Audiology Services in Madison
Which hearing test is the best?
Can I test my own hearing?
Although it is possible to test your own hearing through online hearing tests, it is not advised. These tests may seem appealing because they are quick and can be conducted from the comfort of your own home, but the results provided are not comprehensive and won’t tell you if you have underlying causes that should be treated – or even which hearing aids are correct for your hearing loss, listening needs, and lifestyle.
The bottom line is that diagnosing hearing loss is complex, and is best done at an audiology office where trained hearing professionals can provide you with a thorough evaluation, and advise you on the right treatment plan for your hearing needs.
Are online hearing tests any good?
Online hearing tests are widely available, and although they are advertised to be a quick way to test your own hearing, they do not provide a reliable evaluation. Taking an online hearing test does not result in comprehensive results or context, which means you won’t be provided a clear path forward on how to address your hearing loss. They typically don’t show how well you are able to hear speech in a noisy environment, which is an important aspect of hearing. If you choose to purchase an over-the-counter hearing device based on online test results, chances are your selection will either over or under-correct your hearing loss. You may also miss out on the diagnosis of an underlying condition that requires treatment. Relying on online hearing tests alone can have long-term, negative impacts on your hearing health.
Should I go to an audiologist for tinnitus?
Is tinnitus a brain problem?
What happens if tinnitus is not treated?
Ear Wax Removal
What is the best way to remove ear wax?
In most cases, removal of earwax is not necessary. Although people tend to think earwax indicates poor hygiene, the reality is that earwax is necessary for the health of your ear.
If, however, earwax over accumulates, it can cause a blockage, which may impact your hearing. A trained audiologist can assist by evaluating your ear and safely removing the earwax with the proper tools to ensure that the earwax is removed, and not pushed farther into the ear canal. If you think you have an earwax blockage, make an appointment with us at Alabama Hearing Associates for proper treatment!
Do ear candles work?
What does dark brown ear wax mean?
Real Ear Measurement
Are real-ear measurements necessary?
How long does real ear measurement take?
Which instrument can be used for REM measurement?
Hearing Aid Fitting
How long does it take to get fitted for a hearing aid?
How does an audiologist fit a hearing aid?
At Alabama Hearing Associates, our audiologists use real ear measurement (REM) to fit your new hearing aids. Not every audiology practice completes this process, but they should, as it is the best practice to ensure long-term hearing aid satisfaction.
Utilizing a probe microphone, our audiologists make measurements with your hearing aid in place and then compare the results to specific targets. Incremental changes are made to the programming of your hearing aid, so that the sounds you hear are comfortable when soft, medium, and loud. Using REM allows us to know that your hearing aids are programmed properly for your unique hearing loss.
Can you get a hearing aid without a test?
Hearing Aid Batteries
Hearing aid batteries can be rechargeable or disposable. They also come in a variety of different sizes, depending on the hearing aid selected. At your hearing aid fitting at Alabama Hearing Associates, you will learn how to handle and maintain your specific hearing aid batteries properly.
What is the 5-minute rule for hearing aid batteries?
How long does a battery last on a hearing aid?
Why are my hearing aid batteries dying so fast?
If you believe your hearing aid batteries are dying faster than they should, consider the following four tips to increase battery life:
- Do not remove the tab from the battery until you are ready to install the battery in the hearing aid. Once it is removed, wait 5 minutes, and then place it in the hearing aid.
- Avoid storing your hearing aids or batteries in a bathroom, as the moisture can reduce battery life.
- Open the battery door when you are not using your hearing aid to allow any moisture to escape.
- Minimize your use of external accessories – such as streaming – directly to your hearing aids.
Auditory Processing Disorder Treatment
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) occurs when the brain doesn’t interpret sounds in the typical way. Our audiologists at Alabama Hearing Associates can diagnose APD through advanced listening tests. Although a cure does not exist for APD, a specific treatment plan can be formed to help improve communication.
How can auditory processing be improved?
Though a cure for auditory processing disorder does not exist, improvements to its symptoms can be made with an individualized treatment plan. Children generally benefit from classroom support, including utilizing hearing assistive technology and moving the student closer to the front of the class. They may also benefit from written and/or picture-based instructions in addition to the verbal instruction typically provided. Sound recognition and conversation skills can be improved through speech therapy. Auditory training provides exercises to determine where sound is coming from and to focus on certain sounds even with background noise present. Finally, changes to the home environment – such as avoiding fan use – may also be helpful.
Does medication help auditory processing?
Auditory processing disorder is caused by a neurological issue, so medications are generally not helpful. However, treatment options do exist to improve communication. For example, hearing assistive technology and speech therapy can both be implemented to help with sound perception. Active listening skills can be taught to help individuals with APD compensate for listening difficulties. Re-evaluating the environment and removing noise-generating items, such as air purifiers, can be beneficial. Working with one of our audiologists, a speech-language pathologist and/or a psychologist to develop and implement a treatment plan often yields successful improvements for both children and adults with APD.
How do they fix auditory processing disorder in adults?
Although auditory processing disorder is generally identified in childhood, it can also be diagnosed in an adult. Our audiologists at Alabama Hearing Associates can correctly identify APD in adults and offer customized treatment options. Auditory training through speech-language therapy can be beneficial, especially when coupled with assistive listening devices. In addition, coping strategies – such as avoiding environments with significant background noise, or learning how to lip read – may be helpful. If hearing loss is present, our audiologists can prescribe hearing aids as a valuable treatment option.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss Treatment
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most commonly experienced type of hearing loss. It is caused by damage to the hair cells in the inner ear or to the auditory nerve, which connects the inner ear to the brain. The severity of sensorineural hearing loss varies from mild to profound and is often caused by aging, but it can also be the result of a tumor, medication side-effect, viral infection, head trauma, or exposure to loud noise. Our audiologists at Alabama Hearing Associates can diagnose and appropriately treat sensorineural hearing loss.
Can sensorineural hearing loss be corrected?
Sensorineural hearing loss is not reversible, but treatment options are available to improve hearing. A thorough hearing examination conducted by one of our audiologists will first identify the cause and severity of the hearing loss. This information is then used to create a specific treatment plan for the patient. Most commonly, hearing aids are prescribed and programmed for the exact hearing loss being experienced. If medication, infection, or exposure to loud noises is causing the hearing loss, our audiologists will work with the patient to identify ways to avoid further damage. This may mean a change in medication or adding hearing protection.
Will sensorineural hearing loss get worse over time?
If your sensorineural hearing loss is caused by age-related or genetic factors, it is likely that your hearing will continue to degrade. This progression with age is common, so regular hearing checks at our office are essential to ensure your hearing aids can be reprogrammed appropriately to meet your ongoing listening needs.
While sensorineural hearing loss that is caused by loud noise exposure or medication is also permanent, it may be possible to prevent further decline. Checking in with your physician about changing medications, or consulting with our audiologists at Alabama Hearing Associates about utilizing hearing protection can help you preserve the hearing you have.
How do you prevent further sensorineural hearing loss?
Loud noise exposure is the most common preventable form of sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is not reversible, so it is best to prevent it as much as possible. Avoiding loud sounds by turning down the volume or moving away from the source of the sound is recommended. If you must work in a noisy environment, consider utilizing hearing protection, which will help reduce the sound to a safe level. Keep in mind that you may be exposing yourself to unsafe loud sounds in your home environment as well. Consider wearing hearing protection when mowing the lawn or using a power tool, such as a power saw.