Just like having your cholesterol or blood pressure checked, an annual physical or an eye test, hearing tests are a vital element in maintaining overall wellness. However, hearing tests tend to be far down the list of health priorities. In some cases, the hesitancy comes from not knowing what to expect during a hearing test.

To put your mind at ease and encourage you to consider this vital health screening as a part of your overall health care, here is what you can expect during your first hearing test in either our Petaluma or San Rafael clinic.

A Friendly Conversation

Your hearing assessment will begin with a friendly conversation. During this conversation, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about hearing issues as well as express your concerns about hearing aids and other treatment options. Your audiologist will ask you about your medical history and any medications you take as well as your occupation, hobbies, and lifestyle.

These questions will help to identify ototoxic medications, injuries, noise exposure, and other possible causes with the potential to produce hearing loss.

 A Physical Examination of Your Ears

Using an otoscope (a magnifying glass with a tapered end and a light on the tip), your audiologist will physically examine your ears. Conductive hearing loss often involves some type of obstruction along the hearing pathway between the outer and middle ear.

These obstructions are due to infection related inflammation, a tumor or growth in the ear canal, compacted earwax, or an object or a bug lodged in the ear canal. Removal of these obstructions or medications to deal with infections are sometimes the only treatment necessary.

Diagnostic Testing

After the physical examination of your ears, the next step includes sitting you in a soundproof booth and fitting you with a set of high-tech headphones. You will hear tones or spoken words at different frequencies and volume levels transmitted into your headphones to which you will respond as instructed. Your audiologist will add various types and levels of background noise along with the transmitted noise for a real world evaluation of your hearing as well.

Other tests might include a bone conduction test using a specialized headset designed to bypass the hearing pathway and transmit tones directly to the inner ear and auditory nerves to help distinguish between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

A tympanometry is another common test, which uses an instrument designed to evaluate how your eardrum and middle ear structures respond to sounds and pressure changes.

Reviewing Your Results

Following the series of diagnostic tests, you will have the opportunity to review your results immediately. Your audiologist will explain what each outcome means as well as whether a hearing instrument or treatment of some other type is necessary. We look at your hearing care as a partnership, so we value your input during this process in order to meet your needs as well as suit your lifestyle and personal preferences.

If your hearing tests normal, your audiologist will provide advice and recommendations to prevent damage and maintain better auditory health.

Park Place Hearing Provides Comprehensive Hearing Assessments

To maintain an active, rewarding, and independent lifestyle, you must place hearing care near the top of your healthcare priorities. The first step to better hearing health is a hearing assessment. Your Park Place Hearing professionals provide comprehensive hearing assessments for Sonoma and Marin County residents. Our expertise and equipment ensure our ability to diagnose your hearing loss as well as prescribe the treatment to meet your hearing needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences.

If you or someone you love wants to take a proactive approach to better hearing health, then contact us with your questions and concerns or to schedule an assessment.

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Dennis Tobin, HIS

Dennis Tobin, HIS

Dennis is the owner of Park Place Hearing Center and is a Hearing Aid Specialist. Dennis has been in the hearing healthcare field for over 27 years. His father and grandfather also worked in the hearing industry. He brings a wealth of new knowledge and expertise to the Petaluma community. Dennis has dedicated his life to help people with hearing loss realize a better quality of life.
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.