COMPREHENSIVE AUDIOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS
A comprehensive audiological evaluation is performed to assess the condition of your outer/middle/inner ear. It is meant to determine the degree and type of hearing loss, if present. It also evaluates your ability to understand speech in quiet and in the presence of background noise.
Your audiological evaluation will be conducted in a sound-treated booth and will consist of several portions:
The initial step of your evaluation will consist of your audiologist performing a visual inspection of your ear canals (otoscopy) to assess the condition of your ear canals and your eardrums (tympanic membranes).
The second step is to assess the mobility of of your eardrum (tympanometry) as well as the function of the stapedeus muscle in your middle ear through the use of acoustic reflex testing.
Otoacoustic emission testing may be performed to evaluate the functional status of hair cells within your inner ear (cochlea).
A measure of your hearing sensitivity will be determined as you respond to tones at different frequencies and intensities. Results are plotted on a graph, referred to as an audiogram.
A very important portion of testing involves measuring your ability to understand speech. The score obtained can help us understand the severity of your hearing loss and help establish appropriate expectations regarding hearing aid performance.
AUDITORY BRAINSTEM RESPONSE (ABR)
An Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) evaluation is a test of the function of the auditory nerve and its pathways to the brainstem. During the test, you will have electrodes placed on your forehead and earlobes. You will be asked to lie down and relax while listening to a repetitive click stimulus. You will not be required to respond. The electrodes will collect data as the signal is transmitted along the auditory nerve to your brainstem. This test is often used to screen for lesions along the auditory nerve or other retrocochlear disorders.
Approximate test time: 30 minutes
HEARING LOSS AND TINNITUS FAQS
IS THERE A CURE FOR TINNITUS?
Not yet! Unfortunately, there is no cure for tinnitus at this time. While many products claim to cure the ringing you hear, this is simply not the case. The cause of tinnitus can be multidimensional, so there are many models of treatment to help a person cope with their tinnitus experience. These treatment options all aim to focus a person's awareness beyond their tinnitus. This can be done with the help of sound therapy, counseling, and by treating one's hearing loss - which is often the main cause of tinnitus. Accura Audiology also offers a unique approach to treating tinnitus through mindfulness training.
WILL MY INSURANCE COVER MY VISIT?
Most, if not all, health insurances cover hearing evaluations. This can be verified by your insurance company at any time by either you or your audiologist. Audiologists are considered specialists by health insurance companies, and you would pay the corresponding co-pay if a co-pay exists.
CAN EARWAX BE CAUSING MY HEARING LOSS?
Earwax, or cerumen, may be contributing to hearing loss when it is occluding, or partially occluding the canal. During your visit, we will carefully inspect your ear canal, determining if there is a need to remove earwax. We have many methods to extract the wax from your ears, many of which do not cause discomfort. We understand this procedure can sometimes be uncomfortable, and that's why our Doctors of Audiology pride themselves in their ability to successfully remove wax while keeping patients comfortable.
WILL MY HEARING LOSS CONTINUE TO GET WORSE?
That would depend on the origin of your hearing loss. It is impossible to predict how hearing loss will progress, which is why it is so important to monitor changes by receiving regular hearing evaluations. Hearing loss can be caused by noise exposure, genetic traits, age, medications, various medical conditions. or a combination of these. We will take a comprehensive history at the time of your appointment that may offer some insight into the origin of your hearing loss.
SOME PRACTICES OFFER A "FREE HEARING TEST", DO YOU?
Oftentimes, a "free hearing test" is simply a hearing screening. A screening is a quick measurement that identifies the existence of hearing loss, but not the extent of hearing loss. A hearing screening may not identify medical conditions that require immediate attention. A comprehensive hearing evaluation, performed by Accura Audiology, will thoroughly examine the status of the ear and the precise degree and type of hearing loss. Audiologists are obligated to refer patients for medical care, when needed, before further audiological care is provided.