Our expert staff at Worth Hearing Center provides services to those from 6 months to over 100 years old. These include basic behavioral tests and sophisticated computerized otoneurological evaluations. When appropriate, the latest digital hearing aids may be utilized to help compensate for hearing loss. Hearing care services are offered at our locations in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
If a hearing loss is suspected, an appointment with one of our certified Audiologists should be made for the purposes of testing and evaluation. After the age of 50, a regular hearing test should be considered as important as one’s yearly physical checkup.
Hearing testing is painless, comfortable and safe. Basically, it consists of answering questions about your hearing health, recognizing everyday words at different volume levels, and identifying different sounds. Your ability to hear each tone, or frequency, produces a unique hearing pattern which is recorded on an audiogram.
The test is completed in a sound booth using earphones and bone conduction oscillator. The Audiologist then uses the audiogram to determine the type and severity of hearing loss. These tests should help determine whether a hearing loss is best treated medically or with hearing aids.
ENG Test – Electronystagmogram
The ENG test is probably one of the most useful tests to diagnose “dizzy” complaints in which other obvious causes such as ear infection, head injury or certain medication “side effects” are not involved.
The ENG is a series of tests designed to evaluate the inner-ear’s vestibular mechanism. This test electronically determines the responses of the balance mechanisms of the vestibular system. These responses are expressed through eye movements which are recorded by electrodes applied to the skin of the face.
Tinnitus Evaluation and Treatment
For patients suffering from tinnitus (“ringing in the ears”) we offer several diagnostic tests and self-assessment surveys to determine the cause of the tinnitus and its psychological impact. Tests are performed to determine if the cause of the tinnitus is related to middle ear or inner ear problems as well as possible auditory nerve abnormalities. The tone or pitch of the tinnitus as well as its volume is also determined to help assess the best management option. These options may include dietary changes, medication review, masking devices, hearing aids, or Tinnitus Retraining therapy (TRT).
Dispensing of Digital Hearing Aids
All patients undergo a comprehensive hearing exam prior to receiving hearing aids to determine the cause and extent of the loss. A detailed case history is also completed. Once a patient becomes a candidate for hearing aids based upon their type of hearing loss all options are discussed with the patient including style of the hearing instrument and technology level required to meet their communication goals. The hearing aids are then programmed to match their unique hearing loss. At this point every patient undergoes comprehensive instruction on how to listen again. Emphasis is placed on how the brain must relearn to focus on specific sounds that the individual wants to pay attention to and ignore irrelevant noises. All patients are also instructed on use and care of the hearing instruments and follow-up tests are performed to assure optimal programming of the aids.
Hearing Aid Checks and Servicing
The cornerstone of our customer service is the follow-up our patients receive once fit with hearing aids. Most patients initially require 3-4 office visits to understand how to once again listen and how to take care of their new hearing aids. Subsequent hearing aid adjustments or trouble shooting is always available at no charge for the life of the hearing instruments. In fact, most patients can be seen for hearing aid related problems the day they call. In addition, all patients receive our quarterly newsletter to keep them informed of the latest research into hearing disorders and technological improvements.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
When a patient has a hearing loss sometimes an assistive listening device (ALD) is required in addition to or instead of a hearing aid. ALDs can be amplified telephones, TV enhancers, visual smoke and doorbell alarms and a variety of other items designed to keep the hearing impaired in touch with their environment. We have a number of these items in our office for demonstration where their benefits can be quickly observed. Because this technology is so quickly evolving we always have access to the latest information and can special order any ALD.
Hearing Evaluations for Infants
We are proud to be one of the certified sites for infant hearing evaluation. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology and a highly trained staff we offer pediatric hearing testing and follow-up as needed. We work closely with local pediatricians to determine if a hearing loss in an infant is present and the extent and cause of the impairment. When needed we also provide hearing aid counseling and fitting and have fit children as young as 6 months of age.