Cholesterol tests, blood pressure checks, and annual physical exams help you identify health problems early so you can correct them for better overall well-being and a higher quality of life. Do you have the same commitment when it comes to hearing health? Untreated hearing loss leads to both mental and physical health problems, but some people avoid hearing assessments either because they misunderstand the process, or are intimidated by the unknown. To encourage the Gold Country community to take hearing healthcare seriously, we’ve laid out the process we use to provide a clearer understanding of what happens during a hearing assessment.

Friendly Conversation

We look at your hearing care like we are entering into a partnership, so we start off a hearing assessment with a friendly conversation in order to get to know you better. Our conversation will include your occupation, activities you enjoy, and your style of living as well as family and medical history. In addition, we want to hear your concerns about your hearing, along with what you hope to accomplish through our partnership. We also give you an opportunity to ask us questions and express your concerns in order to create an atmosphere of honesty and transparency.

Physical Examination

Conductive hearing loss is among the most common hearing loss issues. Most causes of conductive hearing loss result from ear canal obstructions like excessive earwax, inflammation, a growth or tumor, or even a bug that got stuck. We conduct a physical examination of your ears and identify obstructions as well as evaluate the condition of your eardrums using an otoscope (a tapered magnifying glass with a light on the tip) to examine your ear canal. Our physical examination also allows us to identify damage to your eardrum.

Diagnostic Auditory Evaluation

After a physical examination of your ears, your audiologist will equip you with a set of high-tech headphones and seat you in a soundproof booth. Using an audiometer, your audiologist will transmit various tones or spoken words at different frequencies and volumes into the headphones. As you hear the tones or words, you will respond according to the instructions you’ve been given. These results are recorded on an audiogram, used for evaluation, and our later discussion. Additionally, if a hearing aid is are the right treatment option for you, we will use the data from these tests to program the device.

Other Tests

Additional tests usually include a tympanometry and a bone conduction test. A tympanometer is placed in the opening to your ear canal, causing a slight pressure change in the first of these tests. We’ll transmit a tone while your ear is pressurized and measure how your eardrum responds. In the second test, we activate a tuning fork and place it on a bone behind one of your ears. This helps us determine if you receive sound signals through the auditory nerve, allowing us to distinguish between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

Discussing Test Results

After we have finished testing, we’ll sit down for another honest conversation about what the information we gathered indicates. At this time, we will advise you of various treatment options that will restore part, if not all, of the unique form of hearing loss we have identified. Your questions, concerns, and input are extremely important during this discussion as we work toward accommodating your lifestyle, occupational and personal preferences balanced with your hearing care needs. When tests indicate that you have normal hearing, we’ll save the results as a baseline against which to measure future changes, and we’ll discuss various options to protect your ears from future damage.

Gold Country Hearing Conducts Comprehensive Hearing Evaluations

Hearing assessments are as essential as cholesterol, blood pressure, and annual physical exams when it comes to maintaining an active, rewarding, and independent lifestyle. To start down the path toward healthier hearing through prevention or restoration requires a hearing assessment. Gold Country Hearing has the expertise and equipment to conduct comprehensive hearing evaluations designed to improve your quality of life through top-level hearing care. If you or someone you love could be suffering from hearing loss, contact us at the nearest Grass Valley, Rocklin, Lodi, or Sacramento location nearest you with your questions and concerns or to schedule a hearing assessment.

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Dr Kimberly Bonney Au.D.

Dr. Kimberly Bonney Au.D., graduated with her Master’s Degree in 2001 from CSU Sacramento and worked at a non-profit hearing center in Sacramento. She then began working as an educational audiologist in Placer and Nevada County schools where she found working with children who were deaf and hard of hearing to be very rewarding. After she graduated from Salus University with her Doctor of Audiology degree, Dr Bonney bought the first Gold Country Hearing location.