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The Journey to Optimal Hearing

Free and Unique Hearing Test

Traditional audiologic hearing tests were developed to discover medical complications. Our hearing tests (while including the conventional audiometric tests) are designed to discover what you hear, and how you experience sound and speech. We look for anything that might affect your ability to experience the full spectrum of sound, speech, music, or complications from noise.

Dr Gil with patient

If you currently wear hearing aids, we perform objective tests to measure how well those hearing aids are able to deliver appropriate sounds for your hearing impairment. We show improvements by using our Hearing Engineered hearing aids.

From those diagnostic hearing tests, we determine the requirements for a hearing aid to deliver the sound you will need.

Based on your hearing test results, we select hearing aids that will optimally address your hearing impairment and needs. In our Professional Sound Studio, we create customized prescriptions using our unique patented methods and instrumentation.

Typically, three Custom Sound Programs are created.

The first program is designed to get you to hear everything, as close to the experience of a normal-hearing individual as technically possible, while still retaining a completely natural quality of sound. A second program is designed to get you to hear speech as clearly as possible. The third program is designed for comfort and clarity in extremely noisy environments.

During the setting of each program, the Hearing Engineer performs a series of diagnostic tests to determine your ability to understand speech that is fast, whispered, shouted, or of different sound-pitch qualities. We will determine how your speech understanding is affected by noise, reverberation, and distance in several real and simulated-environment conditions.

You will hear whispers again and you will hear a speaker’s voice separate from the other noises. You will be given the option to take those hearing aids home to validate their effectiveness in your life’s situations.

100% satisfied or 100% refunded. California has a 45-day trial period. We offer an extendable trial plan for as long as you need.

Service at Walnut Creek Hearing Aid Center is thorough. Trial visits are important. We tell you to expect to hear as well as any normal-hearing individual in all situations. During these visits, the Hearing Engineer will learn about your immediate successes and any problems you may have had with the hearing aid settings, earpieces, and real-world listening situations.

Rarely do clients require significant adjustment. However, some discover they would like customized T-Loop programs, enhanced musical quality, Bluetooth connectivity to TVs, microphones, iPhones, etc. We’re happy to create these and other special situation programs.

Trial appointments continue until you no longer have a reason to return for additional modification or instruction. At that point, you will be instructed when to return for your future check-ups, hearing tests, and retuning sessions to keep you hearing your best.

Maintenance

The Life-of-the-Aid Service Plan

Follow-up services help extend the useful life of your hearing aid. That is why we include all follow-up appointments for as long as you have the hearing aid. Cleanings, counselling and assistance, hearing tests to see if your hearing has changed, and retuning’s with our Hearing Engineering are all included with no additional charge to you.

We will:

  • Examine your ear canal.
  • Clean the earpiece and replace the tubing, filter, and hook as needed.
  • Check the integrity of the hearing aid’s digital, electrical, and acoustical performance with the same quality control instrument used at the factory.
  • Do minor repairs as necessary.
  • Check and clean the microphones, receiver, and battery contacts.
  • Discuss how you are doing compared to your last visit.
  • Schedule you for a hearing test or appointment to adjust the programming in your hearing aid as needed.

You will receive a comprehensive hearing test, followed by a thorough tuning of your hearing aids to maintain optimal performance, even if your hearing loss changes.

No appointment needed to drop-in during office hours for front-office and trouble-shooting services.

We provide free loaner hearing aids if yours require servicing by the manufacturer.

Current clients wishing to upgrade to newer technology are provided with a trade-in value for their current hearing aids. That amount will be applied to discount the cost of a new pair of hearing aids.

Our technical knowledge, instrumentation, Professional Sound Studio, and methods are unequalled. You can read more in our publications and testimonials.

We are proud to be your exclusive local EarQ provider. Many standard hearing aid warranties only last 1-3 years depending on the model of hearing aid. The EarQ 4-Year Warranty covers any EarQ device for 4 full years regardless of the model. That’s 4 years of service, repairs, cleanings and adjustments at no additional cost to you.

Learn more about EarQ hearing aids. Schedule an Appointment.

Specialized Tests

Well-tuned directional microphones in hearing aids are the most effective feature to help you understand people in noisy places. Here’s how you can test them:

  • Go with a friend to any noisy restaurant. Sit at a normal distance (about 4-6 feet) across from each other. Close your eyes.
  • With a voice slightly louder than the surrounding noise, have your friend ask you questions or ask you to repeat simple sentences. You should be able to accurately understand your friend’s speech.
  • Next, look over your shoulder and have your friend ask other questions or say other sentences.
  • You should have great difficulty understanding your friend when you look over your shoulder. If it doesn’t seem like your friend moved at least twice as far away from you as they are sitting, the directional microphones in your hearing aids are not helping you in noise.
  • Today’s hearing aids are able to deliver whispered speech in moderately noisy places, and a significantly separated speaker’s voice at a loud party, even for people with severe hearing loss.
  • If you did not understand your friend when their voice was slightly louder than the noise and/or if your friend did not become unintelligible when you looked over your shoulder, you need to learn more about the capabilities of your hearing aids or more about your hearing impairment.

Here’s a simple test you can do at home to determine the effectiveness of your hearing aids.

Start by adjusting your hearing aid to your normal hearing position.

  1. In a quiet room, ask a friend or spouse to sit about 5 feet away from you. Close your eyes and have them whisper a question or a sentence for you to repeat. You should easily be able to hear them. Failing the whisper test means that you are not getting the sound you need to hear the soft parts of speech. If you didn’t hear the whisper, your hearing loss may need to be corrected.
  2. If you were able to hear the whisper, next, test the loudness of your hearing aid. Ask your friend to make some very loud sounds. Have them shout, bang dishes together, clap loudly, or vigorously shake a newspaper page.

Today’s hearing aids are easily able to deliver whispered sound even for people with severe hearing loss. That level of hearing correction can be accomplished without distorting the naturalness or loudness of other sounds.

If you hear the whisper, but do not understand the whispered sentence, then you need to learn more about your hearing impairment.  

One of our skilled technicians will look in your ear using an otoscope, a magnifying lens with a light. They are looking to make sure that your external ear, ear canal, and eardrum are clean and free of debris or earwax, and that everything looks normal.

When you get a standard hearing test, you generally take at least two tests. One test results in a graph called a Pure Tone Audiogram. The other results in a percent correct score, the Speech Discrimination test.

The vertical scale is in decibels of hearing loss. You can think of it like the earthquake Richter scale if you think of the numbers without the zeros (i.e., 40 dB is like an earthquake of 4, and 70 dB is like an earthquake of 7). An earthquake of 4 is mild, while an earthquake of 7 is severe.

The horizontal scale is in frequencies. You can think of it like the keys on a piano. On the left side are the bass tones and to the right are the higher pitched tones.

Now look at the two lines your test results. Generally, the line through the red circles corresponds to the right ear and the line through the blue X’s corresponds to the left ear.

The hearing loss at each tone can be described with words like normal (0-20 dB), mild (30-40 dB), moderate (50-60dB), severe (70 dB), or profound (80+ dB).

Hearing a Whisper: Nearly everyone with hearing loss down to 70-80 dB should be able to hear themselves whisper with today’s hearing aids. If your hearing loss is at the moderate level, you should be hearing the whispers of others as easily as a person your age with normal hearing.

The results of this test are recorded as a “%” on your hearing test form. The number is the percent of words you repeated back correctly. Normal speech discrimination is 100%, mild 85-95%, moderate 70-80%, poor 60-70%, very poor 40-50%, and below 35% is severely impaired.

Understanding a Whisper: If your speech discrimination scores are above 70% you should be able to understand a whisper wearing hearing aids, even with a moderate level of background noise, without needing to see the speaker’s face. At 60-70% you will probably need to see the speaker’s face. Below 50%, you will hear, but have great difficulty understanding the whisper.

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