Audiology in Holmdel, Manahawkin & Neptune NJ
What Is Audiology?
Audiology is defined as the branch of science dedicated to the assessment and management of hearing and balance disorders.
What Is An Audiologist?
Audiologists are health care professionals trained to evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders. Audiologists treat all age groups.
Treatments And Procedures That Audiologists Provide
Audiologists perform these services for their patients:
- Conduct a variety of tests to assess hearing and balance function
- Prescribe and fit hearing aids
- Recommend and program implantable hearing devices. These include cochlear, bone-anchored, middle ear, and auditory brainstem implants.
- Perform ear- or hearing-related surgical monitoring
- Help prevent hearing loss through education and use of hearing devices
How Do I Know If I Have Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can develop gradually and the person may not realize their hearing has decreased. Problems usually revolve around situations when there is background noise or more than one source of incoming sound. Hearing loss is ubiquitous with age. About one-third of people in the U.S. between the ages of 65 and 75 have some degree of hearing loss. That number increases to 50 percent of people over age 75.
These are general signs you may have hearing loss:
- Difficulty understanding words, especially in a room with other conversations simultaneously occurring (such as at a party)
- Trouble hearing consonants
- Frequently asking others to repeat what they said
- Difficulty understanding someone talking who isn’t looking directly at you
- Need for higher volume levels when watching TV or listening to music
- Difficulty following a conversation involving at least two people
If you have these signs of hearing loss, we can verify any deficiencies with various tests. That’s the first step to improving your hearing…understanding that you have hearing loss. You may be surprised just how much hearing quality you’ve lost and how it has affected your life.
Types Of Hearing Loss
There are three types of defined hearing loss:
- Sensorineural — This is the most common form of hearing loss, and it involves the inner ear. It occurs when tiny hair cells within the inner ear (the cochlea) are damaged. This is permanent hearing loss and can only be addressed in the majority of patients through use of hearing aids. Patients with severe sensorineural hearing loss may benefit from cochlear implantation.
- Conductive — This type of hearing loss involves the outer or middle ear. Most conductive hearing loss results from a blockage of the normal air conduction sound pathways. This type of hearing loss may be caused by excessive ear wax or an object lodged in the ear canal. Another common cause is fluid accumulation in the middle ear, typical with ear infections.
- Mixed — This hearing loss is a combination of both of the above.
What Can I Expect With My Audiology Appointment At Coastal ENT?
Hearing testing at Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat is completely non-invasive and painless. Testing begins by taking your health and hearing history. This isn’t arbitrary information — many potential causes of hearing loss can be inherited. Medical conditions, such as allergies and ear infections, can also contribute to hearing loss, as can head or ear trauma. We’ll also ask about your exposure to loud noise. The final area will be asking what kind of symptoms you’re experiencing and how they’re affecting your life.
For the testing, we’ll then place you in one of our soundproof testing rooms, where any outside noises, such as air conditioners or office sounds, are eliminated. We may have you wear headphones or soft earplugs and these are connected to an audiometer, the instrument used to conduct the test.
- Pure tone audiometry — Your Coastal ENT audiologist will conduct the test and speak to your through your headphones. The audiometer delivers tones at different pitches and at different volumes into your headphones. You’ll respond with an electronic clicker when you register sounds. This type of audiometry measures the very softest sounds you can hear at each frequency tested.
- Speech audiometry — Next, the audiometer delivers recorded speech instead of pure tones. The speech portion of the exam evaluates the softest speech sounds you can hear and understand. This establishes your threshold. You will then be asked to repeat back the words played into your headphones that are delivered at a level well above your threshold. This will show how any hearing loss is impeding your speech understanding.
- Tympanometry — For some patients, we also use this test where soft earplugs generate pressure changes and sounds in your ears. We then measure how well your eardrum is moving and will measure the reflexive responses of the middle ear muscles.
- Otoacoustic Emissions — The OAE test is used to find out how well your inner ear, or cochlea, works. It measures otoacoustic emissions, or OAEs. These are sounds given off by the inner ear when responding to a sound. There are hair cells in the inner ear that respond to sound by vibrating.
We have other tests that measure hearing in newborns, infants, and young children.
Why Should I Schedule My Appointment With An Audiologist From Coastal ENT?
Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat is anything but some hearing center at the mall. Our three offices in Neptune, Manahawkin, and Holmdel all address the entire gamut of issues affecting the ear, nose, and throat. We have three separate sections in each office: Coastal Ear, Nose, and Throat; Coastal Hearing and Balance Center; and Coastal Surgery Center. This expanded expertise enables us to diagnose and treat more wide-ranging conditions than can be handled at a hearing clinic. Plus, if surgical treatment is necessary, our on-site surgical centers feature state-of-the-art technology focused solely on ear, nose, and throat conditions. Each facility is nationally accredited and New Jersey state licensed.
In our Hearing and Balance Center, we have five audiologists. Each has Doctorate of Audiology degrees and hold Certificates of Clinical Competence in Audiology and are Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology.
Bottom line? If it comes to your hearing and the health of your ears, there isn’t a more highly trained and experienced group of practitioners than you’ll find at Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat. And our facilities are second to none. Doesn’t the quality of your hearing deserve that?