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
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