The Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic’s audiologists and graduate student clinicians provide comprehensive audiological evaluations for individuals of all ages and all abilities. Hearing evaluations assess the integrity of the auditory system, measure hearing sensitivity, and identify presence of hearing loss.
“I can’t tell you how wonderful I think you all are. My 88 year old father has been able to maintain his independence partly due to your care and assistance in helping him to feel more secure and confident in his hearing capabilities. So much so, in fact, that this last visit was to turn over more control to him, in order to be better equipped to deal with hearing hunting dogs on his daily hunting trips in the winter months. He is thrilled that he can now hear the dogs and more effectively take part in the hunts. That is priceless good news to me. His quality of life just went up a notch and that’s all to your willingness and ability to understand his needs. Thank you so much!” -patient testimonial
Overview of Appointment
- The appointment will be scheduled for 90 minutes.
- Services will be provided by a graduate level student clinician under the supervision of a certified audiologist (Au.D-CCC).
- Many health insurance companies cover the cost of annual hearing evaluations. Medicare requires a physician’s referral. Our office management is available to provide information regarding insurance policies.
Components of Appointment
Graduate clinicians will review documents received prior to the appointment from the physician and the patient. They will also take time at the appointment to ask the patient and loved ones details about hearing health, previous recreational and occupational noise exposure, and medical history to determine any signs of hearing loss.
Otoscopy is a visual examination of the ear canal and tympanic membrane (eardrum) to check for excess cerumen (wax) and overall health of the outer ear. For this procedure, the graduate student clinician will utilize an otoscope that provides light and magnification to the ear canal and eardrum.
Tympanometry examines the function of the middle ear by changing pressure in the ear canal and measuring movement of the eardrum. For this procedure, the graduate student clinician will place a small ear piece in the ear for a few seconds to create a seal and measure the status of eardrum.
Pure-tone audiometry, which includes air and bone conduction, determines presence, type, severity, and configuration of hearing loss. Air conduction audiometry determines degree of hearing sensitivity (normal, mild, moderate, severe, or profound) by measuring thresholds, which are the lowest levels heard at different frequencies. Bone conduction audiometry also is used during this portion of testing. For this procedure, a small headband will be placed behind the ear on the mastoid bone. It measures hearing thresholds, and determines type of hearing loss (sensorineural, conductive, or mixed).
Speech audiometry assesses the ability to hear and understand speech. The patient will be asked to repeat words down to the softest level detected. They will also be asked to repeat words at a comfortable listening level.
Additional procedures may include acoustic reflex measures, otoacoustic emissions (OAEs), and auditory brainstem response (ABR). Acoustic reflex measures evaluate the function of the middle ear, inner ear, and central auditory nervous system. Otoacoustic emissions examine function of the inner ear. An auditory brainstem response test assesses the function of auditory neural pathways, and estimate hearing thresholds.
Interpretation and recommendations
Any clinical findings related to the patient’s main listening difficulties and hearing health will be discussed. Appropriate recommendations and treatment options will be provided by the graduate student clinician and certified audiologist. The clinicians will provide resources and information regarding intervention services provided through the clinic and other local providers. Referrals to visit an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physician will be made if further medical evaluation or treatment is needed.