At Spencer Audiology we conduct our initial hearing assessments with a straightforward four-step process.
In our experience, this process yields the most accurate and personally relevant results through a combination of state-of-the-art hearing tests and a thorough interview, to ensure that we fully understand your lifestyle and your needs. Understanding your concerns and what’s most important to you in a better-hearing solution is one of our most important priorities.
Step One: The Interview
Purpose: To help us determine how you are experiencing your hearing loss and to uncover any information that might help reveal its cause.
Typical questions include:
- Has anyone else in your family had hearing loss?
- Have you had any illnesses or injuries that might have affected your hearing?
- Have you taken any medications that might have affected your hearing?
- Have you been exposed to loud noises in your job or leisure activities?
- In what types of situations do you find you are experiencing the greatest difficulty with your hearing?
- In what types of situations do you wish you could hear better?
Step Two: The Examination
Purpose: To help us determine if the hearing difficulty you are experiencing is being caused by an obstruction or damage to the ear canal or eardrum. We will use a magnifying instrument called an otoscope to painlessly inspect the outer ear.
Step Three: The Testing
Purpose: To help us determine the specifics of your hearing loss. If you have a measurable hearing loss, your results will be clearly documented on an audiogram. Hearing tests often include the following, depending on your needs:
- Audiometric pure tone evaluation to measure your hearing at different frequencies.
- Speech evaluation to measure how well you hear and understand ordinary conversation at different volumes.
- Immittance middle-ear evaluation to measure how your eardrum and hearing react to varying degrees of air pressure.
Step Four: Treatment Options
Purpose: With this step, we will recommend and explain the benefits of suitable solutions (if necessary) for your degree of hearing loss and your lifestyle. Options include:
Amplification with hearing aids is the preferred treatment for most types of hearing loss and can provide significant improvements in one’s ability to communicate effectively and without a burdensome degree of effort.
Today’s digital hearing aids come in a variety of designs (including invisible-in-the canal models) with a wide range of functions and features to address an individual’s specific needs.
Assistive Listening Devices
ALDs are specialized hearing technologies that help people with all degrees of hearing loss. These devices can facilitate face-to-face communication and improved experience with media such as televisions and telephones adapted to help the hearing impaired.
Surgery & Implants
More severe hearing losses may benefit from devices surgically inserted into the ear to improve hearing, facilitate lip reading, and make it easier to distinguish certain sounds. Typically, these are most helpful to deaf or profoundly hearing-impaired people who are unable to achieve sufficient benefit from hearing aids.
A few examples of surgical implants:
- Cochlear Implants
- Middle Ear Implants
- Bone-Anchored Hearing Systems
- Auditory Brainstem Implants