Park Place Hearing Center

Comprehensive Hearing Assessments

Your Comprehensive Hearing Assessment Leads to Comprehensive Hearing Care

"Having increased hearing ability has made my life more pleasant"

Patrick

Hearing loss is the third most common physical health condition in the US and the World Health Organization predicts that it will double in the next 30 years. Although most people make regular dental check-ups, eye exams, blood pressure checks, and annual physicals a priority, they tend to put-off hearing tests.

Hearing loss comes on gradually, making day-to-day changes unnoticeable, which is why millions of people continue to go about their daily routine with an undiagnosed hearing loss that continues to deteriorate. 

For this reason, you should place regular hearing tests higher on your list of healthcare priorities.

A diagnostic hearing assessment is crucial in determining your degree of hearing loss and serves as a gateway to identify the most appropriate treatment for your unique condition.

After your comprehensive hearing assessment, your audiologist will work with you to explore various treatment options and design comprehensive hearing care to address your unique needs.

Tinnitus assessment
Dennis Tobin with patient
Reviews

  • Oceana T.
    - Google

    I Love Park Place Hearing. From the moment I walked in 6-7 years ago there was an aura of knowing that I found the right place. And I have never doubted it. Dennis gives my all the time I need until I have no more questions to ask. He is patient and knowledgeable and I leave his office satisfied and complete. I've worn aids for years and it's head and shoulders above the hearing centers I've been to.
    .
    Oceana T.
    Petaluma
    10/8/2020

    Teri R.
    positive review 
    - Facebook

    Park Place in San Rafael is very convenient right off HW 101 at the Northgate Shopping Center exit, east side of the freeway. The staff is very cordial and professional, little to no waiting when you arrive. My audiologist is friendly and helpful and I LOVE my hearing aids. Thank you for the wonderful service!

  • Julia M.
    5 star rating
    - Yelp

    COVID story -- a good one. My husband is immunosuppressed and his doctors have told me not to go into public buildings unless they are very clean and I trust the occupants to have worn masks in them. When I had a sore ear and was concerned about asymmetric hearing loss, Laura said she'd meet me in the parking lot to take a look in my ear (with a face shield on). When nothing showed up, she gave me a hearing test inside -- after sanitizing all the surfaces and letting me know the people who worked there always wore masks. I decided to do it. It was quick and painless -- and I'm grateful she did it (no charge!) because I was re-assured.

    Nancy G.
    positive review 
    - Facebook

    Everyone there is professional....and they care!! Starting at the front desk, Jocelyn works with you for appointments and she is just plain nice. I happen to get Laura Dundas as my audiologist. She went the extra mile and found out that my hearing aid, which I got in another state, warranty was still valid!!! That saved me hundred of dollars. She is a real professional testing the hearing aid device and making sure it works for you. I highly recommend Park Place Hearing Center!!

What You Can Expect During Your Hearing Assessment

Not knowing what to expect is one reason you might be avoiding a hearing test. However, hearing tests are non-intrusive, quick, and easy, requiring about a half an hour to complete. There are four parts to your hearing assessment.

1. Initial Consultation

The first part of your hearing assessment involves an initial consultation. This is essentially a conversation about your family history, medications you take, your occupation, hobbies and common activities you enjoy, and concerns related to your hearing issues.

The purpose of this conversation is to allow you to inform your audiologist of various environmental, genetic, medical, and lifestyle activities as potential causes of hearing loss. This information, along with testing, are factors considered in your treatment options.

It is often helpful to bring along someone who is very well acquainted with your condition to help fill in information you might leave out.

2. Physical Examination of Your Ears

After our conversation, your audiologist will begin with a physical examination with an otoscope, which is essentially a magnifying glass with a tapered tip and a tiny light. With the otoscope, your audiologist will be able to identify growths or tumors in the ear canal as well as wax, bugs, and other obstructions that might be reducing your capacity to conduct sound to the middle and inner ear.

3. Tests

Once your audiologist has examined your ears, you will be placed into a soundproof booth or room and fitted with a set of headphones to undergo a series of tests, which might include any or all of the following:

  • Pure-tone test
  • Bone conduction test
  • Speech recognition test
  • Acoustic-reflex test

In some cases, your audiologist might consider additional tests in order to further identify or isolate the cause of an impairment or hearing loss.

4. Discussion of Results

Once you have finished the series of tests, your audiologist will bring you back to the office to discuss the results of your hearing assessment. During this time, you will learn the extent of your hearing loss as well as the various options available for treating your condition.

Your input during this discussion is an essential part of creating a plan for comprehensive hearing care best suited to meet your hearing needs as well as your personal preferences and lifestyle concerns.

Although hearing aids are among the treatment options, medications, minor outpatient procedures, tinnitus management, changes to your prescription medications, or a referral to another specialist are also among the possible solutions to a hearing loss issue. If no permanent hearing loss was identified during testing, your audiologist might recommend hearing protection or prescribe preventative measures to prevent future damage.

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Types of Tests and How They Help to Identify Your Hearing Loss

There are various types of tests used in a comprehensive hearing assessment. The design of each one is to identify a specific element of your hearing loss so that your audiologist can provide treatment options that target your specific condition.

Pure-Tone Testing

Pure-tone testing, often called air conduction testing or simply a “hearing test,” transmits sounds through your outer and middle ear. Its purpose is to determine the quietest sound you can hear at different pitches, or frequencies. Earphones allow your audiologist to test one ear at a time, identifying the specific hearing threshold for each ear.

Bone Conduction Testing

When pure-tone testing reveals hearing loss, your audiologist will fit you with a different type of headset, known as a bone vibrator. This headset transmits sounds directly to the inner ear, bypassing the outer and middle ear. Its purpose is to determine your specific type of hearing loss. When sounds are heard better using bone conduction, your hearing loss is conductive in nature and is located in the outer or middle ear. Sounds heard at equal levels using both pure-tone and bone conduction tests indicate a sensorineural loss.

Speech Testing

In addition to tests that use tones, your audiologist will perform tests that evaluate your ability to discriminate between spoken tones and various words. During this test, you will be asked to repeat the words you hear in various environmental conditions and background noises from silent to extremely loud. These tests further clarify your hearing thresholds in real-world application.

Acoustic-Reflex or Tympanometry Testing

Acoustic-reflex testing helps your audiologist to evaluate the status of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) as well as other middle ear structures. Tympanometry testing measures the movement of the eardrum as it responds to a transmitted sound along with its movement when pressure changes are applied. Its purpose is to isolate problems with your eardrum or middle ear structures.

Real Ear Measurement 

Real ear measurement is the measurement of sound pressure levels in a patient’s ear canal that develops when a hearing aid is worn. We measure this using a silicone probe tube which is inserted into the ear canal and connected to a microphone outside of the ear.

This verifies that the hearing aid is providing suitable amplification on an individual basis. 

Additional Tests

In some unique circumstances, your audiologist may consider additional tests to better identify the cause of your hearing loss. One of those additional tests is an otoacoustic emissions (OAE) test. Its purpose is to assess the function of the cochlea. When your hearing is normal or near normal, OAEs are present, but they are absent if there is a problem with the cochlea. Auditory brainstem response (ABR) is another test used to measure hearing sensitivity and evaluate the efficiency of the neural pathways to transmit sound within the brainstem. Its purpose is to help rule out auditory-neurological problems.

Park Place Hearing Center

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Diagnosing a hearing problem is your first vital step toward regaining the independent and rewarding lifestyle you are missing due to hearing loss. Discussing your concerns openly and honestly with your audiologist during your hearing assessment enhances the accuracy of the diagnosis and greater precision when it comes to treatment

If you or a loved one do not seem to be hearing as well as you used to, your best option is to schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment to find out why you’re struggling.

Park Place Hearing Center

Local Journeys to Better Hearing

What ReSound Hearing Aids Can Do for You

ReSound is among the hearing aid manufacturers that provide the instruments you can choose from. Since their beginning in 1943, they have grown to provide their hearing aids in over 80 countries worldwide.

Direct Android and iPhone connectivity to hearing aids using 2.4 GHz technology was first developed by ReSound.  As a member of GN Group, they contribute to deep research and development of medical, professional, and consumer audio solutions, providing innovative devices for the med-tech, hearables, and intelligent audio industries.

Regardless of the style you choose, greater performance from micro-digital technology along with greater discretion and Bluetooth streaming to your smartphone are advantages of ReSound devices.

Remote Assist

An additional advantage, which became extremely important as hearing aid patients were unable to attend in-office visits due to COVID-19 restrictions, is ReSound’s Remote Assist support program. This feature allows you to connect with your hearing care provider using teleaudiology regardless of where you are, allowing for the necessary support and adjustments to your device from a remote location.

What Starkey Hearing Aids Can Do for You

Starkey hearing aids are relatively new when their history is compared to other hearing aid manufacturers, beginning in 1970. However, Starkey has provided hearing instruments for five U.S. presidents, two popes, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and other notable leaders. Starkey emerged in 2017 as a leader in the use of artificially intelligent hearing aids.

In 2014, Starkey introduced Halo as their answer to iPhone connectivity along with producing more natural sounding clarity. The development of Livio AI enabled hearing aids to track physical activity and cognitive health using embedded sensors combined with artificial intelligence. Livio AI allows for auto adjustment to various environmental settings, language translation, fall detection and alerts, tap control, and a variety of additional features.

Starkey provides advantages in sound clarity—especially with TV, telephone, and music streaming—a more natural sound, and smartphone connectivity with advanced overall health integrative features.

Changing People’s Lives With Technology

Oticon constantly work towards their vision of a world where hearing loss is no limitation. They innovate life-changing technology and are known for outstanding sound quality, reliability, and ease-of-use.

They achieve this through pioneering cutting-edge technology and never compromising on quality.