We can evaluate and diagnose hearing loss and vestibular (balance) disorders by using the tests listed below. We also have a program for assessing and treating individuals with tinnitus (noise in the ear, such as ringing).
- Adult Hearing Evaluations
- Child Hearing Evaluations
- Newborn & Infant Hearing Evaluations
- Industrial Hearing Screenings
- Dizzy & Balance Evaluations
- Signs & Causes of Hearing Loss
- Tinnitus Management Program
Adult Hearing Evaluations
Pure tone and speech testing is obtained in one of four soundproof booths. Testing is completed by having the patient respond to sounds and/or repeat words. From the testing, our audiologists are able to determine which pitches (frequencies) and speech sounds you are experiencing trouble with. We are able to tell you the type and degree of hearing loss present in both ears.
Child Hearing Evaluations
Children can begin to be tested in the soundproof booths as early as 9 months. Visual Reinforcement Audiometry looks at the child’s developmental awareness to sounds. A child sits with a parent in the booth and a toy lights up to reward the child every time they turn to a presented sound.
For children up to age 5, Conditioned Play Audiometry is done. The hearing test is made into a game and is the most reliable way of testing younger children. Hearing testing is completed as part of pre-school and kindergarten screenings, to rule of hearing loss as a cause of speech delay, and post-operatively when PE tubes are placed.
Newborn & Infant Hearing Evaluations
The state of Minnesota mandates that all newborns have a newborn hearing screening to identify hearing loss as soon as possible. The initial screening is completed at the hospital. If an infant fails this screening, our office is able to determine if there is hearing loss in either ear. Our office provides an initial rescreen and, if needed, further testing to determine a hearing loss.
Infants begin recognizing familiar sounds and your voice by the age of 4 months. Untreated hearing loss in an infant can lead to significant speech and language delays. The earlier hearing loss is recognized and treated, the better the speech and language outcomes. Infants can be tested two ways, with ABR or OAE. Neither of these tests will harm the child.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) determines the extent of peripheral hearing an infant has by tracking how sound goes from the ear up to the brainstem.
Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) testing is used as a screening test to tell if the hair cells in the inner ear are structurally working. It does not tell the amount of hearing present, but does identify if hearing loss may be present.
Industrial Hearing Screenings
OSHA mandates that any worker who is exposed to 85 dBA or greater of noise wear hearing protection and have their hearing monitored. Persistent noise exposure is one of the major causes of hearing loss in adults.
Our clinic provides follow up services for employers who need retesting of their employees. This may be due to a shift in hearing or if the employee was absent on the day of hearing testing. Contact our office if your business needs follow up care for noise exposed employees.
Dizzy & Balance Evaluations
Due to the many causes of dizziness, a specific diagnosis can be difficult for physicians to make. In the past, physicians have had difficulty providing their patients with the answers they seek. Now, with the advantage of new and enhanced balance and dizziness (vestibular) testing, we are better able to unravel the mystery of dizziness.
We use specialized equipment which is used to determine the underlying cause(s) of your dizziness. The tests we use help define the cause of your balance or dizziness problem and help customize treatment for maximum benefit.
If you have experienced a recent fall, feel unsteady on your feet, have spells of dizziness, or have other reason to believe you might have a balance problem, you should talk to your doctor. While your family physician may not be a balance specialist, he or she can refer you to our clinic for a further assessment and treatment.
Causes & Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be caused by:
- Inherited genetic conditions
- Physical changes in the ear due to age
- Exposure to loud noises
- Injury or infection that damages the middle or inner ear
- Impaction of ear wax in the ear canal
- Congenital malformations of the inner ear
- Taking medications known to harm the hearing system
- Heart or circulation problems
- Unknown causes
Signs of Hearing Loss
- Require people to frequently repeat themselves
- People sound muffled or like they are mumbling
- Have difficulties in conversations with more than 2 people
- Women and children are difficult to understand
- Family is complaining the TV is too loud
- Can’t understand unless the person is facing you
- Feel like you can hear but you just can’t understand
- Ringing or buzzing in the ears
Tinnitus Management Program
The Hearing Clinic is proud to be offering the Progressive Tinnitus Management (PTM) program. This program is tailored to the patient’s individual patterns of impairment and functional needs helping them learn strategies to help manage and better cope with their tinnitus. This is a comprehensive evaluation and intervention for tinnitus which sometimes incorporates an inter-disciplinary approach of care through consultation with other specialties if needed.
Please contact us to schedule an appointment.