is an Acoustician?
Acousticians are professionals who
identify and manage disorders of the auditory system. They provide counseling
regarding the social effects of hearing loss and the benefits gained through
amplification and/or assistive listening devices. Acousticians select, fit and
dispense the appropriate communication system and educate the patient and family
members on improving communication capabilities.
What is a hearing test?
The hearing care
professional will begin by exploring your medical and hearing history.
Then, he or she will:
Examine your ears (otoscopy),
test the mobility of your eardrum, and check the pressure in the middle
ear. This helps to determine whether your hearing loss is due to
problems in the middle ear (conductive) or problems in the inner ear (sensorineural).
Perform a thorough
hearing test, which produces an audiogram showing the extent of your
Try to determine how
well you understand speech.
All of these tests are
fast and painless.
What is an audiogram?
An audiogram is the
product of a hearing test. More precisely, it's a graphical representation
on paper, showing the specific pitches (frequencies) and loudness
(intensity) levels that a person can hear with each ear.
You listen to a series
of pure tones (simple sounds) using headphones or with tiny soft inserts
in each ear. The tones range from 250 Hz through 8000 Hz (frequencies
most relevant to hearing everyday environmental and speech sounds).
You indicate - either
by raising a hand or pressing a response button - whether or not you
actually heard the sound.
The sounds begin to
decrease in intensity (loudness) so that the hearing care professional
can determine where it starts to become difficult for you to hear (your
The thresholds are
recorded on the audiogram with frequency, intensity and ear-specific
information in dB HL.
Questions to Ask Your Hearing Professional
By checking out the information in this site,
youíll already know a lot. But itís easy to forget how general information
applies to you, specifically. Print this list of questions, add your own,
and youíll be well prepared to find out what you really want to know if
and when you visit a hearing professional.
What kind of hearing loss do I have? (Conductive or
Is it medically treatable?
Is there anyone else I should see about this?
What are the results of my hearing tests? Whatís my
Are there specific frequencies or types of sound I have
more trouble with than others?
Is there anything I can do on my own to hear better?
What are my treatment options?
Can I prevent further hearing loss?
If your hearing professional recommends hearing
instruments, be sure youíve discussed the following.
Will hearing instruments actually improve my ability to
What are the differences between basic types of hearing
What kind of hearing instruments would be best for me?
How are hearing instruments priced? Can you break down
Whatís the return or trial period on the hearing
instruments Iím purchasing?
Are there service fees that wonít be refunded if I
return the hearing instruments? What is covered in these fees, and how
much can I expect to pay?
What kind of post-fitting and aural rehabilitation
programs do you provide?
Can I expect to come back for minor alterations?
Do you provide a written contract or purchase agreement?
Is there a warranty? Who honors the warranty, you or the
Is there financing available for buying hearing
Can I get insurance in case theyíre lost or damaged?
Whatís the average lifespan of this hearing instrument?
What happens if my hearing instruments stop working?
Do you repair them or does someone else? What will it
Will I be provided with loaner hearing instruments while
mine are being repaired?
What happens if my hearing changes?