Untreated hearing loss is highly correlated with a host of other worrisome health issues: cognitive decline, depression, diabetes, and heart disease to name a few. Hearing loss is a hidden disability. You can’t see it but you will notice it in those you love because they disengage in conversations, withdraw from gatherings, and miss the punch lines of jokes.
You don’t have to live with hearing loss: It’s often easily treatable, and effective treatment can help slow progression of further hearing loss. If you’re concerned you or a loved one may have hearing loss, don’t wait. Make your appointment for a hearing consultation and discover what options are available for treatment!
Hearing loss facts:
This visit begins with a thorough case history so we may fully understand the hearing difficulties you face. We inspect your ears using video otoscopy, a camera that goes in your ear, so you can see the inside of your ear canal and your eardrum. We then complete a thorough assessment of your hearing inside a sound booth so we can accurately measure the softest sounds you can hear. We also assess your ability to process speech in quiet and in noise. The appointment concludes with a detailed report of the findings and recommendations for treatment in language you can understand. We then send a courtesy report to your physician because we believe it’s important to include your physician in any health assessment. Everyone needs to establish a baseline for their hearing at least once in their adult life. Don’t wait, make your appointment for your hearing consultation now!
We will start with an interview to learn about your hearing health history. This includes questions about balance, tinnitus, and past noise exposure. Most importantly, we will ask about your communication goals. We know we can help you hear better, but we want to know how we can help improve your quality of life!
We look in your ears with a camera. This allows you to see the inside of your ear canals and your eardrums in full color. We can describe what we see but it’s so much better and easier to understand if you can also see it for yourself! If ear wax is present, we are able to clean most ears in our office!
We will obtain accurate hearing thresholds inside our sound booth. We test how you hear speech in quiet at soft, medium, and loud levels, and more importantly, how you hear speech in noise.
We will thoroughly explain your test results to you in a way that is easy to understand and we fully answer any questions you have about those test results.
We will go over all treatment options available for your hearing or ear problems. These options may include referral to an ENT physician, aural rehabilitation programs, management recommendations for tinnitus, or completing a demonstration of current hearing aid technology.
We believe in evaluating the whole person to create a comprehensive plan of care. When creative solutions are required for more complex cases, we offer the Functional Communication Needs Assessment. This combined diagnostic/screening visit looks beyond the audiogram to quality of life, balance, vision, dexterity, cognition, and auditory processing. We use these results to create a comprehensive treatment plan that may or may not include the use of a traditional hearing aid.
Achieving the best results requires time...time for your brain to learn and adjust, and fine tuning of your treatment program may be necessary as you progress.
We often tell our patients that we can fix most complaints, but we can’t help if we don’t know it's a problem! We see our patients regularly to ensure that they are hearing well. If they are not, those visits give us the opportunity to make adjustments to either the technology settings or our treatment plans so we can help them achieve the better hearing they deserve.
Once identified with hearing loss, it is important to retest annually to be sure the hearing loss is stable. This is particularly important if the patient has chosen not to treat their hearing loss because we know untreated hearing loss causes physical changes in the brain that make auditory processing more difficult. Routine monitoring is equally important for those who choose treatment as we need to be sure the hearing aids are continuing to work up to their prescribed performance. When your vision changes you need new glasses; and when hearing changes we need to adjust the programming on your devices.