Your First Visit and Hearing Evaluations
It is important to get a thorough audiological assessment by a licensed audiologist and not just a “hearing test” or “hearing screening” for the purpose of fitting hearing aids – unless you have already been diagnosed by an audiologist and there has been no major change in your hearing.
We begin by taking a thorough hearing-related medical history. Next, we look into your ear canals using an otoscope, checking for anything that might affect test results or require a visit with your physician. If our audiological assessment indicates a possible underlying medical cause, we refer you for follow-up with your physician.
If your hearing loss can be effectively compensated with hearing aids, we will recommend devices most appropriate for the degree of loss, your preferences, your lifestyle, and your budget.
What type of hearing loss do I have?
Is sound reaching your inner ear or is something interfering with its passage? Are the tiny structures that transmit sound to the cochlea and auditory nerve for decoding by the brain working properly?
Sometimes hearing loss can occur due to problems with the eardrum or the hammer, anvil, and stirrup, the three tiny bones that transmit sound from the eardrum to the inner ear. These middle ear problems can affect just one or both ears.
Hearing loss is most frequently caused by a deterioration of tiny sensory cells within the inner ear. They are very delicate structures and can be injured by loud noise, certain medications, genetic factors, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and just plain aging. These factors typically affect both ears equally.
What degree of impairment do I have?
Is my hearing loss equal for low and high frequencies?
Can I distinguish words at normal or elevated conversational levels and in the presence of background noise?
Can I benefit from hearing aids?
If we determine that a hearing aid will help you, we will recommend devices that best match your lifestyle and preferences.
This may mean a device that is small and invisible, one that is rechargeable for easy maintenance, or one that works best in noisy environments.
Our thorough history taking and comprehensive testing uncovers any possible medical issues with your hearing nerve or middle ear.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the goal of protecting you so that you don’t get hearing aids that merely mask an underlying disease process which affects your hearing first. The FDA considers any of the following symptoms Red Flags that warrant further evaluation before purchasing hearing aids.
Whether you would just like a baseline test of your hearing, want to explore hearing aid options, or think that you have any of the eight symptoms below, schedule an appointment with us. We will perform a thorough audiological assessment and provide appropriate referrals when necessary.
- Visible congenital or traumatic deformity of the ear.
- History of active drainage from the ear in the previous 90 days.
- History of sudden or rapidly progressive hearing loss within the previous 90 days.
- Acute or chronic dizziness.
- Unilateral hearing loss of sudden or recent onset within the previous 90 days.
- Audiometric air-bone gap equal to or greater than 15 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz.
- Visible evidence of significant cerumen accumulation or a foreign body in the ear canal.
- Pain or discomfort in the ear.
At Hear So Good we are licensed medical professionals and take your health seriously. In addition to referring you for the eight FDA Red Flags prior to fitting you with hearing aids, we also refer you for any of the following findings.
- A significant hearing difference between your ears and other findings that indicate there is a chance that the hearing nerve is affected.
- A sudden change in tinnitus (ear ringing/noise) severity.