Hearing impairment affects more than just your ability to hear — it affects your quality of life.
The Centers For Advanced ENT Care, LLC North Bay ENT and Audiology Division stresses the importance of an accurate and timely hearing test. The hearing evaluation is just the beginning of your treatment, and it’s essential to setting your unique care plan in motion and taking action on hearing loss. Your in-depth hearing evaluation will help us craft a treatment plan that renews your ability to hear, allowing you to truly hear your best and live life on your terms.
Step One: The Interview
The interview process helps our practice determine the extent of your hearing impairment and aids us in uncovering any specific areas requiring further attention. Some typical questions you’ll want to prepare for are:
- Has anyone else in your family had hearing problems?
- Have you had any illnesses or injuries that might have affected your hearing?
- Have you taken any medications that might have contributed to hearing impairment?
- Have you been exposed to loud noises in your workplace or while participating in leisure activities?
Step Two: The Examination
Our hearing care providers take a close look inside your ear and figure out whether the hearing difficulty you are experiencing could be caused by an obstruction or damage to the ear canal or eardrum. We use a special instrument called an otoscope or video otoscope to inspect your outer ear.
Step Three: Hearing Tests
Next we’ll need to figure out the nature of your hearing loss. There’s a chance we will include hearing tests such as the following:
- A hearing screening to measure your hearing at four frequencies at 25 decibels each
- A speech assessment to measure how well you hear and understand ordinary conversation at different volumes
- A middle-ear evaluation to measure how your eardrum and hearing react to varying degrees of air pressure
If you are suffering from a hearing impairment, your results will be documented on an audiogram. An audiogram is created after you take a pure-tone hearing test, to map out the type, degree, and configuration of your hearing loss. The audiogram shows your hearing loss by frequency, as pitch and loudness of sounds change. Frequencies are measured in hertz (Hz), and the loudness or intensity is measured in decibels (dB). We will help determine whether you have trouble hearing low or high pitches and what that means for you moving forward.
Step Four: Treatment Options
We will work with you to match your lifestyle needs with the most advanced technology, specifically designed to treat your unique hearing loss. The basic components of this instrument include a microphone, an amplifier, a receiver, and a tiny processor. The exceptional effectiveness of your devices is the result of a powerful combination of professional expertise, software, and hardware.
Surgery & Implants
We now have the ability to surgically insert devices into the ear to improve hearing, facilitate lipreading, and make it easier to distinguish certain sounds. Typically, these are most helpful if you are deaf or profoundly hearing impaired and hearing aids are not a useful treatment for you. Surgical implants include:
- Cochlear implants
- Middle-ear implants
- Bone-anchored hearing aids
- Auditory brainstem implants
Frequently Asked Questions
How is hearing tested in newborns?
Before your child leaves the hospital, they’re given an otoacoustic emissions (OAE) test. When sleeping, an earphone and microphone are placed in the ear, sounds are played, and their response is measured. If the newborn does not have a hearing impairment, an echo is reflected back into the ear canal being measured by the microphone. When a baby does have a hearing loss, no echo can be measured on the OAE test. This test is generally administered twice. Please see our section about child hearing loss for more information on hearing impairment and preventive measures for all ages.
How long does a hearing test take?
Approximately 20 minutes.