Need A Complete Hearing Test? Come to Discover Hearing Center!
Are you encountering hearing problems, and wondering, “Is there any authentic hearing clinic near me” that really cares enough to identify the root cause, and suggest the right solution? Our clinicians at Discover Hearing Center know how to treat your ear & hearing clinic in Kitchener.
To begin, our clinician will perform a visual inspection of your ear canal to ensure no excess of ear wax and or any other substances. Once this visual inspection is complete, they will perform a tympanometry test. Ultimately, this test measures the function of your eardrum and its ability to flex and absorb sound.
For this test our patients will hear a variety of humming low frequency sounds and may feel slight pressure in the ear for just a moment. We look at these results as another piece to the puzzle in helping our clinicians come to a conclusion by finding the root cause of your hearing troubles.
Next, our clinician will move the patient into the sound booth. The patient is fitted with one of two types of headsets, either foam inserts or over the ear circular headphones and when comfortable the test will begin. Our trained clinician will perform the first tone testing, a test that requires the patient to press a button after every heard tone presented.
These tones gradually decrease in volume until they are no longer audible to the individual in the booth. This process repeats for different frequencies and in both ears. Once completed, a secondary device will be introduced above the head that will produce the same tonal testing using cranial vibrations, we call this test bone conduction.
For the last portion of the hearing test, we will perform a series of speech testing. The three core tests that we use are a: Most Comfortable Test (MCL), Speech Reception Test (SRT) and Word Recognition Testing (WRT). MCL testing is performed to identify a level that the patient finds clear and comfortable, allowing the clinician to give precise instructions for the remainder of the appointment. SRT’s are designed to verify the previous averages in the tonal testing. For this test, the patient will repeat a series of words as the volume of each word decreases. For WRS testing, we blend the first two tests by having the patient repeat a series of one syllable words, however we present the volume of speech at the MCL thresholds.
There are a number of other specialized speech tests such as the Hearing In Noise Test that may be required on a case by case basis. For police hearing testing, pilot hearing testing or other specialized job testing, this test is required and we are happy to offer this service at Discover Hearing Centre. Once this battery of testing is complete, the clinician will review the results to make the appropriate recommendation.
Importance of Hearing Tests
Your hearing works in three separate stages. And it is important for a hearing practitioner to use the above tests to find answers. Tympanometry testing is crucial in understanding the mechanical function of one's hearing system. This includes the eardrum and boney chain that connects to the sensory system. Most abnormalities in this system range from birth deformities to trauma caused by head injuries. In our practice these results would be labeled as having a conductive hearing loss.
When testing the air thresholds through headphones, as stated previously we are identifying the softest tones audible to the individual. This allows us to create a clear picture of where the hearing deterioration resides. Most hearing losses have some component of high frequency (or pitch) decrease which can affect speech understanding for soft spoken individuals, female and children's voices. This type of loss is the most common for individuals who have trouble in small to large group environments as well, and is most prevalent as we age.
Speech discrimination scores are important to understand the pathway from your sensory system to the brain. This function sends all information necessary for processing speech and the environment around you. When looking at the results for all testing, speech results are one of the most important components to consider. This test allows the clinician to make predictions on the success of the individual wearing hearing devices to receive benefit.
For instance, if an individual produces %100 speech understanding at an elevated level, we will predict the patient acclimatizing to hearing aids should be consistent. At levels below %50, the practitioner should be setting realistic expectations with the patient. Meaning that even whilst wearing hearing aids, the individual will still struggle for many listening environments including basic speech understanding.
Hearing Test Results
For a result producing a conductive component to your hearing, we identify this as needing a further medical evaluation. We want to rule out any underlying issues from a specialist before making any type of recommendation for hearing amplification. We have had many great success stories for fitting devices on individuals with this type of loss. However, the practitioner must take into consideration a potential increased sensitivity to sound input.
Sensorineural hearing losses, also known as sudden hearing loss, are the most common losses we fit due to the relationship with aging. However, this is not the exclusive reason that we see this type of loss. Noise exposure from loud music, working environments or daily activities play a significant role in accelerating sensory hearing loss. When working with hearing devices, our clinicians build a prescription that is founded on the results of the tonal testing. This allows hearing practitioners to custom fit the amplificated sound to exactly what your ears require to hear clearly again.
Setting expectations with our patients is important as this process sometimes takes time to customize based on many patient factors such as audible or physical sensitivity. On average, it takes up to 1 months to fully acclimatize to wearing hearing aids. If you are finding that process is taking longer for you, remember that wearing hearing aids is not a short term solution and needing further adjustments with your practitioner is fully expected and welcomed. When you invest in hearing devices, we include a service plan that offers unlimited office visits. This allows us to make the necessary changes based on our patient feedback to better fit the devices.
As previously stated, if an individual presents with little to no speech deterioration, the hearing aid fitting will have a higher probability of success. However, in the case where our patient is not as fortunate, our clinician will provide an in depth consultation on communication tips and strategies to make the best out of a challenging circumstance. At this level, it is important to create clear expectations on the limitations of hearing aids to the patient.
Get your consultation from the leading ear & hearing clinic in Kitchener
Once your clinician has completed the initial questionnaire and consultation, they will use this information to start making an overall assessment into your hearing. The results that will be generated from the hearing evaluations will then build upon the questions that have been asked at the beginning of the session.
Specialized Hearing Tests
Certain professions or schools may require one time or recurring hearing assessments. With our state of the art equipment we are equipped to handle specialized testing for pilots, police officers, as well as many other professions.
To conclude, we strongly recommend getting a hearing test for treatment for us to identify where the problem lives. Then, based on the results of the hearing test, we can identify the right solution for you before it gets worst.
Call our office if you have any questions about your hearing loss or anything else related to hearing. We are happy to help and answer any questions you may have.