Our expert staff at North State Audiological Services provides services to those from newborn to over a hundred years old. These include basic behavioral tests and sophisticated computerized otoneurological evaluations. When appropriate, the latest digital hearing aids may be utilized to help compensate for hearing loss. Hearing care services are offered at our office location in Chico, California.
If a hearing loss is suspected, an appointment with one of our certified Audiologists should be made for the purposes of testing and evaluation. After the age of 50, a regular hearing test should be considered as important as one’s yearly physical checkup.
Testing is painless, comfortable and safe. Basically, it consists of answering questions about your hearing health, recognizing everyday words at different volume levels, and identifying different sounds. Your ability to hear each tone, or frequency, produces a unique hearing pattern which is recorded on an audiogram.
The test is performed in one of our spacious, state-of-the-art sound booths using the most advanced hearing diagnostic and fitting equipment available today.
The results of this test are displayed on an audiogram, which is a chart used to graphically display a person’s hearing abilities. The audiologist will then use the audiogram to explain the type and severity of hearing loss, if any, and make professional recommendations at that time.
Tinnitus Evaluation and Treatment
For patients suffering with tinnitus (“ringing in the ears”) we offer several diagnostic tests and self-assessment surveys to determine the cause of the tinnitus and its psychological impact. Tests are performed to determine if the cause of the tinnitus is related to middle ear or inner ear problems as well as possible auditory nerve abnormalities. The tone or pitch of the tinnitus as well as its volume is also determined to help assess the best management option. These options may include dietary changes, medication review, masking devices, hearing aids, or Tinnitus Retraining therapy (TRT).
Dispensing of Digital Hearing Aids
All patients undergo a comprehensive hearing exam prior to receiving hearing aids to determine the cause and extent of the loss. A detailed case history is also completed. Once a patient becomes a candidate for hearing aids based upon their hearing handicap all options are discussed with the patient including style of the hearing instrument and technology level required to meet their communication goals. The hearing aids are then programmed to match their unique hearing loss. At this point every patient undergoes comprehensive instruction on how to listen again. Emphasis is placed on how the brain must relearn to focus on specific sounds that the individual wants to pay attention to and ignore irrelevant noises. All patients are also instructed on use and care of the hearing instruments and follow-up tests are performed to assure optimal programming of the aids.
Hearing Aid Checks and Servicing
The cornerstone of our customer service is the follow-up our patients receive once fit with hearing aids. Most patients initially require 3-4 office visits to understand how to once again listen and how to take care of their new hearing aids. Subsequent hearing aid adjustments or trouble shooting is always available at no charge for the life of the hearing instruments. In fact, most patients can be seen for hearing aid related problems the day they call. In addition, all patients receive our quarterly newsletter to keep them informed of the latest research into hearing disorders and technological improvements. Finally, all patients are scheduled for an annual hearing exam to retest their natural hearing and clean and check the hearing aids.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
When a patient has a hearing loss sometimes an assistive listening device (ALD) is required in addition to or instead of a hearing aid. ALDs can be amplified telephones, TV enhancers, visual smoke and doorbell alarms and a variety of other items designed to keep the hearing impaired in touch with their environment. We have a number of these items in our office for demonstration where their benefits can be quickly observed. Because this technology is so quickly evolving we always have access to the latest information and can special order any ALD.