Hillcrest, the audiology department of Southwest Ohio ENT Specialist, collaborates with our physicians to provide you a thorough hearing evaluation and medically based treatment recommendation.
Hillcrest hearing evaluations are performed by licensed professionals who specialize in the testing and treatment of hearing loss.
Testing is designed to determine the cause and severity of your hearing loss. We use that information to recommend your unique treatment plan.
Scheduling with Us
Your hearing journey starts when you call to schedule your consult appointment. We will ask you some general questions about your referral source, your insurance and your most convenient appointment availability. Once you have your appointment, we will mail you a “Welcome to Hillcrest” packet. Please take a few minutes to complete questionnaires and bring them with you to your first appointment. If more convenient for you, you can access and print these same questionnaires under “Patient Forms” on this website.
Please anticipate an appointment confirmation call the day before your appointment.
Why a Hearing Test?
Hearing loss is a progressive condition that often develops slowly. We might not be aware of a change in our hearing because we gradually adapt to the subtle changes in hearing ability over time. Studies indicate that it takes seven years, on average, for someone with a hearing loss to seek treatment.
A comprehensive hearing evaluation is the first course of action when hearing difficulties occur. A diagnosis of treatable hearing loss starts the journey toward better hearing.
Your Hearing Consultation
We structure this 1 hour consult appointment to be sure we learn of your hearing needs and concerns. During this first appointment your clinician will also make treatment recommendations. There is no charge or obligation for this professional consultation.
- Your clinician will take time to get to know you and to begin to learn how your hearing loss is affecting your life.
- We will review pre-appointment paperwork with you. These forms are very helpful to determine your motivation for treatment and what type of amplification will best meet your needs.
- We will present our product recommendation to help you hear better. We will also outline what you can expect from wearing hearing aids.
- We hope by the end of your consult you are confident that Hillcrest is the best place for you to pursue your hearing health needs. If so, we will order hearing aids and schedule your fitting appointment.
What Does Diagnostic Testing Entail?
A comprehensive audiology evaluation consists of a series of individual diagnostic tests that measure different aspects of your hearing. Following a physical examination and a review of your medical history, you will be given any or all the following tests:
Pure Tone Testing
Pure-tone testing (also known as pure tone audiometry) uses air conduction to measure your ability to hear sounds of various pitches and volumes. You will be asked to identify a series of tones by raising a hand, pressing a button, or responding verbally.
Bone Conduction Testing
Bone conduction testing is another type of pure-tone test that measures the inner ear’s response to sound. If there is damage or a blockage in the outer or middle ear, bone conduction audiometry testing may be used.
Instead of sending the tones through the ear, this type of testing is able to bypass the outer and middle ear and send the tone directly to the inner ear. A small vibrator is placed behind the ear. The device sends out a vibration that passes through the skull bone to reach the inner ear.
Speech testing is used to measure your speech reception threshold (SRT), or the faintest speech you can understand. Your ability to recognize words at a comfortable listening level is then measured.
Tympanometry is a test of the middle ear used to detect fluid, wax buildup, eardrum perforations. It measures movement of the eardrum in response to air pressure; the results are recorded on a chart called a tympanogram.
Acoustic Reflex Testing
The acoustic reflex test measures involuntary muscle contractions of the middle ear and is used to determine the location of your hearing problem (the ossicles, cochlea, auditory nerve, etc.) as well as the type of hearing loss.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)
Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are sounds generated by vibrations of the hair cells in the cochlea of the inner ear. This test helps determine whether there is a blockage in the ear canal, excess fluid in the middle ear or damage to the hair cells of the cochlea. OAE testing is often included in newborn hearing screening programs.