Audiology is simply another term used in studies related to hearing, balance, and disorders related to this.
How hearing works?
Our ears pick up sounds and pass them along to the middle ear and the inner ear. The hearing sense organ in the inner ear then sends the signals to the brain via the hearing nerves. The brain then processes the information and makes sense of what is being heard.
Causes of hearing loss
Hearing loss can be caused due to problems in the outer ear, middle ear or the inner ear. Some of the common causes are listed below:
- Outer Ear
- Wax build up
- Foreign body
- Infections of the auditory canal
- Middle Ear
- Perforation of the ear drum
- Fluid behind the eardrum
- Otosclerosis (stiffening of the bones in the middle ear)
- Inner Ear
- Exposure to loud noise
- Influence of certain medications
Take a simple quiz
A hearing loss may be holding you back from enjoying life to the fullest….
- Do you frequently ask people to repeat themselves?
- Do you sometimes feel that you can hear people but not understand them? Especially women and children’s voice? You misinterpret words like “time and “dime” and “cake” and “bake”?
- Is it difficult to follow conversations in a restaurant or at family gatherings?
- Do you have any ringing, buzzing, humming or roaring sounds?
- Does your spouse think your TV/radio volume is too loud?
- Do you have trouble talking on the phone?
What to expect during your visit?
Congratulations for taking this important step towards improving the quality of your life. The goal of the visit is to help you understand hearing loss and what it means to you and how it affects your everyday listening in quiet and more demanding situations. We educate you about every step involved in customizing a hearing solution that is right for you. We recommend bringing a friend or a family member to share the experience with you.
Meet the expert
Dr. Alice Wilson is our Board Certified audiologist with 27 years of experience by the American Board of Audiology, (ABA), a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, (F-AAA), is licensed in audiology and hearing aids in Virginia and the District of Columbia, and holds a current Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology, (CCC-A), from the American Speech Hearing and Language Association, (ASHA), and was awarded the Audiology Scholarship Award by the American Academy of Audiology.
Measuring your hearing
It is a simple test procedure measuring your hearing ability through a range of frequency. Typically a human ear hears a range 20Hz to 20,000Hz, most of the speech sounds and environmental sounds are concentrated between 250Hz and 8,000Hz. The test assesses the softest level at which you can hear tones within this frequency range. As a part of the test, you will be asked to repeat words to determine how well you understand speech at a comfortable volume level.
In some cases, further testing may be recommended to rule out the involvement of other medical problems associated with hearing loss. Based on the hearing test results if it is recommended that you are a good candidate for hearing aids, then our audiologist will guide you through the process of selecting the right hearing aid based on your hearing needs, lifestyle needs, and budget.
Testing is performed to study the functioning of the balance system and to differentially diagnose the cause of vertigo/dizziness.
Videonystagmography (VNG) Test Instructions
You have been scheduled for an evaluation of your balance mechanism. The tests will involve moving the head and body into different positions, as well as stimulating both ears with cool and warm air. If you have any problems with your back and/or neck, please inform us prior to the beginning of the evaluation. Many people experience dizziness at some point during testing. Although the dizziness is brief, 2 minutes or so, some people will have a period of unsteadiness immediately afterward. These tests usually take 1 ½ to 2 hours to complete.
Certain medications and all alcoholic beverages affect the results of these tests. In order to ensure accurate results of your testing and to avoid having to reschedule your appointment, we ask that you follow the instructions listed below.
- Eat, drink, or smoke for 3 hours before testing
- Take medications for dizziness, colds, or allergies for 2 days (48 hours) before testing
- Drink alcoholic beverages for 2 days (48 hours) before testing
- Wear eye makeup (mascara, eye shadow, or eye liner)
It is imperative that you avoid the following items for 2 days (48 hours) before your test:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Sleeping Pills
- Pain Medications
- Muscle Relaxants
- Anti-Dizziness Medications
- Anti-Nausea Medications
- All Narcotics
- All Cold or Allergy Mediations
- Take your medicine for heart problems, blood pressure, or seizures on your normal schedule
- Wear pants and flat shoes
- Have someone available to take you home after the test
Please do not discontinue the use of prescription medications without checking with the prescribing physician. If you cannot stop taking a medication listed above, please contact the audiologist prior to your appointment.
Overview on today’s technology
Hearing aids are dated back to the 17th century; the first hearing aid was called the Trumpet ear. In the recent years, the hearing aid’s technology has significantly improved. Today all hearing aids are digital and are customized precisely to one’s hearing needs at each individual frequency band. Because of the precise customization, the quality of speech is more natural and the background noises are more comfortable.
Types and styles
In-the-ear hearing aids:
Hearing aids of this style are custom made for the shape of individual ear canals for better comfort. The custom hearing aids can be very small and fit deeper in the ear are virtually invisible. These hearing aids are suitable for a mild to moderate hearing loss.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids:
Hearing aids of this style sit behind the ear and are suitable for all ranges of hearing loss. With the sleek design and variety of colors the hearing aid blends in well with the skin color or the hair color.
Hearing aids are customized to individual’s hearing needs, lifestyle needs and financial budget. The needs for someone with a quiet lifestyle vary from needs for someone with a very active lifestyle. The hearing aids are selected based on each individual hearing goal.
Most insurance do not pay towards hearing aids. Check with your insurance provider to verify hearing aid benefit. We do accept all major credit cards and provide affordable payment options through CareCredit.
Custom ear plugs are designed to protect your ears from water, loud noise, and loud music or just to enjoy a peaceful sleep without being interrupted.
- Swim plugs
- Noise plugs
- Music plugs
- Shooting plugs
- Sleep plugs
- Surfing plugs
- Motorsport plugs
- Communication plugs
Tinnitus refers to a sound heard in in the absence of external sound source; it is commonly described as ringing, buzzing, roaring, hissing. About 30% of adults experience tinnitus at some time or other and 10-15% experience prolonged tinnitus. Tinnitus is a symptom and is most commonly associated with hearing loss.
- Ear wax
- Hearing loss
- Noise exposure
- Head injury
- Increased caffeine intake
- Medication/drugs (aspirin, aspirin-related products, diuretic, antibiotics)
Since tinnitus is a symptom, the treatment focuses on eliminating the essential cause. At present there is no definite medical cure for tinnitus, some of the common methods of treatment focus on relieving the symptom and the anxiety and distress associated with tinnitus.
Tinnitus masker is a device that produces white noise or pink noise to distract the brain from focusing on the tinnitus; this, in turn, helps eliminate some of the stress and anxiety.
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