Audiology and Hearing Aid Services
Lamorinda Audiology provides many services for adult patients to help improve their hearing.
Diagnostic Audiometric Evaluations:
Hearing Health Questionnaire
I always start by asking a series of questions to determine what your hearing difficulties are as well if you have any other related symptoms.
Next a visual inspection of your ear canal is performed. This can show me if you have an accumulation of ear wax that is building up in your canal, or if there is anything else that might require referral back to your physician.
This is an examination used to test the function of the middle ear and how well the ear drum moves. The next part of the exam tests the reflexes of a muscle in your ear which contracts when exposed to moderately loud sounds. The final part is called an acoustic reflex decay test. A moderately loud tone is applied for ten seconds and is used to give more information on the health of your acoustic reflex pathway.
Distortion product otoacoustic emissions
This test is used to determine the health of the outer hair cells in the inner ear (cochlea). Otoacoustic emissions are acoustic signals generated by the inner ear normally when acoustic stimulation is not present (spontaneous emissions) or in response to an acoustic stimulation. When these hair cells are healthy, they will make a noise in response to a stimulus. A small microphone is placed in the ear canal to monitor your ears response during testing.
Also performed in the booth, you will be asked to repeat words from a standardized list. Results gathered from this test in conjunction with pure tone results can help determine the usefulness of amplification.
Pure tone audiometry
This test takes place in my brightly lit, spacious sound proof booth which features a full height glass door and sizeable window. Here you will be played a series of beeps of various frequencies. The goal is to find out what the softest sounds are that you can hear.
Hearing Aid Evaluation
After going over results and if you are found to be a candidate for amplification, you will be asked more questions about your daily life. The purpose is to find out what your unique requirements are in different hearing situations. The information is then used to determine the level of technology that is appropriate for you. Do you enjoy gardening at your home in Walnut Creek? Go golfing often in Orinda? Attend busy social functions frequently in Lafayette? All of these small details determine how the level of technology for your hearing aids is selected.
Hearing Aid Fitting
Once the appropriate devices have been ordered and received, you will be called in to take delivery of your new hearing aids. During this visit, your devices are configured for your exact hearing loss, and then fine-tuned to ensure you are receiving the maximum benefit. It typically takes on average two to three visits to keep adjusting the hearing aids based on your feedback. Unlike wearing a new pair of glasses, there is a longer period of adaptation as your brain is reintroduced to sounds you have been missing. Some things might sound unnatural to you from the time of the first fit, but over the course of several days to a few weeks, you will begin to adapt to new sounds. This is best accomplished by wearing your devices during your waking hours. The longer you wear them, the faster you will adapt.
After one year from your last hearing test, it is strongly recommended to come in for another evaluation. This is done to ensure that your devices are set properly according to your hearing loss, should a change occur.
Probe Microphone Measures
Probe Microphone Measures are a series of tests performed during your hearing aid fitting process. It essentially allows me to calibrate your devices optimally to the unique acoustic properties of your external ear and ear canal.
Hearing Aid Maintenance
Your hearing aids are an investment. The better you can take care of them, the longer they will last to serve you. Much like your car, hearing aids require periodic maintenance to ensure that they are working at their peak performance. You can help by brushing off the vital components of your devices. This is best done the morning after they have been worn so any ear wax will have solidified to be brushed off. Additionally there are various acoustic filters (depending on make/model) that will need to be periodically replaced. You will know when this happens because the sound output may be weak or absent altogether. Rubber domes that are placed down the ear canal have a tendency to wear out as well. These can be replaced as needed.
If you cannot avoid excess noise, reduce it! Earplugs and custom hearing protection decrease the amount of the sound travelling to your ear and should always be worn when working with or near power tools, firearms, heavy machinery, etc.
Evaluation and Fitting for Musician's Ear Plugs
Musicians practice and perform in a variety of different settings. They are exposed to high levels of sound, sometimes for long periods, which may put them at risk for permanent hearing damage. Musician’s ear plugs are custom-made devices that help to limit the sound exposure from instruments, while still providing a rich musical experience for the performer or audience.
About Lamorinda Audiology:
Located in the heart of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area in the city of Lafayette, California, Lamorinda Audiology was founded with the idea that quality patient care would be a priority. In today’s world where hustle and bustle is more of the norm than an exception, a visit to the doctor’s office is often rushed. Having been in situations like this, I knew that I could not offer such an experience. Whenever I had a Doctor spend enough time to listen to my concerns and explain everything I needed to know clearly, I loved the visit so much more. Whether you are in Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda or the surrounding area, I am close enough to help you.