At Audiology Associates, we’re different for many reasons (see our services and experience). Importantly, we always focus on your unique hearing situation. We want you to be comfortable as we help you understand your options. At Audiology Associates, you receive a level of expertise and experience unmatched in Northern Colorado.
Your first appointment:
Schedule your appointment
This is sometimes the most difficult part of your hearing journey. Now that you’re ready to make the appointment, call our office. Your first visit should take about an hour. It is important to bring someone else with you to be sure you both clearly understand the information we provide.
History and Examination of the Ear
During your first visit, we review your hearing health history and answer your preliminary questions. Then we conduct an ear examination with the microscope to eliminate the possibility that ear wax is causing your hearing loss and observe any other issues in the ear that require a referral to your physician. If the ear canals are clear, we will move you into our sound-treated room for your hearing evaluation.
The Hearing Evaluation
We will explain how the hearing examination works, answer your questions, and insert headphones in your ear canal. The air and bone conduction tonal tests, speech test, and otoacoustic emissions are comfortable, relatively quick and conducted in the sound treated environment.
Assessment of Air Conduction Tones
First, you’ll hear some tones and simply push a button whenever you hear a sound. This portion of the evaluation tells the audiologist the degree, configuration of the hearing impairment, if there is one.
Assessment of Speech
After the tones are assessed, some distinct words will be presented to you so that hearing is checked for speech levels and a short assessment of speech comprehension will be conducted. The speech assessment provides reliability and validity to the assessment of the tones.
Assessment of Bone Conduction Tones
Bone conduction will then be assessed. This test consists of listening for tones through the bones of the skull. From the bone conduction assessment the audiologist can determine if the hearing impairment is in the outer ear, the middle ear or the inner ear.
Otoacoustic Emissions Testing
Otoacoustic Emissions are a relatively new portion of the hearing evaluation and not often conducted in most clinics on adults. This assessment, however, verifies the tonal and speech testing. This test takes about two minutes on each ear and tones to the inner ear and under some conditions we obtain tones back from the inner ear and in other situations there are no tones received. For the otoacoustic emission portion of the evaluation you do not have to respond as these are objective measurements that tell us how the cochlear (inner ear) is functioning at various frequencies.
Acoustic Immittance Testing
This is a test of the outer and middle ear that involves looks at how the eardrum moves and if there are holes in the eardrum that cannot be seen with the microscope. Additionally, there are muscle contractions that are assessed in the middle ear to determine if there is abnormal loudness difficult that could be an issue with amplification or certain auditory disorders. For this evaluation these assessments are measurements and do not require patient responses.
Discussing the Hearing Evaluation
At this point, we will explain the results of the hearing evaluation to you and answer your questions. At the end of this 15-20 minute conversation, you will understand the tests that were conducted, why they were performed, and the results of each individual assessment and the results of the overall hearing evaluation. Then we discuss what happens next: whether you need further evaluation, referral, or hearing aids. If hearing aids are deemed necessary, we will present all hearing aid options and explain which types and styles will best accommodate your situation. We will discuss the fitting process, as well as prices and terms. We offer a 30 day return policy after your fitting. Our promise is that we will find the correct devices that provide great benefit, or you will receive a full refund.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the process or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you achieve a better quality of life though improved hearing!