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49 Front St. N . Issaquah, WA 98027
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Hearing Tests

The Evaluation Process

Hearing impairment affects more than just your ability to hear — it affects the quality of your health and social life, as well as those around you. Eastside Audiology & Hearing Services stresses the importance of an accurate and timely hearing test. Your in-depth hearing evaluation will allow us to craft a treatment plan that addresses your individual hearing and lifestyle needs, allowing you to truly hear your best and live life on your own terms.
 

Step One: The Interview

The interview process is a key part of the evaluation and provides your audiologist with critical information regarding your medical history as well as the ways in which hearing loss is impacting both you and your loved ones in a multitude of situations. It helps us uncover any specific areas that may require further attention audiologically, socially as well as medically. Some typical questions you’ll want to prepare for are:

  • Do you have a family history of hearing loss?
  • Have you had any illnesses or injuries that might have affected your hearing?
  • 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?
  • How well do you communicate on the telephone, in restaurants or around the family dinner table?

 

Step Two: The Examination

Our audiologists will take a close look inside your ear and determine whether the hearing difficulty you are experiencing could be caused by an obstruction 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 Test

Next we’ll need to determine if a hearing loss does exist, and if so the nature and severity.

A full evaluation includes the following:

  • Audiometric pure tone evaluation to measure the softest level you can perceive sound at different frequencies (pitch)
  • A speech assessment to measure how well you understand ordinary speech at your comfortable listening level as well as the softest level you can understand speech
  • Speech-in-noise testing to determine how well you understand speech in the presence of background noise
  • Discomfort level testing
  • A middle-ear evaluation to measure how your eardrum reacts to varying degrees of air pressure

If a hearing loss is present, medical recommendations will be made if needed, and appropriate treatment options will be discussed.
 

Step Four: Treatment Options

Hearing Aids
If hearing loss is present and amplification is appropriate, we will work with you to match your lifestyle and financial needs with the latest technology, specifically designed to treat your unique hearing loss. Verification of the hearing aid fitting is completed to confirm that the amount of sound at differing frequencies (pitch) in your ear canal is optimally adjusted for your specific hearing loss needs.

Surgery & Implants
Surgically inserted / implanted devices into the ear to improve hearing are now available. These devices facilitate lip-reading, and make it easier to distinguish speech and other sounds in your environment. Typically, these are most helpful if you are profoundly hearing impaired, or if you have certain anatomical needs, and if conventional hearing devices are not a useful treatment for you. Our audiologists will inform you if you are a candidate for these devices, based on your audiogram and the physical shape of your ear. These devices are not available through our clinic but we will refer you to an appropriate medical professional who specializes in this area.

  • Cochlear implants
  • Middle-ear implants
  • Bone-anchored hearing aids
  • Auditory brainstem implants

Frequently Asked Questions

Because children cannot readily tell you when they hear a sound, specialized methods are used when evaluating the hearing of infants and young children. Learn more about the testing process.
Depending on your hearing loss and the purpose of the evaluation, a complete diagnostic hearing evaluation will take approximately 45 minutes.

This depends on lifestyle, health conditions such as diabetes or heart condition, as well as age. Typically, if you are exposed to noise frequently through work or play we recommend an annual hearing test, whether there are outward signs of hearing loss or not. Depending on the type and degree of hearing loss (if present), as well as your lifestyle, a hearing evaluation every 12 – 18 months may be recommended to monitor possible change in hearing.

If you are exhibiting signs and symptoms of hearing loss, please call today to schedule an appointment. Signs include but are not limited to:

  • Feeling that people mumble
  • Having to turn up the volume on television, telephone, or personal listening devices
  • Trouble following conversations in busy venues (concerts, restaurants)