Hearing Tests & Hearing Aids
Just because we know what we do every day doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what we do every day! See below for a list of everything we do here every day. Our goal is to make sure that we’re the only place you need to visit for all your hearing healthcare needs.
Hearing Tests: Are they really a “Test?” Are they difficult, and can you fail?
- Basic Comprehensive Audiometry: It is essential that all hearing testing be conducted in a sound booth. Hearing Associates has five sound booths. In the test, your responses to different pitched tones ("beeps") across a wide frequency range from bass to treble, from low pitches to high pitches, are written down. Then speech is spoken very softly to you in quiet to see at what level you barely hear speech and then it is spoken again in quiet at a comfortable listening level to see how clearly your ears decipher speech. This test is especially helpful when patients say “they hear but don’t understand.” All results are documented on a graph called an “audiogram” and then compared to what is considered “the normal range of hearing”. You cannot “fail” a hearing test. The audiogram is just a graphic representation of how you hear. It changes over time with your first test serving as a “baseline”.
- Speech in Noise Test: This test is similar to the one described above but the testing using speech is conducted with restaurant noise in the background to make the test more difficult. Since many people hear well in quiet, the basic hearing test may not show how you function when the environment is more noisy. Most of our patients report problems hearing in noise.
- Immittance Measurements: These tests check the flexibility of your eardrums and look at muscles in your ear that contract in response to very loud sounds. The measurements are important because the muscle contractions involve the brain.
- Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing: The OAE test is much more efficient at revealing problems in the tiny hair cells in your inner ear than the basic audiogram. In some cases, the more basic hearing test appears normal but the patient’s OAE’s are abnormal. The OAE test is especially valuable, for example, when an individual complains of ringing of the ears or problems hearing that just don’t show up on the routine hearing test (audiogram).
- Ultra High Frequency Audiometry (HFA) Assessment: HFA also provides more information to help the Doctors of Audiology make a definitive diagnosis than the “more basic” audiogram. Dr. Remensnyder has published articles and presented seminars to audiologists across the country explaining how critical this test is to supplement information provided by the more routine hearing test (audiogram).
***Keep in mind our Doctors of Audiology are Medicare (and other insurance) providers. Testing is often covered.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALD’s)
Several types of ALD’s are on display and available for demonstration. They include:
- Amplified Telephones
- Television Amplifiers
- Hearing Loops (the TV in each of our waiting rooms is looped for demonstration purposes)
- Amplified Doorbell Ringers, Shake-Awake Alarm Clocks, and other Alerting Devices
In addition, the Doctors of Audiology at Hearing Associates will assist you in securing a free amplified telephone from ITAC (Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation). Audiologists are the only professionals (in addition to your physician) who can certify that you qualify for this free government service. And, we will help you obtain an additional ITAC amplified telephone every four years.
Aural Rehabilitation Classes (Complimentary)
Hearing Associates takes pride in the fact that the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has recognized our practice for its classes, Beyond Hearing Aids: Sound Advice. In the series of three classes, you and your family members will learn about hearing loss, where your hearing problem is located on the auditory pathway, what medical conditions and lifestyle choices contributed to your hearing loss, how you can prevent further hearing loss, and most importantly, what to do when you can’t hear well.
Beyond Hearing Aids: Sound Advice Classes are offered on the first three Wednesdays of the month in the Conference Room at our Gurnee office. Reservations are required.
As Doctors of Audiology, the Doctors of Audiology at Hearing Associates firmly believe that every effort should be made to provide you Audibility Everywhere. It is relatively easy to help people hear one-on-one but our services include a commitment to improve your hearing in the following areas as well:
- On the telephone
- When listening to television dialogue
- When attending services at your Place of Worship
- When listening to conversation at a restaurant
The American Tinnitus Association has certified our professional staff to provide tinnitus counseling and tinnitus management. First, we need to determine whether you have any predisposing factors that can contribute to tinnitus, then we have to determine specifics about how your tinnitus sounds and what its impact is on your life, then we acquaint you with the facts about tinnitus and lastly, we suggest management strategies.
The shape of your outer ear and ear canal are unique to you. Earmolds are typically used for one of two reasons:
- To keep things out (noise and water are the two big issues).
- To keep things in (amplified sound from a hearing aid).