Sound Relief Hearing Center offers several highly specialized audiology services including tinnitus treatment, extensive diagnostic hearing testing, and solutions for decreased sound tolerance.
Tinnitus Assessment $60
(Includes the comprehensive audiological evaluation)
A tinnitus assessment at Sound Relief combines tinnitus-specific tests, a comprehensive audiological evaluation, and tympanometry. We conduct all of these tests in the same appointment to both identify and eliminate potential causes of tinnitus. For patients with hyperacusis (decreased sound tolerance), the evaluation process is very similar to that of tinnitus.
The tinnitus specific tests include the following:
Pitch and Loudness Matching to your tinnitus as well as the minimal masking levels needed to completely “cover-up” or mask the tinnitus. These measures are of interest to document the perception of a patient’s tinnitus and how these levels may change over time; however, their accuracy is NOT critical to the success of tinnitus treatment.
Loudness Discomfort Levels (LDLs)
If sound sensitivity is reported or suspected, LDLs measure the loudest level a person can tolerate before discomfort to different pitched tones. We utilize this testing to better understand if recruitment or hyperacusis is present with tinnitus.
At Sound Relief, we know that a patient’s perception of their tinnitus can change in pitch and loudness from day to day; however, it is best to document these fluctuations at least annually to have a better concept of the variance perceived and the neuroplasticity involved.
Comprehensive Audiological Evaluation $40
Among our audiology services are audiological evaluations. These consist of a series of tests and inspections to assess the overall hearing health of a patient.
To perform these tests, we start with an inspection of the ear canals and eardrums. If ear wax (cerumen) is present, it must be removed to continue the evaluation. Why? The ear canal is a very small opening that allows sound waves to travel to the eardrum. Wax impaction can skew test results and must be removed for accurate results. Depending on the extent of ear wax buildup, there may be an extra charge. See “Removal of Non-Impacted Cerumen” and “Removal of Impacted Cerumen” below for more details.
We also perform the following tests as part of a comprehensive audiological evaluation, which are discussed in more detail below:
Pure Tone Air & Bone Conduction Testing measures the lowest level (in dB) a person can detect of a specific pitch 50% of the time.
Speech Testing Measures how well the brain interprets speech:
- Speech Reception Threshold (SRT) – Measures the softest speech signal a person can repeat back correctly 50% of the time.
- Word Recognition Scores (WRS) – Determine how the brain is decoding a speech signal using each ear separately as well as together as a system at a comfortable level.
- QuickSIN, or Speech-In-Noise test – Measures ability to decode speech in the presence of background noise at a comfortable level.
Depending on the results, our audiologist may recommend additional tests and/or evaluations.
Tympanometry measures the movement of the eardrum in response to changes in pressure measured by a probe placed in the ear canal. The purpose of this measurement is to verify the status of the outer and middle ear by checking the volume of the ear canal and the mobility of the eardrum. Tympanometry can confirm or deny issues such as a perforated eardrum, fluid behind the eardrum, negative pressure build-up in the middle ear, and other outer and middle ear disorders.
Real Ear Measurements (REM) $85
Real Ear Measurements (REM) are a conformity evaluation for patients that have been fit with hearing aids. Once the full prescription with amplification has been achieved, REM verifies the hearing aids are working as they should and providing the intended benefits inside the patient’s ear canal at the eardrum.
REMs are the gold standard in audiology for verification that a hearing device is matching the prescriptive targets necessary for soft, average, and loud sounds across the frequency range. A small, probe-tube microphone is placed into the ear canal to measure these levels with the hearing device in place. REM considers individual ear canal differences including the length and overall size of each person’s unique ear canal. Based on these measurements, a hearing device can be properly adjusted to better provide the necessary signals to make speech audible and hopefully more clear.
DPOAE (3-6 frequencies with findings) $35
Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions (DPOAEs) objectively measure hearing verifying outer hair cell integrity and cochlear function. DPOAEs present two simultaneous tones to the ear via a probe inserted into the ear canal which checks the status of the cochlear hair cells in the inner ear. DPOAEs are a diagnostic tool that detects hearing loss with a high level of accuracy because there is no response needed by the patient. This test measures 3-6 frequencies in each ear and the audiologist interprets the results found.
DPOAE (12 frequencies with findings) $60
Same as the above except it measures twice as many frequencies, or pitches, to detect damage to the inner ear or cochlea. More frequencies are needed when trying to complete a more precise picture as to the status of full cochlear function. This test measures 12 frequencies in each ear and the audiologist interprets the results found.
Removal of Non-Impacted Cerumen (per ear) $50
If the cerumen, or earwax, is not fully filling the entire ear canal, it may be possible for the provider to remove it gently with a wax loop. Using a bright light and magnification, non-impacted cerumen can be removed in less time and with less effort. Non-impacted cerumen should be removed to prevent the canal from becoming totally impacted over time, or from inadvertently pushing the wax deeper into the canal with insert earphones or earbuds.
Removal of Impacted Cerumen (per ear) $100
Impacted cerumen is when an ear canal is full of earwax. Impaction can cause or contribute to hearing loss, tinnitus, and/or vertigo (if pushing against the eardrum). This procedure typically requires more time as the audiologist needs to soften the impacted cerumen with oil or eardrops. Irrigation is often necessary to remove the wax gently from the full length of the ear canal.
Hearing & Speech Testing Audiology Services
Pure Tone Air & Bone Conduction Testing $30
(If not a part of a Comprehensive Audiological Evaluation)
This measures the lowest level (in dB) a person can detect a specific pitch 50% of the time, called the hearing threshold. The hearing thresholds at different pitches or frequencies (measured in Hertz, or Hz) are verified by bone conduction testing and speech reception thresholds to prove their validity.
This is more of a screening test done to confirm or deny the presence of hearing loss and the type of hearing loss present. During an annual review of hearing, this test is most likely performed instead of a full audiological evaluation, unless significant changes are reported.
Bone conduction testing is performed to diagnose a middle ear disorder, such as an ear infection (fluid). Bone conduction testing bypasses the middle ear and stimulates the inner ear directly through the mastoid bone, which is located behind the ear. When air and bone conduction measures match, the reliability of the tone testing is confirmed, and a middle ear disorder is ruled out.
Air Conduction Only $20
This is an absolute screening measure only to offer a “pass” or “fail” analysis of hearing thresholds. Automated tests present air conduction measures only to determine if more testing is needed or not. Health fairs often use this measure to screen a large group of people at one time, and to advise them whether they need a more comprehensive check of their hearing or not.
Speech Testing $25
(If not a part of a Comprehensive Audiological Evaluation)
These tests measure how speech is interpreted by the brain.
Speech Reception Threshold (SRT) is the softest speech signal a person can repeat back correctly 50% of the time. A patient’s SRT should match the tone-testing average to verify the reliability of the testing overall.
Word Recognition Scores (WRS) are measured at a comfortable loudness level to determine how the brain is decoding a speech signal with each ear independently as well as together as a system. WRS is an important measure to predict possible success or limitations with amplification for an individual. Word recognition scores are a good predictor of permanent auditory nerve damage and can be tracked over time to show the progressive nature of sensory hearing loss, especially if untreated.
At Sound Relief, we also measure the ability to decode speech in the presence of various levels of background noise, referred to as the QuickSIN, or Speech-In-Noise test. This provides a better understanding of how patients understand speech in more complex listening environments, such as a cocktail party or restaurant.
Hearing Device & Hearing Protection Audiology Services
Hearing Aid Clean and Check – Monoaural (One) $20 – Binaural (Two) $40
For out-of-warranty patients, this charge is for deep cleaning devices and/or changing wax filters. This type of service can be completed by a technician or audiologist and should only take 10 – 20 minutes.
General Hearing Aid Service (per 30 minutes) $150
General hearing aid services are billed in 30-minute increments. This charge is for out-of-warranty hearing aids or those not purchased from Sound Relief. Services may include programming, firmware updates, cleaning, adjustments, and in-house repairs.
Earmold Impression Only $125 each ear
This charge is for people who need ear impressions for purposes outside of Sound Relief.
Earmold Impression $50 each ear
This charge is for earmolds for patients purchasing custom products from Sound Relief. For example, when they need earmolds for in-the-ear monitors, custom hearing protection, or hearing aids that require impressions for a specific type of earmold.
Out of Office Visits “House Calls”
In special circumstances, if you are unable to make your appointment at one of our Colorado or Arizona hearing centers, we may be able to come to you.
The charge for each out-of-office visit is based on a half-hour schedule. The first half-hour will be billed at $200. Each additional half-hour will be billed at $150. Travel time will be billed for patients located greater than 5 miles away from our established offices.
Sound Relief Hearing Center will not submit a claim to your insurance carrier for these services. We will provide a receipt and a Superbill upon request. Payment is required at the time of the visit and all major credit cards are accepted. For more information, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.