A Hearing Assessment (hearing test) is a complete evaluation of your hearing ability and the auditory (ear) mechanism. The purpose of this testing is to determine the cause and degree of the hearing problem. This testing is performed by an audiologist. This differs from a hearing screening. It generally takes 45 minutes.
We use finely calibrated equipment to assess the flexibility of the eardrum, obtain ear reflexes, measure hearing and evaluate the hearing nerves in the inner ear. This assessment is easy to do and free of discomfort.
Most health insurances and Medicare cover the cost of a Hearing Test and Audiologic Evaluation. A referral from your physician is suggested, but not always necessary. A complete report will be sent to your primary care physician.
The test is made up of several different parts which assess each portion of the ear and hearing. The results are charted on a graph, called an audiogram and a tympanogram. This is a visible display of the audiologists findings.
Following completion of the testing, the audiologist will fully explain the results, describing the level of your hearing loss. A plan of treatment will outline the audiologists recommendations. You should expect to have all of your questions answered and all of the tests explained so that you understand the results.
Hearing Aid Fitting and Training
It’s a Process
Hearing aid selection: In order to select the best hearing aids, hearing abilities and lifestyle are considered.
Ear Impressions: Are made for custom fit in-the-ear hearing aids and earmolds.
Hearing aid fitting and training: The instruments are adjusted to match hearing. Training on use and care of the instruments including changing batteries, inserting and removing the hearing aids and general care is provided.
Hearing aid evaluation and checks: Includes fine tuning the aids and evaluating the benefits of the instruments.
We recommend annual hearing test, and hearing aid cleaning and check. For more information on hearing aid services contact our office at 440-205-8848.
Hearing Instrument Repairs
Hearing aids, just like motor vehicles, need regular maintenance and periodically breakdown. Here at Advanced Audiology Concepts we handle minor repairs in the office.
Minor repairs include:
- Hearing aid cleaning
- Tube and filter changes
- Wax guard changing
- Receiver replacements for some models
If your hearing aids malfunction, stop in and have an Audiology Aide clean and check them. If needed, we do minor repairs in the office.
When we can’t repair the hearing aid we ship the instrument to the manufacturer. We ensure the aids are working properly before returning them to you.
For hearing aids under warranty there is no fee. If an instrument is out of warranty we will provide an estimate before sending it to the manufacturer.
Moisture is the leading cause of hearing aid breakdowns. Here are a few suggestions.
Keep your hearing aids dry
- In a down pour take the hearing aids off
- If you perspire heavily, periodically open the battery compartment and dry off the battery
- Use a hearing aid dehumidifier at night to dry the aids
- When using a dehumidifier, following the directions that come with it
- Don’t wash the hearing aids
Caring for your hearing aids
- Clean the hearing aids nightly, checking for ear wax and removing it as needed
- Wipe the hearing aids with a dry cloth to remove skin and hair oils
- Open the battery compartment
- Keep the aids dry
- Do not store them in the bathroom
- Check the wax guards and replace as needed
- Have regular hearing and hearing aid check ups
What is Ear Wax?
Earwax is the sticky substance that comes out the opening of your ear canals. The technical name is cerumen. It is normal and healthy. There are two glands in the ear canal that make the wax. Each gland secretes an oil. When the two oils mix together it becomes cerumen. Sometimes one ear canal makes more wax than the other. This too is normal and natural.
Cerumen even has a purpose. First, most people are surprised to discover ear wax cleans the ear canal. As ear wax moves along the ear canal it collects dust, dirt and other debris in the ear canal bringing the debris out with it. Second, cerumen moisturizes the skin of the ear canal helping to prevent dry itchy ears. Third, chemicals in the wax help inhibit infections and fungus in the canals.
Hearing Aids and Cerumen
When cerumen gets into a hearing aid is can cause a couple of problems. It can plug up the opening in the hearing where the sound comes blocking the sound from coming out. Cerumen can also corrode parts of the hearing causing a costly repair. Cleaning hearing aids is important to keep them working well. Your audiologist will teach you how to clean your hearing aids.
Cerumen becomes a problem when it builds up in the ear canal blocking sound from reaching the eardrum. When wax builds up in the canal it needs to be cleaned out. DO NOT USE COTTON SWABS TO REMOVE EAR WAX FROM YOUR EARS. Cotton swabs can push the earwax down to ear the eardrum making it hard to remove later or worse, you may push the swab through the eardrum.
We recommend having an audiologist remove the wax. You can help by using a wax drops in your canals for 3-4 days prior to your appointment. The drops soften the wax and it is easier to remove.
Wax Dos and Don’ts
Don’t put anything smaller than an elbow into the ear.
Don’t use cotton swabs to clean wax from your ears.
Using cotton swabs often pushes ear wax deep into the ear canal and on to the eardrum. This makes it more difficult and uncomfortable to remove.
Do use earwax softening drops prior to your appointment for wax removal.
The drops soften the wax making it easier and to remove.