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Hearing Protection and Prevention (Audiology)

Little girls whispering into moms ears.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​We care for patients of all ages with all types of hearing problems.

Our audiologists conduct hearing evaluations to help patients and families solve communication problems created by hearing difficulties. We work with educators, physicians, other providers and families.

Your audiologist may:

  • Fit hearing aids or other devices.
  • Provide counseling and assist in rehabilitation and follow up care. 
  • Recommend and fit customized hearing protection.

Our audiologists work closely with ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physicians, family practice and pediatric physicians in evaluating and managing hearing loss.

Signs of hearing loss

Hearing loss may occur gradually over time. People with hearing loss may not fully recognize the change in their hearing or realize what they are missing. Symptoms of hearing loss include:

  • Misunderstanding others.
  • Asking others to repeat what they are saying.
  • Turning up the volume on the television or radio.
  • Noticing others sound like they mumble when they talk.
  • Difficulty hearing in group situations or background noise.
  • Ringing or other noises in the ears.

In children, hearing loss symptoms may include:

  • Delays in speech and language milestones.
  • Inattentiveness or the appearance of inattentive behavior.
  • Inability to hear the television or radio without turning up the volume or standing close to the television or radio speakers.

Types of hearing loss

Hearing loss may be one of three types: conductive, sensorineural or mixed.

Conductive hearing loss is typically caused by a blockage of sound to the inner ear. 

  • Causes include earwax build up, ear infections, middle ear fluid, growths, and diseases such as otosclerosis

You may be referred for medical evaluation to an Ear, Nose and Throat physician to determine the underlying cause and medical treatment, if necessary.

Sensorineural hearing loss, often referred to as “nerve loss”, is the most common type of hearing loss. 

  • This can be caused by noise exposure, aging, certain medications, trauma, family history (genetics) and growths on the hearing nerve. 

Most sensorineural hearing losses can be treated with hearing aids or assistive devices. In cases of more severe sensorineural hearing loss, evaluation for a cochlear implant may be required.

How is your hearing tested?

Hearing exams are usually conducted in a sound booth and can take between 15 minutes to one hour to complete. 

Other tests measure the functions of the ear and usually do not require a voluntary response. 

These can include:

  • Tympanograms (an objective test on the condition of your middle ear)
  • Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) (a measurement of inner ear function)
  • Auditory brainstem response testing (a test that charts how the brain and nerves respond to sounds)

These are particularly helpful when evaluating infants and small children who are unable to perform standard tests. Your physician and audiologist will determine the most appropriate tests required.


Permanent hearing loss in the majority of cases is treatable with hearing aids. 

In cases of severe hearing loss, or if a disease or infection may be affecting your ear, you may be referred to our Ear, Nose, and Throat physicians and surgeons.

Have questions about out audiology services or tests?

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