The ability to hear well allows us to communicate effectively with others and is something often taken for granted. When problems develop, it is important to have a qualified health professional check your hearing to determine the best treatment possible.
If you suspect you have hearing loss, the first step is to undergo a thorough hearing evaluation with a licensed audiologist. If a medical problem is suspected to be contributing to your hearing loss, a medical examination with an otolaryngologist will be recommended. Both of these examinations can be done at Capital Region Physicians – ENT & Audiology.
Our audiology staff uses a team approach, working hand-in-hand with our otolaryngologist and primary care physicians.
Children: We offer hearing evaluations to children of all ages, including newborns. The evaluation may include and objective evaluation of the middle ear and cochlear function, and an evaluation of behavioral responses to sounds and speech. We then discuss at length the results and what they mean for your child, as well as the treatment recommendations.
Adults: Early treatment of hearing loss is very important to decrease auditory deprivation. Auditory deprivation occurs when individuals need hearing aids but do not wear them. Auditory deprivation causes the brain to gradually lose some of its ability to process auditory information. Many individuals who have had auditory deprivation will say, “I can hear, I just can’t understand what people are saying.” Hearing evaluations may include an objective evaluation of the middle ear and cochlear function. Once complete, we’ll interpret what the test results mean in terms of your hearing and provide treatment recommendations.
Hearing aid services
If a hearing evaluation indicates that a hearing aid is needed, our audiologist will discuss which hearing aid options would be most appropriate for you. We will explain the hearing aid program, make impressions of your ears if necessary, and schedule a return appointment to fit you with hearing aids.
At the time of the hearing aid fitting, your audiologist will:
- Discuss hearing aid care and maintenance
- Demonstrate how to operate the hearing aid properly
- Explain effective communication techniques to you, your family and significant others
- Describe the adjustment period expectations
- Ensure that caregivers, teachers and other professionals are equipped with the knowledge needed to serve a child with hearing loss
Routine follow-up care is recommended for patients with hearing aids. After being fit with hearing aids, your audiologist will routinely monitor your progress to ensure your success.
Auditory Processing Disorder evaluations & treatment
Individuals with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) have difficulties understanding information they hear, especially in poor listening environments with background noise. The ears are working correctly, so there is no hearing loss, but the part of the brain that analyzes and interprets the information is not.
The actual diagnosis of APD can only be made by an audiologist, and we typically require that a child be at least five years of age. To diagnose, the audiologist will administer a series of tests in a quiet, sound-treated room. First, a hearing screening will be performed to confirm the child has normal hearing. Next, the audiologist will administer clinical measures of auditory processing. During testing, a variety of speech signals and sounds will be presented to the child over special headphones. The sounds are designed to tax the auditory system. For example, children will be asked to distinguish and remember presentations of different tones and words, hear multiple sets of two words coming separately into each ear at the same time and make sense of rapid speech and speech in noise. The audiologist will go over the results and make treatment recommendations if applicable.
If a child is diagnosed with APD, a referral will likely be made to the speech-language pathologists at the Sam B. Cook Healthplex. The therapists will tailor a therapy program for the specific auditory processing deficits that are identified. The audiologist may also make recommendations for treatment at home and school.
Custom hearing protection
Protect your hearing against excessive noise levels with custom made hearing protection. The earplugs are formed perfectly to your individual ear canal, ensuring a comfortable fit that will stay in place. Earplugs are beneficial for those working around loud noise.
We also offer musician earplugs, which contain filters designed to provide protection for musician’s ears all while preserving the sound quality of music.
Avoid potential ear infections by preventing water from getting into your ears with custom made swimplugs, formed perfectly to your individual ear canal.