Comprehensive hearing evaluations using both pure tone testing and speech testing identifies hearing disorders that interfere with daily activity and communication. Testing determines whether the problem is related to middle ear pathology (ear infection) or nerve (sensory) pathology. Speech testing reveals the hearing systems ability to discriminate and understand speech in a controlled quiet environment. Any result that may indicate a medical problem is referred to an appropriate physician for further evaluation.
Child/Infant Hearing Evaluations(test)
Age appropriate methods of testing will be used to determine if there is any degree of hearing loss and if the hearing loss is temporary (ear infection or fluid) or a more permanent sensorineural hearing loss. Children use play audiometry to determine pure tone thresholds. For those not old enough to understand play audiometry, visual reinforcement audiometry is utilized. The use of mechanical toys is used to amuse and entertain, while testing is conducted. Results reveal degree and type of hearing loss. Any result that requires medical attention is referred to the appropriate physician for evaluation.
Hearing Aid Evaluations and Fittings
Each patient discusses with the audiologist the many aspects of hearing aids before making a decision. Dr. Kaye discusses style (in the ear, behind the ear, Receiver in the ear, etc…), and the pros and cons of each style as it relates to each individual. Dr. Kaye then discusses the differences between technology levels and what is and is not appropriate based on hearing loss, life style and other personal factors. A demonstration of accessories that accompany today’s devices is provided if necessary. Once the patient lifestyle has been assessed and discussed, an educated decision can be made in regards to the hearing device.
During a hearing aid fitting, Dr. Kaye makes all necessary adjustments to ensure comfort, audibility and usability of the device. Demonstrations are done to ensure that each patient can insert and remove the device without difficulty, insert and remove the battery, and make program and/or volume changes. Dr. Kaye spends time giving instructions on the use of the devices and what to expect over the first month.
Tinnitus Evaluations and Intervention
After an initial hearing evaluation, further testing is conducted to determine the pitch of the tinnitus (ringing), and the loudness of the tinnitus. Once this is determined, Dr. Kaye discusses how the tinnitus affects the patient’s ability to sleep, work and socialize. Intervention is based on the level of discomfort that the patient is experiencing. Solutions range from simply adding a sound machine to a bedroom, to referral to acupuncturist or message therapist for proven treatment for severe tinnitus.
Auditory Processing Evaluations
First a standard hearing evaluation is conducted to ensure hearing is within normal limits. An auditory processing evaluation uses a variety of tests designed to stress the auditory system and assess various auditory functions of the brain. A battery of tests is used to look at several sub-categories in making a determination of a processing disorder. The test selection depends on a number of factors, including the age of the child, the specific auditory difficulties, and the cognitive status of the child. Testing is usually most appropriate for children over 7 years old.
Hearing Aid Repairs
As much as possible in office repairs are attempted to limit time without devices. If an in office repair is not possible, the hearing aid is sent to the manufacturer for service. If under warranty there is no charge for the repair. Hearing aids out of warranty will incur a repair charge.
Assistive Listening Devices
Assistive devices are any device that aids in hearing other than a hearing aid. The most common assistive device is an amplified telephone, with a documented hearing loss, Illinois residents are entitled to a free amplified phone supplied by the state and FCC. Television amplifiers, amplified doorbells, smoke detectors, alarm clocks, etc…. are all examples of assistive devices.
Swim and Musician Plugs
Swim plugs keep water out of the ear during bathing, swimming or other water activities. These are custom made for each patient and come in many fun and exciting colors for adults and children. Musicians and noise plugs are available as well. These are also custom made and can be geared toward music, or recreational noise. These are great for adults and children (great for high school band members).