Approximately one in five Americans suffer from hearing loss, ranging from very mild to profound loss, and at least a third of them are 65 and older.
Audiology is the medical specialty that deals with identifying, diagnosing, treating, and monitoring of the auditory (hearing) and vestibular (balance) portions of the ear.
Staffed by licensed clinical audiologists, OSF’s Audiology teams offer testing and rehabilitation services to assist physicians in diagnosing and treating patients of all ages with hearing and balance disorders.
Our audiologists will communicate with your primary health care provider and other specialists to help facilitate management of your hearing and balance treatment.
Patients who use hearing aids are provided with an array of digital hearing aid options to suit their personal preferences.
An audiologist is available to evaluate people of all ages, from infants to seniors. For older children and adults, the audiologist will ask about your hearing health history and then perform a series of diagnostic tests. The results will be compiled, and the audiologist will assess the extent of hearing loss, if any, as well as balance and related disorders.
If the audiologist determines you are experiencing hearing loss or a balance disorder, treatment will be recommended. Our audiology staff is committed to identifying the most appropriate treatment, which may not always be a hearing aid.
Some common services* include:
- Auditory Brainstem Response testing (adults)
- Battery sales and retail services for hearing aids
- Custom ear molds -
swimming, noise protection, MP3 players, hands-free cell phones, sleeping, hearing aids, musician’s plugs, in-ear monitors
- Dispense assistive listening and alerting devices
- Dizziness and balance testing
- Electrocochleography testing (adults)
- Hearing assessments and evaluations
- Hearing aid evaluations and fittings
- Hearing aid troubleshooting
- Hearing aid follow-up appointments
- Monitoring of hearing for chemotherapy patients
- Otoacoustic emissions
- Provide education to help people prevent and conserve hearing loss
- Second opinions
- Treatment of positional dizziness (BPPV)
- Tinnitus evaluations
*Not all services may be available at all locations.
Assistive Listening Devices
These devices are helpful to use either with hearing aids, or in some cases, instead of hearing aids. Talk with your audiologist to see if you could benefit from any of these devices.
Auditory Brainstem Response Testing
This is a specialized test that is sometimes ordered after a hearing test has been done. It is used to tell if the hearing nerve is working like it should, as it carries signals to the brain.
Custom Earmolds and Hearing Protection
Our audiologists can recommend and dispense custom ear molds for swimmers, hunters or target shooters, and musicians, as well as custom molds for iPods and MP3 players. Custom ear molds are also available for standard noise protection.
Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emission Testing
This is another specialized test. It provides additional information about how the cochlea (inner ear) is working.
We offer comprehensive testing of your inner ear balance system to determine if your ear is causing you to be dizzy or causing you to lose your balance. You may benefit from specialized therapy if we discover a problem. Test results and recommendations are sent to your referring doctor.
Have you noticed changes in your hearing or noise in your ears? You may have a hearing loss; our audiologists can check your hearing and make recommendations.
Hearing Aid Evaluation
If you would benefit from wearing hearing aids, your audiologist will help find the right hearing aids for your hearing loss. Spouses, family, or significant others are encouraged to come to this appointment.
Hearing Aid Fitting and Trial Period
After hearing aids are chosen, you will return for the fitting and will receive information about care and maintenance of the devices. There is a 45-day trial period, and you will need to return during this time for adjustments to the sound of the hearing aids to help maximize the benefit you receive from them. If you are not satisfied with the hearing aids, a refund can be issued or you may wish to try a different device.
Hearing Aid Checks and Repairs
After your trial period, you will need routine checks of the devices (every 6 months) to make sure they are working correctly. If you purchased your hearing aids through OSF, there is no additional charge for this service. If the hearing aid stops working properly and cannot be repaired in our office, we will send it in for repair to the manufacturer. If the hearing aid is still under the manufacturer warranty, there is no charge for this service. If it is out of warranty, repair charges apply.
Newborn Hearing Screening
Newborns should receive a hearing screening while they are still at the hospital. If your newborn failed part of his/her screening, or you did not have the screening performed at the hospital, we can provide this screening in our office.
Treatment of Positional Dizziness
The most common type of dizziness coming from the ear is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or, positional dizziness. We are able to diagnose and treat this disorder in our office.
*Not all services may be available at all locations.