At Audiologists Northwest, we take your hearing health seriously. We know how important communication is to your professional and personal life, which is why we want to offer you the information and resources you need to help you address any issues you have with your auditory system.
We accept CareCredit®, the leading healthcare credit card, to make improving your hearing health easier and more affordable. With CareCredit®, you can get the hearing instrument you need and conveniently pay for it over time with monthly payments that easily fit into your budget.
Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Aids
Learn everything you need to know about hearing aids before your appointment with us. View our consumer guide here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there questions you have regarding hearing loss, hearing aids or your auditory system but don’t know where to start? Find our FAQs here.
How Hearing Works
Hearing is the interpretation of sound that enters the brain through the auditory nerve. The structures of the ear (apart from balance) are all designed to make this interpretation happen.
Soundwaves are directed by the outer ear, or pinna, into the ear canal and to the eardrum (tympanic membrane). The eardrum vibrates in such a way as to send signals to the middle ear, where three small bones transfer the vibrations to the middle ear. The bones are colloquially called the stirrup, hammer and anvil due to their shapes.
The inner ear contains the cochlea and two small orifices, called windows, through which the sound passes over tiny follicles that create a neurochemical signal. This signal or impulse passes along the auditory nerve behind the ear to the brain for interpretation. What is interpreted as sound is what we hear.
Degrees of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss impacts people differently and can be mild, moderate, moderately-severe, severe or profound in degree. Understanding the severity of hearing loss is crucial to developing the best approach to treatment.
Hearing and Balance
Our auditory system isn’t just responsible for hearing, it also contributes to our balance. Problems with the external, middle or inner ear can contribute to dizziness and feeling off-balance. Proper hearing care can help determine the cause of dizziness and how it can be treated.
Impacts of Untreated Hearing Loss
Hearing loss affects lives in many ways. We may not be able to hear voices well or may have difficulty talking on the phone. Most people don’t realize that a big factor in isolation in older people is the inability to hear. We get frustrated, always saying, “What?” when spoken to. Other people become frustrated with us, and we do not socialize as we should. There are physical problems associated with hearing loss, as well. Audiologists look for malformations in the ear, neck, and head.
Information About Hearing Loss
This is an informational page that educates visitors on the many different types of hearing loss.
Latest Hearing Health News
You can stay current with the latest studies and trends involving your hearing health on our site. Find the latest hearing health news here.
Musicians’ Hearing Loss and Prevention
Music is one of the special areas of hearing, perception and hearing loss. Musicians need to hear all the notes, get the nuances right, but must still protect their hearing.
Specialized musicians’ ear protectors and monitors are designed to allow the frequencies of music through to the eardrum while canceling harsh or loud sound. Musicians can wear earplugs that do much the same thing and are sold based on allowable decibels.
Download our patient forms to help expedite your appointment so that we may provide you with the exceptional hearing healthcare.
The whooshing or buzzing sound in the ears that many people experience when there is no actual noise is called tinnitus. The condition is measured from mild to severe and can be life-changing to some people.
Tinnitus, which often accompanies hearing loss in older people, is most likely caused by exposure to loud sound for many years, which causes the deterioration of tiny cells in the cochlea that interpret sound. The cells act as though sound waves were entering the ear, and the brain interprets the phantom signal as sound.
Tinnitus can’t be cured, but there are several treatments available. Some involve drugs, and some involve therapy. A training course designed to help the brain become less sensitive to phantom s a psychiatric kind of treatment.
Many people find success using background noise to counter the constant (usually) noise. White noise machines for sleeping, televisions and radios and the like can help reposition the attention of the brain away from tinnitus.