Adults and Hearing Loss

More than half of adults over 65 have some degree of hearing loss. But various diseases and conditions can cause hearing loss in younger adults as well. 

At the Listen for Life Center, our highly experienced audiologists and otologists/neurotologists are here to help you receive the highest level of hearing possible.

If you — or people who are often around you — think you might have a hearing problem, getting a comprehensive hearing evaluation is a good next step. 

Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is divided into two types:

  • Conductive hearing loss can occur when a problem develops somewhere along the path that sound waves take through the inner or middle ear.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss can occur when there is damage to the part of the inner ear that creates electrical impulses or damage to the nerve pathways that carry those impulses to the brain.

Getting Your Hearing Tested

At the Listen for Life Center, all of our audiologists are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 

As part of our comprehensive audiology testing, they will talk with you about your medical history and your hearing issues, and perform various hearing tests.

Depending on your insurance, you may need a referral from your primary care physician for audiology testing. Most insurances cover some type of testing, but check with your insurance or Medicare plan for specific details.

To schedule a comprehensive hearing evaluation, call one of our Listen for Life Center locations in Seattle, Federal Way or Issaquah.

Hearing Tests

Hearing tests are not painful and most involve telling the audiologist when you can hear the various tones, voices or other noises they play for you. Sometimes, you will be wearing soft earplugs.

The various tests in a comprehensive evaluation will help determine: 

  • The softest tone you can hear
  • Your ability to understand speech at various listening levels
  • Any dysfunction in your eardrum, middle ear bones or tubes
  • Your acoustic reflexes at various frequencies

Specialized tests are also available, if necessary, to help determine:

  • The impact on your auditory system if there is a significant difference in hearing from one ear to the other
  • Electrical signal responses of the inner ear
  • If there is damage in the cochlea of the inner ear

For some tests you may have a tiny probe positioned in you ear canal or you may wear a cap that contains multiple electrodes.

Depending on the results of your testing, you may be referred to our hearing aid program.