How many of our moments are punctuated by and populated with sounds? Applause. Songs. Laughter. In a world with so many sounds, it’s easy for many of us to take our hearing for granted. However, when a warning sign tells us that we may be dealing with hearing loss, our attention turns to finding a solution. Audiologists diagnose, test, treat and manage hearing loss and other issues related to auditory response.
At The Vancouver Clinic you’ll find a home for diagnostic testing, vestibular management, and rehabilitation, complete with an appropriate treatment designed to improve your quality of life. Our job in the Audiology Department is to make sure you continue to hear the world around you, and can effectively manage and adapt to hearing-related challenges that happen.
An audiologist is a professional who diagnoses and treats hearing and balance problems. Our audiologists have received an Au.D. (Doctorate in Audiology). Audiologists are trained to diagnose, manage and treat hearing or balance problems for individuals from birth through adulthood.
After considering a patient’s history and performing a visual inspection of the outer ear, the audiologist will perform an audiological evaluation composed of a series of tests. The results of the audiological evaluation are a critical factor in helping to determine the need for hearing aid(s), the type of hearing aid(s) and whether one or two aids are needed. The audiologist will review the results of your evaluation and provide various options and recommendations for remediation, if needed.
If you answered “YES” to any of the above statements, you may have hearing loss and should have your hearing evaluated. The Vancouver Clinic Audiology Services are offered at our Salmon Creek and Columbia Tech Center locations. Please call (360) TVC-APPT (882-2778) to make an appointment.
Hearing aids are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, from instruments that fit behind the ear to instruments that totally fit within the ear canal and are minimally visible. Electronic circuitry has advanced significantly in the recent past, allowing patients greater sound comfort and improved speech recognition in noisy situations, to name a few. Digital and programmable hearing aids, which are adjusted via a computer connection, provide the most flexibility, allowing the audiologist to custom fit the response of the device to a specific hearing loss. Digital hearing aids can be modified if hearing changes or as your listening needs change. Your audiologist will help you choose the best instrument according to your needs and your budget.
Hearing aids are medical devices, not commodities. They need to be accurately programmed and it’s not easy to fit hearing aids, even if you have an accurate hearing test (which is essential) and have chosen appropriate hearing aids. They have to fit the contours of your ears very well, like dentures fit your mouth. They are usually fit on ears with nerve damage, while eyeglasses are fit on eyes with normal nerves, so they won’t correct your hearing as well as glasses will correct your vision. It takes significantly longer to get used to wearing hearing aids than it does to eyeglasses, so counseling about expectations is important.
Our audiologists have received an Au.D. (Doctorate in Audiology) and work closely with our ENT providers.
There are any number of warning signs that point to hearing loss, from difficulty having conversations over the telephone, to trouble understanding people when there is noise in the background. At The Vancouver Clinic, expect a full range of treatments for hearing-related problems and disorders, no matter how old you are or how recent your condition. Also, you can expect that we’ll work with other departments such Ear, Nose & Throat and Physical Therapy, to build and follow the right rehabilitation plan for you.