Hearing impairment affects more than just your ability to hear — it affects your quality of life & impacts your overall health. New Jersey Hearing Health Center stresses the importance of an accurate and comprehensive hearing test. The hearing evaluation is just the beginning of your treatment and it’s essential to setting your unique care plan in motion and taking action on hearing loss. Your comprehensive hearing evaluation will help us design a treatment plan that allows you to truly hear your best and live life on your terms.
Step One: The Interview
The interview process helps our practice determine the extent of your hearing impairment and aids us in uncovering any specific areas requiring further attention. Some typical questions you’ll want to prepare for are:
- Has anyone else in your family had hearing problems?
- 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?
Step Two: The Examination
Our audiologist takes a close look inside your ear to figure out 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 Tests
Next we’ll need to figure out the nature of your hearing loss. Our comprehensive procedure examines your ears from the outside in. Procedures typically include:
- Otoscopy: An examination of the outer ear, ear canal, and the eardrum
- Middle Ear Test: A test of the middle ear will be done to determine if the eardrum and small bones attached are working properly in sequence. This is called Tympanometry.
- Otoacoustic Emissions: A test of the inner ear hair cells/cilia located in the cochlea (sensory organ of hearing) to determine if they are responding to sound.
- Pure Tone Audiometry: Using tones/beeps to determine the softest level of sound that your ear can hear across the frequencies important for sound awareness and speech understanding.
- Speech Audiometry: A speech assessment to measure how well you hear and understand ordinary conversation at different volumes.
If you are suffering from a hearing impairment, your results will be documented on an audiogram. An audiogram is created based on your responses to testing to define the type, degree, and configuration of your hearing loss. The audiogram shows your hearing loss by frequency (pitch) and the loudness of sounds. Frequencies are measured in hertz (Hz), and the loudness or intensity is measured in decibels (dB). We will help determine whether you have trouble hearing low or high pitches and what that means for you moving forward.
Step Four: Treatment Options
We will work with you to match your lifestyle needs with the most advanced technology, specifically designed to treat your unique hearing loss. The basic components of this instrument include a microphone, an amplifier, a receiver, and a tiny processor. The exceptional effectiveness of your devices is the result of a powerful combination of professional expertise, software, and hardware.
Surgery & Implants
We now have the ability to surgically insert devices into the ear to improve hearing, facilitate lip-reading, and make it easier to distinguish certain sounds. Typically, these are most helpful if you are deaf or profoundly hearing impaired and hearing aids are not a useful treatment for you. Surgical implants include:
- Cochlear implants
- Middle-ear implants
- Bone-anchored hearing aids
- Auditory brainstem implants