profound Loss

Profound is the equivalent of “deaf” and only very loud noises will be heard, requiring vibrations and visual information. 

Unilateral Loss

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.

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.

Sensorineural hearing loss  treatment would require a hearing aid or coclear 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 ageing.

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…

 
Phonak
ReSound
Starkey
Oticon
 

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

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.

In-The-Ear Hearing Aids (ITE)

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.