A Comprehensive Diagnostic Hearing evaluation is made up of a series of tests to help the Audiologist assess the health of your auditory system. The evaluation will allow the Audiologist to determine if a hearing loss is present, the degree and type of hearing loss, and the condition of the ear canal and middle ear system. Based on the findings the Audiologist can determine the most appropriate treatment options.
The hearing evaluation will include:
A discussion of your medical and hearing history
Otoscopic examination (examination of the outer ear, ear canal and ear drum)
Pure-tone air and bone conduction testing (measuring the quietest tones a person can detect at different pitches)
Speech testing (measuring the quietest speech levels a person can hear and how clearly they hear at comfortable listening levels)
If above tests indicate any problems related to middle ear, then the Audiologist would perform a — -Tympanometry testing (evaluation of the function of the ear drum and middle ear system)
Hearing Aid Evaluations and Fittings
After you have selected your hearing aids, your Audiologist will program them based on your prescription to meet your hearing needs.
The hearing professional will explain how to use the devices, how to put them in the ear and how to remove them, how to change the batteries and how to care for and clean the devices. It is also a good idea to bring family members or close friends to the hearing aid fitting session so they can help remember all the information that is given and be a support to you.
When you put the hearing aids in for the first time, you may have different emotions about the sounds you hear. This is normal and to be expected. The goal of the hearing aid is to make everyday sounds audible and comfortable, but the sound you hear should be clear and pleasant. Small changes can be made to the hearing aids at your first fitting if there are things that you feel should be adjusted right away. The Audiologist may do some testing to make sure the hearing aids are giving you enough sound where you need it.
Your hearing aid fitting is only a starting place; other changes to customize the hearing to your liking may need to take place over a few appointments, as you wear the hearing aids in more situations and adapt to all the new sounds you are hearing.
Attitude is one important key to success with hearing aids. Hearing aid studies have shown that people who have a positive attitude do better with hearing aids. If you, as well as your spouse or family approach your hearing aid fitting with a positive outlook, you will have a much better listening experience. Keep in mind that it may take some time to get used to the sounds you were previously missing, and by working closely with your Audiologist it is possible to get the most out of your new hearing aids.
Hearing Aid Adjustments
Hearing aids should be regularly checked and adjusted for at-least 3 to 6 months, as it is not uncommon for hearing aids to get wax or debris build-up that can compromise their performance.
Using a real ear verification system, the performance of your hearing aid for your specific hearing levels can be assessed. With the advanced hearing aids available today, it is necessary to have the most up to date test methods available to assess the performance of the hearing aids and how they work in your ears.
Today’s hearing aids are quite complex and very adaptive. We have access to several parameters on the hearing aids so we can adjust the sound and settings to your needs. If things are uncomfortable, too loud, too soft, or unclear, the adjustments to improve the sound and comfort according to your unique requirements can be made.
In-house and Manufacturers’ Repairs and Service
Hearing aids have small working parts, and it is not uncommon over time for a hearing aid to need a repair. You may try to turn the hearing aid on in the morning and find that there is no sound; the battery door may come unhinged. These things do happen, even when the hearing aids are properly cared for. If you should experience an issue that needs repair, take the hearing aid(s) to your hearing care professional. They are equipped to diagnose broken hearing aids. Some minor hearing aid repairs can be done in the office setting in a short period of time; others will need to be sent to the manufacturer for repair. Your Audiologist can help determine what kind of a repair is necessary if you feel your hearing aid is not working properly.
Hearing aids come with a warranty when purchased new. If your warranty has expired, it is still possible to repair most hearing aids with a small fee. Depending on the hearing aid manufacturer, this repair may come with a new year-long warranty. Your hearing professional will provide you with details when you bring your hearing aid into the office.