Audiology and Hearing Aid Services
Do you have difficulty hearing people speaking to you in a normal voice? Do you have trouble understanding speech in crowded places? Is it hard to watch TV or listen to music without the volume up too high?
If you experience any of these frustrating scenarios, you may have hearing loss. Like millions of people in the country, you may have hearing loss due to one or more causes that are very common in a noisy world. The busy lifestyles Americans enjoy are accompanied by loud noise at home and out in the world enjoying life.
If this describes you, the first thing to do is call us. At Siouxland Hearing Healthcare, we understand the frustration of hearing loss and will work with you to come up with the best solution for your particular needs.
Earwax, or cerumen, is the oily substance produced by the ear to clean and collect debris. Most earwax clears itself but there are times when specific cleaning is necessary. Pharmacies sell kits to help clear earwax and these work for the most part, but the audiologists at Siouxland Hearing Healthcare can help with any cerumen problems you might have.
Custom Earmolds and Earplugs
If hearing aids are recommended, the hearing technician will describe various products that will fill your needs. Some hearing devices use earmolds that fit inside the outer ear and hold the hearing speaker device in place. Siouxland audiologists custom mold these soft rubber molds in your ears.
Earplugs are custom molded from foam injected into the ear canal. When these are removed in just a couple of minutes, they form a perfect impression of your ear canals. Hearing protection is key to hearing preservation and these earplugs are recommended for any noisy environment.
Diagnostic Audiologic Evaluations
Hearing loss has many causes and usually, we will recommend a hearing test as the first step in diagnosis and treatment. Audiometric evaluation tests your ability to understand speech and hear tones at different volume levels. Hearing involves receiving sound vibrations, passing these vibrations through sensitive parts of the ear and interpreting these vibrations in the brain. Hearing loss could involve any or all of these causes in combination, so a hearing evaluation tests the structures of the ear and sound transmittal to the brain.
Hearing Aid Evaluation and Selection
The first question most people ask when calling about a hearing test is, “Do I need hearing aids?” We fully test and diagnose hearing problems, then recommend products for our patients. Evaluations are done in several ways. The hearing test, which checks for bone and ear structure problems as well as vibration loudness, is one test. Age and the ability to tolerate inserted devices in the ears, and change small batteries, are also important.
Hearing Aid Dispensing and Fitting
If hearing aids are recommended, your new adventure in better hearing begins with a description of the amazingly small but complex electronic devices available today. Hearing aids operate like a miniature computer, many of which adjust to different hearing environments automatically, connect wirelessly to cellphones and can be adjusted by an app.
The tiniest devices fit completely in the ear canal; larger hearing aids use an earmold or sit behind the ear. All the variables are considered when determining the best product for you: size, power, cleaning and adjustments are all important factors to weigh. The initial fitting is just the beginning. Technicians adjust the volume of devices and have patients wear them for a period of time. You can return for adjustments at any time.
Hearing Aid Repairs
Like any fine electronic product, hearing aids need maintenance and cleaning. We will show you the techniques and provide supplies for this purpose. In general, hearing devices cannot get wet so are never cleaned with liquids. Most have changeable filters. A big part of owning hearing aids is battery changing. Some devices are rechargeable, but many require regular battery changes. We will show you this procedure and most people are able to do this easily.
Hearing aids can fail for different reasons. We can often diagnose a problem and repair it for you, but we also send hearing aids to authorized centers for repair.
Industrial Hearing Screenings
Workers in certain occupations are required to receive regular hearing tests due to the risk of hearing loss that can be caused by excessive noise in their workplace. These hearing screenings can be completed in less than 30 minutes and comply with the standards set by OSHA.
Live Speech Mapping
Live speech mapping is a test used to help during the hearing aid fitting process. Live speech mapping uses probe microphones and live real-time speech to allow the patient and their family members to immediately see and understand the benefits of hearing aids and fitting adjustments.
Musician's Earplugs and Monitors
Musicians have a unique place in the hearing world; they need hearing protection (this is also true for people who work in loud concert halls and clubs), but also need to hear every note at any volume. Hearing monitors for musicians protect against the loudest volumes but allow all pitches and most volumes through to the eardrums.
Behavioral and communication issues are often the first indicators of a possible hearing problem. These problems arise when a child has a hearing deficit. Pediatric audiologists diagnose speech and hearing disorders.
Tinnitus Evaluation and Management
Hearing ringing or whooshing sounds in the ears is called tinnitus. This condition is common and presents as mild to profound unwanted perceived sound. The condition is more prevalent in older people and could be the result of many years of exposure to loud noise.
There are treatments for tinnitus but no cure as yet. People often find that the use of background noise machines that mask tinnitus help them sleep. Many people are helped by hearing aids that produce a masking sound at a certain pitch and volume. “Brain training” is done to convince the portion of the brain that is processing this perceived noise that it is in the background. This often helps push the noise out of the conscious realm for patients.
VNG - Balance Evaluations
Videonystagmography evaluates the function of the vestibular portion of the inner ear for patients who are experiencing symptoms of vertigo, unsteadiness, dizziness and other balance disorders. Hearing evaluation tests are frequently combined with vestibular studies for the identification of inner ear disorders.