- What kind of tests are done to diagnose hearing problems?
- What is auditory processing?
- What is an auditory processing disorder?
- When does a processing disorder occur?
- How do I know whether my child has an auditory processing disorder?
- What happens if my child has an auditory processing disorder?
- What is neonatal hearing testing?
- What milestones should I look for in my newborn's hearing?
- What are some warning signs to watch for in my child's hearing?
- Where can I go to have my child tested?
- How do I know it's time to investigate a hearing aid?
- Okay, so how do I begin?
- You mean, there are different kinds of hearing problems?
- What if it's not for me, but for my relative?
- Can I just come in and ask for the same hearing aids my friend has?
- What about follow-up care?
- Is all this included?
- So this will restore my hearing, right?
- Are the better hearing aids worth it, then?
- What kinds of hearing aids are out there?
- Will I hear equally well in all situations?
- How quick is the whole process of adjustment?
- Do hearing aids last forever?
- What can I expect during a Hearing Aid Evaluation?
- Auditory Brainstem Response
- Otoacoustic Emissions
- Electrocochleography (to help diagnose Meniere's disease)
- ENG testing for dizziness and vestibular function
- computerized fitting measurements to ensure you receive the right prescription
With this commitment to accuracy, comfort and total patient satisfaction, we help you overcome your hearing loss, so you can once again experience the wonderful sounds and conversations that life has to offer.
What is auditory processing?
Auditory processing is everything that happens to an auditory signal (such as speech) from the time it enters the ear until the brain interprets it.
What is an auditory processing disorder?
An auditory processing disorder refers to any disruption in a person's ability to interpret an auditory signal.
When does a processing disorder occur?
A processing disorder can occur any time there is a hearing loss. The hearing loss could be a permanent nerve loss that a child might be born with or a conductive loss such as occurs with fluid in the ear or an ear infection. However, a processing disorder can also occur in "normal hearing listeners" as well. Children under the age of fourteen may have trouble interpreting an auditory signal in any number of circumstances, but problems usually manifest themselves in school where auditory signals compete with background noise at times when listening is most critical.
How do I know whether my child has an auditory processing disorder?
Specific testing is the only way to confirm the existence of an auditory processing disorder. This includes a basic audiological evaluation followed by several language tests that target problems interpreting auditory signals. Common traits among children with an auditory processing disorder:
- Frequent ear infections as a young child
- Frequently asks to repeat
- Remembers things in the wrong sequence
- Frustrated performance in school
- Performance below expected level in school
- Inability to attend to speech in the presence of background noise
- Highly distractible
- Frequent misinterpretation of speech
- Speech/language delay
What happens if my child has an auditory processing disorder?
Recommendations will be made by the tester on how to proceed and may include any or all of the following:
- Recommending preferential seating in the classroom
- Providing an auditory trainer, which is a device that increases the signal to noise ratio in the classroom, and is worn by both student and teacher
- Auditory training with a speech language pathologist to work on weak areas
- Use of visual and auditory reinforcement
What is neonatal hearing testing?
Advanced Specialty Care is proud to have had a neonatal hearing-screening program in effect at Danbury Hospital. As of July 1st, 2000, all babies born in Connecticut hospitals will have their hearing evaluated by state mandate before leaving the hospital.
Our audiologist are skilled in the diagnosis of hearing impairment in children of all ages. Our ear specialists have had intensive training in treating hearing loss. We can provide the most up to date hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
What milestones should I look for in my newborn's hearing?
3 months: a child should startle or cry at loud noises in the environment and respond to your voice
5 Months:, babies seek the sound source. Try this with your five to six month old: make soft sounds from behind and to one side as your baby looks straight ahead. Whispering should elicit a head turn towards the sound. During the first year, your baby should look for the sources of common sounds such as the telephone ringing or a musical toy.
6 Months: Babies recognize familiar voices and experiment with speech and non-speech sounds.
9 Months: Babies demonstrate an understanding of simple words ("mommy," "daddy") and turn and look when you call his/her name. At this age a baby should respond to "no" and changes in your tone of voice.
10 months: a baby's babbling should sound "speech-like" ("da-da-da-da").
12 months:, one or more recognizable words emerge and a child should understand the names of some simple items like "ball" or "spoon".
15 months: a child should respond to simple directions and say some simple words.
By 18 months, babies should understand simple phrases; retrieve familiar objects on command and point to body parts ("where's your nose?"). They should have a spoken vocabulary of between 20-50 words and short phrases ("no more," "go out," "mommy up").
By 24 months, a toddler's spoken vocabulary should be 200-300 words coupled with simple sentences. A toddler should be able to sit and listen to read-aloud storybooks.
Between three and five, spoken language should be used constantly to express wants, reflect emotions, convey information, and ask questions. A preschooler should understand nearly all that is said. All speech sounds should be clear and understandable by the end of the preschool period. Be alert to situations where your child is not responding well, as this may be a sign of hearing impairment.
What are some warning signs to watch for in my child's hearing?
Common warning signs include:
- not responding to someone talking out-of-view
- acting surprised when their name has been called
- using "what?" or "huh?" frequently;
- intently watching the faces of speakers;
- sitting close to the TV set when the volume is normal;
- increasing the TV volume to unreasonably loud levels;
- not responding to voices over the telephone;
- not being startled by intense sounds.
- The single most important sign of possible hearing loss in the very young child is the lack or delayed development of speech and language. If your child doesn't seem to exhibit the above behavior, please call us for an appointment to test her/his hearing as this may indicate a hearing problem.
Where can I go to have my child tested?
Advanced Specialty Care, P.C. has qualified staff that can answer questions, perform testing and make recommendations based on findings.
Please call us at (203) 830-4705 to schedule Central Auditory Processing Disorder testing.
How do I know it's time to investigate a hearing aid?
If your family says you need a hearing aid... you probably do! Problems usually develop slowly and subtly, hardly noticeable to ourselves. It's normal for people to go through a period of denial about their hearing problems. But you cannot hide your hearing loss... your loved ones, friends, clients and associates already know you have it!
Okay, so how do I begin?
Ask your doctor! You are likely to be referred to one of our audiologists or ear, nose & throat physicians. Investigation of hearing loss begins with an examination of your hearing loss with the audiologist. Certain types of hearing losses may indicate a medically treatable cause, for which you'll see the ear, nose & throat doctor.
You mean, there are different kinds of hearing problems?
Yes, and here's the good news: most hearing losses can be helped, medically, surgically, or with hearing aids. In fact hearing aids nowadays are specifically designed for sensorineural or 'nerve loss'.
So, if I can go to the drugstore and buy some reading glasses off the rack, why can't I do that with a hearing aid?
Hearing aids are dispensed by licensed professionals only. Fitting a hearing aid is much more complex than fitting eyeglasses. Ears and eyes work differently. And, similar to dentures, hearing aids are a substitute for a natural function of the body. Just like dentures, or even new shoes, it takes time to get adjusted to new sensations. It doesn't happen overnight.
What if it's not for me, but for my relative?
If it's not for yourself, accompany your loved one going for their appointment. Make sure they've understood what was said, and that the audiologist's recommendations make sense. Offer your loved one plenty of encouragement and support all the way through, from initial consultation through the follow-up and adjustment period.
Can I just come in and ask for the same hearing aids my friend has?
What's good for your neighbor is not necessarily what's good for you. There is no simple way in advance to tell which hearing aids will work best for a given person. We are all individuals with individual hearing patterns and requirements. Considered is your degree of hearing loss, your physical abilities and limitations, as well as those of your ears. This is why devices sold through the mail or over the Internet are likely to be ineffective (or even harmful)!
What about follow-up care?
You won't get it with mail-order hearing aids. It is vitally important to stay in contact with your audiologist during the trial period (and afterwards) if any questions or concerns arise. In fact, you shouldn't hesitate to contact the audiologist who fits your hearing aids - most people require more than one visit for adjustments, fine-tuning and counseling.
Is all this included?
From reputable practices like ours it is all included. Hearing aids come with a trial period, warranty and follow-up services. Custom fitting and setting of hearing aids by your audiologist can take a few visits to ensure maximum benefit. You don't buy a hearing aid, you purchase a comprehensive plan for hearing improvement, which should include counseling and follow-up care.
So this will restore my hearing, right?
Unfortunately, hearing aids do not cure hearing loss, nor prevent it from getting worse. Hearing aids do improve the sound reaching the ears so that the brain can receive the proper information to do its' job of hearing. At the same time, hearing aids do not cause hearing to get worse.
Are the better hearing aids worth it, then?
The best pair of skis will not make you an Olympic skier. Practice and the right coaching will get you there. Your natural abilities, however, are enhanced by better equipment. Hearing aid technology has improved dramatically over the past few years, especially in the way devices are adjusted to compensate for the natural patterns of hearing loss. The most sophisticated devices now use the same advanced technology as found in the microchips of computers.
What kinds of hearing aids are out there?
There are many styles of hearing aids - Completely in the canal hearing aid; in the canal hearing aid; in the ear hearing aid and behind the ear hearing aid. We can help determine which is better for you.
Will I hear equally well in all situations?
Noisy environments are tougher to hear in whether you wear hearing aids or not. Hearing aids do not eliminate background noise, but they can help the person with hearing loss to hear well. If you have hearing loss in both ears, most people will need two hearing aids. Noisy environments, in particular, can sound chaotic with only one ear. For certain situations, some people need more than hearing aids - a special adapter or pick-up for the telephone; doorbell and smoke alarm alerting devices; infrared television amplifiers as examples.
How quick is the whole process of adjustment?
It varies quite a bit from person to person. As hearing loss tends to occur gradually, so does readjusting to the world of sound. You may wish to progress from easier to more difficult listening situations as you get used to your hearing aids. Adjusting to hearing aids requires some patience and effort. It takes time to relearn hearing skills, longer for the more difficult situations, such as restaurants or parties. Your expectations must be realistic.
Do hearing aids last forever?
There is wear and tear on hearing aids. Think of the environment in which they're used - the ear canal - there's humidity, debris, bacteria, earwax. And though the technology does change and improve, it's more likely that your hearing needs, and the shape of your ears and ear canals, will change over time.
During your Hearing Aid Evaluation your audiologist will:
- Explain your hearing test results
- Learn your communication needs (ie: social, occupational)
- Discuss different levels of technology and sizes of hearing aids
- Help you to establish realistic expectations
- Inform you of a 45-day trial period