We have helped many different individuals—infants, toddlers, teenagers, all the way to senior citizens 100 years and older! And our patients come from different walks of life. We have served hunters, bookkeepers, railroad men, veterans, doctors, lawyers, all of whom have a new and healthy respect for hearing and understanding.
Our hearing tests begin with a simple questionnaire about your hearing history - what you have been noticing, and problems you’ve been experiencing with your hearing.
After finishing the questionnaire and history you will be brought into an exam room where we can review your history and examine your ears. The ear examination is to check for abnormalities and wax that can also cause hearing issues. Depending on the results of the ear examination you may be referred to your primary care doctor or a clinic to have wax build-up removed.
When the ears are cleared, you will be taken to a soundproof testing booth where we put headphones over your ears and explain the hearing part of the test process.
The testing process includes word tests. The first word test involves you repeating words while we reduce the volume until you miss about half the words. This gives us a threshold of where your hearing is. The second test involves a list of words that is presented at a comfortable hearing level for you. This will give us an idea of how many words you will get correct at amplification.
When we are finished with the word tests, we do a tone test where we find out the threshold of where your hearing is with several frequencies. Testing is finished up with a tympanogram. The tympanogram tells us how well the ear drums are functioning and if there are problems in the middle ear.
After the testing, we go back into the exam room and discuss your hearing based on our findings from the hearing test and an audiogram. From the audiogram we can determine how best to fit you with hearing aids.
Once we determine what type of hearing aids will work best, we need to get an exact replica of your ear canal. This is simply done by inserting a foam dam part-way into the ear canal and injecting silicone into the ear cavity. The silicone will harden quickly and retain the form, or shape, of the ear. Once completed, we send the order and the impressions of the ear canals to the company who makes the hearing aids.
It takes just a couple of weeks for all-in-the-ear hearing aids to be made and ready for fitting after we’ve completed the testing and impressions. For over-the-ear hearing aids, it is only about one week from testing to fitting.
Remember—with a properly fit hearing aid, you will hear a lot of different sounds that you haven't heard for some time. Your car may sound like it is going to fall apart. You might think traffic is going to run over you. You will hear your refrigerator, furnace, fans, etc. You can hear all of those sounds with normal hearing. So you will have to become accustomed to that. Your brain will have to train itself to tune out some of these things that are heard normally. After a weeks’ time you will need to come back and we will adjust some small things that you may be having troubles with.
Generally, we have a 30-day trial period with hearing aids. During that time you can be seen four to five times to see how well you are doing. It can take up to two months to get through the initial setup and trial period. In the end, you will be hearing and your family and friends will enjoy your company.