Hearing Aid Evaluations
Hearing Tests | What to Expect
The first step to better hearing is to have a complete hearing assessment. The diagnostic audiologic evaluation determines your hearing ability across the frequency (pitch) range, as well as word recognition and discrimination scores. If a hearing loss is identified and use of amplification is warranted, then recommendations will be made to determine the most appropriate hearing aid solution.
Chat with the audiologist.
To get started, the audiologist will take a complete case history to include specific scenarios where you are noticing hearing difficulties. The audiologist will ask you details about your family medical history, as well as your personal one. This could help the audiologist determine the part of your ear in which hearing loss occurs, and its potential causes.
As hearing loss affects many different areas of our lives, this conversation will also include a discussion about your lifestyle, employment, and regular activities and hobbies. The more detail you can provide, the more comprehensive picture the audiologist will have of your hearing needs.
Otoscopic ear examination.
The next step is the otoscopic ear examination, which will not cause you any discomfort or pain. The audiologist will gently pull your ear in different directions to straighten the ear canal, and then place the otoscope in your ear. The otoscope produces a light beam, which allows the audiologist to look at different parts inside the ear and at the ear drum.
During the otoscopic ear examination, the audiologist will inspect the ear to rule out any ear wax accumulation. Inspecting the eardrum is also important, as the rupture or puncture of the eardrum may be the cause of hearing loss. The light from the otoscope will reflect off of the eardrum and give the audiologist a clear view of it. If the eardrum is red or swollen, this could be a sign of infection.
The third step is the assessment, which will utilize both pure tone and speech recognition testing to determine the extent and nature of any hearing loss you may have. Both assessments will take place in a soundproof booth or room, are painless, and will not cause you physical discomfort.
In the pure tone assessment, sounds will be played through your headphones. You will be asked to identify whether or not you hear tones at selected pitches and different volumes by raising your hand, pressing a button, or saying yes. The pure tone assessment will be administered one ear at a time.
In the speech recognition assessment, the audiologist will either say words to you, or play an audio recording of words, at different volumes, through your headphones. You will be asked to repeat these words. This assessment allows the audiologist to determine your ability to understand speech.
The test results will determine whether medical intervention is necessary or whether you would benefit from the use of amplification.
Review your audiogram and discuss treatment options.
The results of your hearing test will be recorded on an audiogram, a visual representation of your hearing abilities. The audiologist will review the audiogram with you, explaining the different parts. Audiograms indicate the frequency (measured in Hertz) and intensity (measured in decibels) at which you can hear, as well as the relationship between your right and left ears. The results of the speech assessments are usually recorded as a percentage.
From the audiogram, the audiologist will determine the degree of hearing loss, which varies from normal to profound. Based on your earlier conversation with the audiologist, they will be able to offer you recommendations for treatments that best fit your hearing needs and your lifestyle.
Our practice is independently owned and not required to recommend any specific brand of hearing aid. This allows us to offer what is truly in your best interest.
Hearing Aid Fitting/Programming and Aftercare
During the fitting process, Ms. Duffy will customize the acoustic settings of the hearing aids based on your specific hearing loss and communication needs. A 30-day assessment period then is provided with the chosen hearing aids allowing you to utilize the instruments in your daily listening environments to assess their benefit. The comments you provide during the fitting process and subsequent visits assist Ms. Duffy to fine tune the settings of the hearing aids to maximize their performance.
Hearing Aid Warranties and Repairs
All new hearing aids dispensed by HearCare Rhode Island are covered by a two-year manufacturer’s repair warranty and loss/damage policy. Repair services also are available for all makes and models of hearing aids regardless of whether or not you initially purchased your aids from our practice. Often times, repairs can be made at our practice while you wait. In the event that your hearing aids are damaged beyond our ability to remedy in-house, we send the to manufacturer to be repaired.