Audiology and Speech Solutions provides a wide range of hearing diagnostic services in Rye, NY, and nearby locations.
The process of hearing seems simple enough on the surface: we hear a sound, we recognize the sound, and we react to the sound. In reality, hearing is a complex process that requires the coordination of a number of different mechanisms within our ears and brains.
At Audiology & Speech Solutions, we perform comprehensive hearing exams to ensure we get a complete picture of your hearing health. This includes an assessment of all functions of the ear including:
- Otoscopic examination to check for excessive earwax,
- Middle ear assessments to ensure there is no fluid or other disorder in this area of the ear
- Comprehensive hearing testing to determine the type and severity of hearing loss
- Speech testing to validate results and determine the clarity of speech and possible candidacy for hearing aids
- Complete and thorough counseling to confirm all results are clear and understood by all involved.
We also offer diagnostics for the following conditions:
Tinnitus is perceived as a ringing, buzzing, whooshing, or humming sound in the absence of an actual external source. Tinnitus may be caused by various conditions or maybe an underlying symptom of another medical condition. This is why getting an accurate diagnosis is essential to come up with a treatment plan.
Initially, a hearing test can be performed to diagnose tinnitus. Audiologists may confirm the presence of tinnitus by comparing what people with normal hearing can hear to what a patient with suspected tinnitus can hear.
In most cases, tinnitus can’t be confirmed with a simple hearing test. Additional tests may be recommended including MRI or CT scans to check for internal deformities or damage in the ears. Imaging tests like these are also essential because they can detect blood vessel disorders, growths, tumors, or other underlying conditions that can trigger tinnitus or affect hearing.
Hearing is a complex process that requires the coordination of a number of different body parts and functions. To hear properly, sound must travel through the outer ear, to the middle ear, and then to the inner ear, where it is converted into signals that are detected and decoded by the brain.
There are a number of ways in which things can go awry in the hearing process, and when they do, the result is hearing loss. The type of hearing loss depends on what exactly has gone amiss in the process of hearing.
Only audiologists can fully assess the type and extent of hearing loss and help you make a plan for treatment options. Our diagnostic services for hearing loss include otoscopy, middle ear assessments, speech testing, and comprehensive hearing testing using traditional and state-of-the-art equipment.
Meniere’s disease affects the inner ear and can lead to hearing loss and dizzy spells. In most cases, Meniere’s disease affects only one ear and can occur at any age.
Vertigo and Meniere’s disease typically go hand in hand, mainly because their symptoms overlap. To get a Meniere’s disease diagnosis requires two episodes of vertigo that last 20 minutes but do not exceed one hour. A hearing test can help identify Meniere’s disease. Additional diagnostic tests include blood tests, balance tests, and imaging scans.
Vertigo is having the perception that the room is spinning or moving. It can cause episodes of dizziness or nausea, and if left untreated, could pose a real danger to patients, especially those in the older demographic.
Symptoms of vertigo may vary from person to person; some may feel minimal “swaying” or dizziness while others experience extreme vertigo attacks to the point that functioning in normal activities is impossible. Other symptoms associated with vertigo include loss of balance, feeling sick or nauseous, or feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear(s).
The initial step in diagnosing vertigo is to determine if there are underlying conditions that may be causing dizziness. During the initial assessment, the patient may be asked by the medical practitioner if the dizziness gets worse when moving the head at a certain angle. Physical exams may also be performed by an audiologist to check the ears for blockages or impacted earwax.
Hearing test for Vertigo
Audiometry test – Using an audiometer, the patient will be asked to listen to sounds or tones through a pair of headphones and indicate whenever they hear a certain sound.
Tuning fork test – A tuning fork will be gently tapped as it is positioned at each side of the patient’s head. Tuning fork tests assess hearing and vibratory sensation.
If further tests are needed, patients suspected to have vertigo may be referred to other specialists to undergo caloric testing, video nystagmography, posturography, CT scans, or MRI scans.
Auditory Processing Disorder
The term “auditory processing” can be confusing at first. It’s easy to make the assumption that children with auditory processing disorders can’t hear the sounds that are coming their way. However, this isn’t entirely true and correct.
Children who are diagnosed with auditory processing disorders are actually able to hear sounds just fine- there is nothing wrong with the way that their ears work. The problem occurs when the sound reaches their brain, and something gets a bit fuzzy. Identifying what goes on in the brain during this occurrence is still a work in progress. However, we do know that children who have auditory processing disorders have difficulty hearing subtle differences in sounds, accurately telling where the sound is coming from, and processing language quickly—especially in noisy and distracting environments.
The diagnosis of an auditory processing disorder is made by an audiologist with specialized knowledge of auditory processing. Although an auditory processing disorder can be suspected at younger ages, children are most easily diagnosed after the age of seven. To make the diagnosis, an audiologist will first make sure that the child does not have hearing loss. Then, the audiologist will have a child participate in a variety of tasks that require him to listen to sounds, words, and sentences and respond in different ways. A child’s performance on these tasks can help an audiologist determine if a child has a true auditory processing disorder. The audiologist might also use some tests that can determine just how the child’s brain responds to auditory information.
Other professionals may play a role in diagnosis as well. Speech-language therapists can administer language testing to carefully assess a child’s use and understanding of language and psychologists may be involved to rule out disorders such as autism, cognitive delays, ADHD, or ADD.
Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Officially known as sudden idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss, sudden hearing loss is a rapid, unexplained reduction in hearing that typically occurs in one ear. The exact cause of idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss is unknown. It can occur at any time, but it most commonly occurs in the morning after a person wakes up.
This type of hearing loss may occur with a loud “popping” sound, or it may be accompanied by other ear-related symptoms, including tinnitus or a feeling of fullness in the ear. Roughly 1 in 5000 people will experience sudden hearing loss. It can occur at any age, although it more commonly affects people in their forties and fifties.
Sudden hearing loss is often treated by corticosteroids, taken either orally or through direct injection into the eardrum (intratympanic). These steroids can fight illness, reduce swelling, and decrease inflammation in the inner ear. Steroids can be prescribed by a physician, but any intratympanic injections must be administered by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat physician). Steroids are most effective when taken immediately after experiencing sudden hearing loss, but chances of recovery decline if treatment is not administered within two to four weeks. Even with timely treatment, some hearing may not fully recover. If hearing loss persists, hearing aids may be recommended depending on their severity.
If you or someone you know has experienced sudden hearing loss, call an audiologist or an ear, nose, and throat physician right away. Timely treatment is crucial, and sudden hearing loss should always be treated as a medical emergency.
A test called pure tone audiometry should be performed immediately after the onset of symptoms to help identify sensorineural hearing loss.
Hearing Diagnostic Services in Rye, NY
At Audiology and Speech Solutions we believe in an integrated and highly individualized approach for our patients. We perform in-depth evaluations with comprehensive reports which help you and your loved ones and other professionals understand your communications strengths and deficiencies.
We dedicate as much time as necessary to identify your or your loved one’s needs to develop an effective individualized treatment program.
Our audiologists evaluate your hearing comprehensively, provide an accurate diagnosis, and select and dispense the hearing instrument to best meet your needs. In addition, we provide ongoing support, counseling, and servicing of the hearing system.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!