Hearing Care Resources in Lansing, MI

Experienced and Trusted Audiology

Audiology & Hearing Services brings quality hearing care to Lansing, MI and surrounding areas. Our staff stays educated and updated on all innovations and new information in the hearing care world. We can provide you with the answers you seek to all of your audiology questions and concerns. Explore our frequently asked questions below.

Trusted Audiology, Audiology & Hearing Services, Lansing, MI

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is An Audiologist?

Audiologists are healthcare professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss and hearing conditions like tinnitus and balance disorders. An audiologist may hold a Master’s degree in Audiology, although professionals seeking education in Audiology who do not currently hold a Master’s degree must now pursue a Doctoral degree in Audiology.

Audiologists must be licensed in the state where they practice, and are regulated by the Division of Consumer Affairs. An audiologist may be awarded the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), otherwise known as the CCC-A. With additional training and expertise, the audiologist may receive the honor of Fellow, which is bestowed by the American Academy of Audiology (AAA).

What Types of Tests & Treatments do Audiologists Perform?

Common services and treatments provided by an audiologist include:

  • Diagnostic hearing test and evaluations
  • Audiologic evaluations
  • Hearing aid fitting and consultation
  • Hearing aid repairs and maintenance
  • Pediatric hearing loss detection and treatment
  • Hearing conservation and protection programs
  • Earmold and earplug fitting and consultation
  • Musicians earplugs and monitors
  • Tinnitus treatment programs
  • Dizziness and balance testing and treatment
  • Ear or hearing-related surgical monitoring in hospital settings
  • Hearing rehabilitation and audiologic training
  • Assisting in cochlear implant programs
  • Insurance billing for medically necessary diagnostic testing and hearing aids, when patients have policies that cover these benefits

How Do I Know If I Have Hearing Loss?

People notice signs of hearing loss but do not take the steps to get it treated right away. Typically, it takes people an average of seven years to seek treatment.

  • You may have hearing loss if:
  • You hear people speaking, but you have to strain to understand their words.
  • You frequently ask people to repeat what they said.
  • You don’t laugh at jokes because you miss too much of the story of the punch line.
  • You frequently complain that people mumble.
  • You need to ask others about the details of a meeting you just attended.
  • You play the TV or radio louder than your friends, spouse, and relatives.
  • You cannot hear the doorbell or telephone.
  • You find that looking at people when they speak to you makes it easier to understand.
  • You miss environmental sounds such as birds or leaves blowing.
  • You find yourself avoiding certain restaurants because they are too noisy, or certain people, because you cannot understand them.
  • You can hear a ringing sound in your ears, especially when it’s quiet.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss can be due to several factors such as the aging process, exposure to loud noise, medications, infections, head or ear trauma, congenital (birth) or genetic factors, diseases, as well as a number of other causes. Recent data shows that about 20% of adults in the United States (48 million) report some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss often occurs gradually throughout a lifetime.

How is Hearing Loss Diagnosed?

If you have any symptoms of hearing loss, you should see an audiologist to have a formal hearing evaluation. This hearing test, or audiologic evaluation, is diagnostic in nature and allows the audiologist to determine the type, nature, and degree of your hearing loss. Your sensitivity, acuity, and accuracy to speech understanding will be assessed as well. The hearing evaluation will also include a thorough case history and a visual inspection of the ear canal and eardrum. Your audiologist may also test for speech understanding to see if you are a candidate for hearing aids. Additional tests of middle ear function may also be performed. The results of the evaluation can be useful to a physician, if the audiologist believes your hearing loss may benefit from medical intervention. Results of the hearing evaluation are plotted on a graph called an audiogram. The audiogram provides a visual view of your hearing test results across various pitches or frequencies and the results from your speech understanding tests are used to create a prescription by which hearing aids are programmed, if necessary.

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What Are The Different Degrees of Hearing Loss?

After you undergo a hearing evaluation, the results are plotted on a chart called an audiogram. Loudness is plotted from top to bottom. The top of the graph is very quiet and the bottom of the graph is very loud. Frequency, or pitch, from low to high, is plotted from left to right. Hearing level (HL) is measured in decibels (dB) and is described in general categories, not by percentages.

The general hearing loss categories used by most hearing professionals are as follows:

  • Normal hearing (0 to 25 dB HL)
  • Mild hearing loss (26 to 40 dB HL)
  • Moderate hearing loss (41 to 70 dB HL)
  • Severe hearing loss (71 to 90 dB HL)
  • Profound hearing loss (greater than 91 dB HL)

What Is Sensorineural Hearing Loss?

When the problem is in the inner ear, a sensorineural hearing loss is the result. This commonly occurs from damage to the small hair cells, or nerve fibers, in the organ of hearing. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss and accounts for more than 90% of hearing loss in all hearing aid wearers. The most common causes of this hearing loss are age-related changes and noise exposure. Loss may also result from disturbance of inner ear circulation, increased inner ear fluid pressure, or from disturbances of nerve transmission. There are many excellent options for the patient with sensorineural hearing loss.

What Is Conductive Hearing Loss?

When there is a problem in the external or middle ear, a conductive hearing impairment occurs. Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the ear canal, eardrum, or tiny bones of the middle ear, resulting in a reduction of the loudness of sound that is heard. Conductive losses may result from earwax blocking the ear canal, fluid in the middle ear, middle ear infection, obstruction of the ear canal, perforation (hole) in the eardrum membrane, or disease of any of the three middle ear bones. All conductive hearing losses should be evaluated by a physician to explore medical and surgical options.

What Is Mixed Hearing Loss?

When there are problems in the middle and inner ear, a mixed hearing impairment is the result (i.e. conductive and a sensorineural impairment).

What Is Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder?

The least common hearing impairment is ANSD. This type of loss requires more in-depth diagnostic testing, including a hearing evaluation with pure tones, otoacoustic emissions (OAEs), and auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing. In this type of hearing loss, the nerve fibers in the organ of hearing typically appear to be functioning well, but a breakdown of the information occurs along the pathway to the brain. A person may still have normal hearing to sounds, but the sound is not encoded properly in the brain. This type of hearing disorder is diagnosed more often in children, due in part to newborn hearing screenings that use automated ABR equipment and routine speech screenings by pediatricians and school systems, but can be present in adults as well.

What Are The Signs Of Hearing Loss in Children?

Children can experience hearing loss anytime in life or from issues such as head trauma, ear infections, medications, or genetics. A pediatric audiologist is trained to test children and any symptom of hearing loss should be addressed immediately.

You child may have hearing loss if they display any of these signs:

  • Daydreaming often
  • Not startled at loud noises
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Teacher concern or failed school hearing screening
  • Complaints that they cannot hear
  • Delays in speech/language development, baby babbling

What Style of Hearing Aid Do I Need?

The style of hearing aid you need is entirely up to the specific needs your hearing may require. There are numerous types of hearing aids today that we provide. Whether you need an in-the-ear style or behind-the-ear style, the advanced technology provides you with many options. Hearing aids can come in many different sizes and styles. When choosing your hearing aid, the type of hearing loss, power requirements, budget, cosmetics, sensitivities, and medical considerations are all taken into account. Today, those with hearing loss are fortunate to have the option of sleek, compact, and innovative instruments.

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What are Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)?

An assistive listening device benefits those who need that extra enhancement in their hearing. They can support a hearing aid by deciphering the speaker from the background noise. They are specifically designed to hone in on the loudness of a desired voice, whether it be television, a public speaker, or on the radio. These devices can be alarm clocks, TV listening systems, phone amplifying devices, or auditorium-type assistive listening systems. Thanks to new and advanced technology, these devices can be sleek and discrete.

What is Tinnitus? How Is It Caused? How is it Treated?

Tinnitus is a common disorder that affects over 50 million people in the United States. It is a disorder that involves ringing, whistling, chirping, or even hissing, roaring, or clicking in the ears that can be either very loud or very subtle. It is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying condition of the ear, auditory nerve, or something else. There is no determined exact cause but some factors that may make it worse can be thyroid disorders, head and neck trauma, noise-induced hearing loss, wax build-up, age-related hearing loss, cardiovascular disease, a tumor, or more. Some treatment methods include listening to a fan or radio, masking devices, avoidance measures, hearing aids, or biofeedback training. Usually, medication or surgeries are not used for treatment, but if other measures do not work, they can be considered as a last resort.

What is the Difference Between an Audiologist & Hearing Aid Dispenser?

An audiologist is specifically trained to diagnose, treat, and monitor disorders of the hearing system. That includes being well-versed in anatomy, physiology, amplification devices, cochlear implants, electrophysiology, acoustics, psychophysics, and auditory rehabilitation. They have completed either a masters degree or a doctoral degree in audiology, as well as an externship and state licensure and national certification. They must pass a national standardized examination in order to be eligible for state licensure. Even after that, they are required to obtain continuing education to maintain their license.

A hearing aid dispenser is licenced to perform audiometric testing only for the purpose of selling and fitting hearing aids. They are not required to have 8 years of college experience under their belt as an audiologist is. Although, they are required to pass a state exam to obtain licensure, and the test varies from state to state. Some states only require hearing aid dispensers to have a high school diploma and others require completion of at least two years of college or post-secondary education. They do not receive the extensive training to the degree of an audiologist.

If you have more hearing care concerns, contact us at 517-323-6222 today!

Audiology & Hearing Services, Audiology & Hearing Services, Lansing, MI

Audiology & Hearing Services
6512 Centurion Dr, Suite 340
Lansing, MI 48917