Our expert staff at Treasure Valley Hearing & Balance treats patients of all ages. (Children must be old enough to vocalize that they hear sounds.) 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 clinic locations in Boise, Nampa, and Meridian, ID, as well as outreach locations throughout the valley.
If a hearing loss is suspected, an appointment with one of our certified Audiologists or Hearing Instrument Specialists should be made for the purposes of testing and evaluation. After the age of 50, a regular hearing test should be considered an important part of your yearly physical checkup.
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. Your 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.
For patients suffering with tinnitus (“ringing in the ears”) we offer diagnostic testing 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).
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. If it’s determined that you are a candidate for hearing aids all options will be discussed with you, including the style of the hearing instrument and technology level required to meet your communication goals. The hearing aids are then programmed to match your unique hearing loss. At this point every patient undergoes comprehensive instruction on not only how to hear, but 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.
The cornerstone of our customer service is the follow-up our patients receive once fit with hearing aids. Most patients initially require 3-4 clinic 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. Finally, all patients are scheduled for an annual hearing exam to retest their natural hearing and clean and check the hearing aids.
We now have a means of fine-tuning your hearing aids specifically to the pitch and volume of your companion’s voice! The procedure is called Live Speech Mapping, and many of our patients who have reported that they still experience difficulty hearing that one voice that matters most to them (typically their spouse or a close relative) find that it greatly improves their ability to understand critical speech.
Using a tiny probe microphone, we are able to measure precisely what sounds your hearing aids are producing at your eardrum—and how your current settings are processing the speech of your companion. We can then see on the computer screen exactly where that speech is falling within your audible range, and we will adjust your devices accordingly.
It’s a level of customization that few hearing care clinics can match: actually programming your devices to the specific voice you want—and need—to hear every day. If you haven’t experienced Live Speech Mapping and would like to hear the voice of your companion better, we highly recommend scheduling a visit to see how this amazing diagnostic procedure can help you hear even better.
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 full stock of these items in our clinic 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.