Hearing impairment affects more than just your ability to hear — it affects your quality of life. Allegany Hearing & Balance Center stresses the importance of a complete, accurate, and timely hearing test. The hearing evaluation is just the beginning of your treatment, and it’s essential to starting your unique care plan in motion and taking action on your hearing loss. Your in-depth hearing evaluation will help us craft a treatment plan that renews your ability to hear, allowing you to truly hear your best and live life your best on your terms.
Step One: The Interview
The interview process helps our practice determine the extent of your hearing impairment and how it affects your daily life. Some typical questions you will be asked are:
- Has anyone else in your family had hearing problems?
- Have you had any injuries that might have affected your hearing?
- Do you have any other medical conditions, like diabetes, hypertension, or thyroid disease?
- Have you taken any medications that might have contributed to hearing impairment?
- Have you been exposed to loud noises in your workplace or while participating in leisure activities?
Step Two: The Examination
Our hearing care providers will examine your ears and figure out whether the hearing difficulty you are experiencing could be caused by an obstruction like ear wax, or damage to the ear canal or eardrum. We use a special instrument called an otoscope or video otoscope to inspect your outer ear.
Step Three: Hearing Tests
Next we’ll need to figure out the type of your hearing loss. We typically include the following:
- A complete audiological evaluation to obtain hearing thresholds
- A speech assessment to measure how well you hear and understand ordinary conversation both in quiet and in noise
- A middle-ear evaluation
Your results will be documented on an audiogram, a graph showing the type, degree, and configuration of your hearing loss. The audiogram shows your hearing loss by frequency (pitch) and loudness (volume). Frequencies are measured in hertz (Hz), and the loudness or intensity is measured in decibels (dB). We will help determine whether you have trouble hearing low or high pitches and what that means for you moving forward.
Step Four: Treatment Options
We will work with you to match your lifestyle and communication needs with the most appropriate advanced technology, specifically designed to treat your unique hearing loss. The basic components of these instruments include microphones, an amplifier, a receiver, and tiny computer processors. The exceptional effectiveness of your devices is the result of a powerful combination of our professional expertise, and computer software and hardware.
Surgery & Implants
When appropriate, you will be referred to an ENT who may be able to surgically or medically correct your hearing loss. If you are no longer a hearing aid candidate, you may benefit from a device that can be implanted in your ear. This device is surgically inserted into the ear to improve hearing, facilitate lip-reading, and make it easier to distinguish certain sounds. Surgical implants include:
- Cochlear implants
- Middle-ear implants
- Bone-anchored hearing aids
- Auditory brainstem implants
Frequently Asked Questions
• Feeling that people mumble
• Having to turn up the volume on your television, telephone, or personal listening devices
• Trouble following conversations in in noisy places (concerts, restaurants)