Conducting a thorough hearing evaluation is the best way to ascertain the extent of hearing loss an individual experiences. In addition to recording the impact of hearing impairment on a patient and their family’s daily routines, the hearing evaluation will also include a general health history for the patient. Finding out about when hearing loss was first experienced and whether it included any spells of dizziness or ringing in the ear (tinnitus) can be strong indicators for the direction of treatment.
A hearing evaluation helps Dr. Fan understand what sounds you can hear and what is missing. It also helps Dr. Fan determine if you are a candidate for hearing aids and what type of hearing device might be the best to meet your needs. If the hearing evaluation does indicate permanent hearing loss, Dr. Fan may recommend a hearing aid for one or both ears.
If Dr. Fan determines during your hearing evaluation that there may be some underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed before hearing aids are recommended, he’ll refer you to a medical doctor specializing in disorders of the ear.
A hearing screening is a quick test to see if you need a more comprehensive hearing test.
While most adults do not undergo hearing screenings after grade school, some may have it as part of an annual medical checkup. If you are concerned about your hearing, give us a call at (848) 231-6637, and we’ll schedule a free hearing screening for you. If you pass the hearing screening, there won’t be a need for any further evaluation. But if you fail the hearing screening, Dr. Fan will do further testing to determine the type and severity of hearing loss and prescribe the best treatment option.
At Advanced Audiology Care, Dr. Fan recommends that you have your hearing regularly tested, as your hearing health should not be treated any differently than your dental health (2 cleanings per year) or your vision health (1 exam every 2 years). Having regular hearing tests help Dr. Fan better understand how much your hearing has changed over time, and he can prescribe your treatment options accordingly.
Dr. Fan recommends that young adults have a baseline hearing test at age 21. A baseline test will tell him what your hearing is at that point in time, and when you are older, he can compare it to more recent tests to see how much your hearing has changed.
After a baseline hearing test at age 21, Dr. Fan recommends that you have a hearing test every 10 years after that until age 50. After age 50, you should have a hearing test every 3 years.
Dr. Fan conducts comprehensive hearing evaluations for seniors and adults using state-of-the-art equipment. At the end of your hearing evaluation, Dr. Fan will provide you with a report with an interpretation of the results and recommendations.
If the preliminary hearing screening results show some indicators for hearing defect, a diagnostic audiologic evaluation is performed for further examination. This evaluation is tailored according to the patient's age and is used to determine the degree and severity of hearing loss. This information can then be used to inform Dr. Fan about possible treatment options.
The diagnostic audiologic evaluation includes pure-tone testing, bone-conduction testing, and speech testing. These tests detail the degree of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss, and the condition of the ear canal and middle ear. The tests also help diagnose if the hearing loss is conductive (occurring in the middle or outer ear) or sensorineural (connected to inner ear problems or a central processing issue within the brain).
A pure-tone air conduction test is performed to determine the quietest tones you can hear at different frequencies. The bone conduction test is similar but uses a different type of headphone to check if hearing loss exists at the outer, middle, or inner ear.
Generally, speech testing is used for adults to confirm the results of the pure-tone air test. This test determines the lowest levels at which the patient can recognize words or speech stimuli.
Dr. Fan may also perform otoscopy and tympanometry tests to examine the ear canal and check the middle ear function.
A diagnostic audiologic evaluation can last anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes and is followed by a consultation with Dr. Fan to discuss treatment options if hearing loss is confirmed.
It is advisable to have a supportive family member or friend accompany you for the evaluation to help you understand Dr. Fan’s recommendations.
You should also bring information about your medical history to the appointment so Dr. Fan can consider any relevant medication, supplements, and other physical problems (issues with balance and ringing in the ear, etc.) you may have.
The diagnostic evaluation is the best time to talk to your audiologist in detail about the options available to you and to clarify any doubts you may have about them. Note that most health insurance policies cover diagnostic audiologic evaluations. However, you may need a referral from your primary care physician to qualify for coverage.