Additional education on hearing and balance disorders.

Frequently Asked Questions

VEMP testing is used to determine if the saccule and vestibular nerve are working properly. This is an integral test used to diagnose balance and dizziness disorders. Typically, a VEMP test will be performed along with VNG testing to determine a clear picture of your vestibular system.

VEMP testing is used to diagnose vestibular disorders such as Meniere’s disease and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

ABR stands for auditory brainstem response. This test is used to detect damage to the cochlea, auditory nerve, and auditory pathways to the brain. We offer ABR testing for adults and pediatrics. Please contact us directly to learn more about ABR testing in infants.

While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are management options that can greatly help. Our tinnitus specialists will work with you to find the right plan that will alleviate your perception of tinnitus. Options may include hearing aids, sound machines, sound therapy, meditation, or masking devices.

Clogged ears can either be due to earwax impaction or hearing loss. We will look inside your ears to determine the cause and if earwax is the problem, we can remove that in the office. If your ears are clear and you are still experiencing a clogged feeling, then we recommend a hearing evaluation.

We are a certified provider of Lyric, the only truly invisible hearing aid. Lyric extended wear hearing aids can be worn 24 hours a day and are inserted into the ear canal, making them completely invisible. If you are interested in Lyric devices, please contact us for a hearing exam.

Balance FAQs

To understand how we diagnose dizziness or poor balance; you must understand how the balance system works. The three systems responsible for balance are the inner ear, which houses the vestibular nerve that is responsible for balance; eye movements; and sensory input from the muscles and joints called proprioception. Proprioception is responsible for informing the brain about interactions with the environment, like walking on rough concrete and transitioning to dewy grass. If any of these three systems are off, it can cause dizziness or imbalance.

Dizziness and balance difficulties often result from problems in the vestibular system, which is linked to the hearing system in the inner ear. However, it is important to examine a patient’s medical history to identify any past conditions or medications that may cause imbalance or dizziness. A series of balance tests designed to identify the source of a person’s dizziness allows an audiologist to identify which parts of the hearing or vestibular system are not functioning normally.

Dizziness, vertigo, and balance problems result from a variety of factors. However, the two most common causes are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or vestibulopathy.

BPPV is a complex condition in which you have brief, but intense, episodes of dizziness that occur when you move your head in a certain position or hold it at a particular angle. There are several variants of BPPV, but it commonly occurs when tiny particles in your balance system called, “otoconia,” break loose and fall into the canals of your inner ear.

Vestibulopathy is a condition wherein there is a reduction in the output of one of both of the vestibular portions of the inner ear. Oftentimes, the onset of vestibulopathy begins with a severe vertigo attack, accompanied by nausea that lasts several days. Symptoms may include dizziness with head or body movement, motion sickness, or an uneasiness with certain visual stimuli, such as flickering lights down an escalator.

Dizziness and balance problems often result from problems in the vestibular system, part of which is located in the inner ear. Therefore, balance tests, such as VNG Testing and VEMP Testing can evaluate the integrity of the vestibular system. Balance testing allows your audiologist to localize the source of imbalance or dizziness by identifying which components are not functioning properly.

Everyone experiences dizziness differently. Therefore, treatment should be custom-fit to meet the individual needs of each patient. Though treatment will vary from person to person, two of the more commonly used treatments are vestibular rehabilitation and the Canalith Repositioning Treatment (Epley Maneuver). Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise-based therapy program designed to improve balance and minimize dizziness symptoms. Canalith Repositioning Treatment, commonly referred to as the Epley maneuver, can help relieve vertigo associated with a positive diagnosis of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

You should have your balance evaluated if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Experience a feeling of motion with certain movements, such as quick head turns or getting out of bed
  • Have difficulty getting around in the dark
  • Feel uneasy walking down an aisle in the store or walking in a shopping mall
  • Sometimes feel like you have no control of your feet
  • Feel unsteady or need to touch something while walking
  • Feel uneasy looking out of the window of a moving car
  • Have trouble walking from one surface to another, such as tile to carpet
  • Feel as though you are swaying or leaning toward one direction while you are walking

Tinnitus FAQs

Tinnitus is defined as the perception of sound when no external sound is present. Tinnitus is often described as ringing, buzzing, hissing, etc. Tinnitus can be present constantly or occur intermittently and can fluctuate in volume. Tinnitus is considered a symptom and not a disease.

The direct cause of tinnitus is unknown; however, current research suggests it is a result of the brain’s reaction to a change within the auditory system. Tinnitus is often accompanied by hearing loss, with up to 85-90% of patients with hearing loss experiencing tinnitus. It can also occur as a result of impacted cerumen (ear wax), ear infections, exposure to loud sounds and as a side effect of certain medications. Tinnitus is also associated with other non-auditory conditions such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, as well as head and neck injury.

Tinnitus that is the result of certain ear-related issues (including impacted ear wax and conductive hearing loss) will typically diminish once the underlying medical issue is resolved. There are a variety of ways to help better manage permanent tinnitus including sound therapy and counseling.

The certified tinnitus specialists at Hearing Evaluation Services are trained in various aspects of Sound Therapy and work with patients to develop an individualized tinnitus management program. Current management options include:

  • Traditional Hearing Devices
  • Masking Devices
  • Neuromonics™ Devices
  • Combination Devices
  • Counseling
  • Stress and Sleep Management

Presently, there are no medications or supplements that have been researched and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of tinnitus. There are a number of over-the-counter supplements marketed for tinnitus treatment, however, none have been scientifically proven to reduce or eliminate tinnitus. Medications for anxiety and depression can be used for patients with these conditions, which can be helpful in reducing stress related to the tinnitus. Patients should always consult with their physician before starting a new medication or supplement.

Insurance FAQs

Nearly all insurances cover baseline hearing tests. There is no minimum age requirement. Other diagnostic tests are typically covered as well. This would include balance or dizziness tests or more extensive hearing testing, if necessary. There are also several different ways that insurance companies support hearing aids but there is a wide variety of ways they go about it. It all depends on your insurance program.

There are a wide variety of programs for hearing aids, depending on the individual insurance company and specific insurance policy. Some companies allocate a certain amount they will contribute towards hearing aids. Others participate in hearing aid discount programs, but unfortunately, these programs can be extremely limiting in the type of device a patient can receive with very limited choices. Many patients will also use their flex dollars towards their hearing aids or use it to upgrade to a more advanced device than what their insurance covers.

A hearing aid benefit is money paid by the insurance company to pay all or part of the cost of any hearing aid the patient chooses. It is similar to how insurance companies cover the costs of eyeglasses. A hearing aid discount program gives the patient access to hearing aids at a reduced price that the patient pays for entirely. The insurance company pays nothing. These discount programs often have a very limited selection available with limited services included.

Yes! Flex dollars can be used towards hearing devices and any custom ear mold offered through Hearing Evaluation Services. Many patients use this as a way to upgrade from their basic insurance contribution to get a hearing device with some of the newest technological features – such as Bluetooth connectivity, functional smartphone apps, and rechargeable batteries.

Unfortunately, some people think that access to discounted hearing aids is the same as an insurance benefit. It’s not. Since the insurance company does not contribute to the cost of the hearing aids, the patient pays the whole bill. Additionally, many of these plans try to limit where patients can go to get their hearing aids and they work with high-pressure sales companies. When you come to HES, we will check your insurance and make sure you know all your options, we honor your insurance benefits or discounts, and we never use high-pressure tactics.