PACIFIC HEARING SERVICE
The Most Comprehensive Communication Assessment Available
If you’re planning on having a hearing assessment, then why not go for the new gold standard?
Because your hearing is linked to so many other critical areas of your communication and long-term health, it truly baffles us to see many hearing care clinics offer ‘free screenings’ and ‘online hearing tests.’
If you’re anything like us, then you want to ensure that there are no sacrifices or shortcuts when it comes to any form of medical examination or test. You want your time to be used effectively to ensure you receive a comprehensive communication evaluation.
We created the ‘360 Communication’ Assessment for people who want a full and detailed assessment of all areas of communication to ensure that there are no hidden challenges, either now or in the future.
The Nine Steps to ‘360 Communication’ Hearing and Wellness Plan
#1 – History
Your medical history is important. Research shows that body systems are interrelated. Changes in hearing are associated with changes in cognition, cardiovascular function, diabetes, balance/falls, and more.
Your social history is important. Hearing connects you to people and your surroundings. Changes in hearing are associated with social isolation, loneliness, and depression.
We want to get to know you. Discovering the full picture helps us use the results from each test to customize your 360 Communication Hearing and Wellness Plan.
#2 – Video otoscopy and earwax removal
Have you ever seen what the inside of your ear looks like? We can’t wait to show you. We have a camera and microscope to give both of us a better view. Though earwax has a purpose, too much of it can impact your hearing. If we see too much, we will remove it (pain free!) through suction, irrigation, or using instruments.
#3 – Dexterity
We use the Purdue Pegboard test which focuses on your ability to work with small objects. In addition to assessing current dexterity, this test may help identify persons with preclinical neurological changes.
#4 – Vision
The Snellen chart and the Jaeger Eye Chart will help us assess both your near and far field vision. These are important for using and maintaining hearing aids and for reading facial expressions and environmental cues for speech comprehension.
#5 – Balance
There are many different reasons you may be at risk for falling, including untreated hearing loss, which can increase your risk of falling by up to 8 times. We evaluate your balance through the simple and practical Timed Up and Go (TUG) screening. We may recommend at home exercises or refer you to specialized physical or vestibular therapy. Some hearing aids even have a ‘fall detection alert.’
#6 – Cognition
Untreated hearing loss is linked to changes in cognition; the rate of decline can increase by up to 5 times. Our procedure uses a groundbreaking new FDA-cleared system that will screen your executive function, memory, visuospatial skills, reaction time and processing speed. Recent research indicates that treating hearing loss can slow down or potentially even reverse cognitive decline. Each hearing aid processes sound differently and this screening will help us select the best hearing devices for you as part of your plan of care.
#7 – Hearing
- Hearing Diagnostics – This comprehensive test allows a doctor of audiology to look at all parts of your hearing system from your ear to your brain, including your outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, and auditory processing. It’s non-invasive, pain free, and will determine if any of your hearing challenges are medically treatable.
- Hearing In Noise – Hearing in noise is the most common hearing complaint. This test measures how well you can focus on what you want to hear in noisy environments and your listening effort in noise. This information helps us recommend the best treatment options for you, including hearing aid selection/programming, accessories, and auditory training.
- Auditory Processing – This test screens your brain’s ability to make sense of sound. Auditory processing can be difficult even if you have normal hearing sensitivity! Changes in auditory processing naturally occur with aging, which often results in struggling to understand people who talk quickly or have foreign accents.
- Sound Tolerance – Everyone has different sound preferences. This test allows us to understand which sounds are uncomfortably loud for you and how long you can tolerate being in noisy situations. Your sensitivity impacts which devices we choose and how we program them.
#8 – Development of Your 360 Communication Hearing and Wellness Plan
Our approach is tailored for your unique needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Based on all of the information collected during this process, we create a ‘360 Communication Hearing and Wellness Plan.’ Your plan includes a comprehensive take-home report for you and your physician. This details the results of your tests and any needed referrals, such as primary care, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, neurology, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Then we help make your next steps as simple as possible.
#9 – Continued support
We are here for you each step of the way. As your health, hearing, and lifestyle change over time we will reevaluate and adjust your plan as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions About a ‘360 Communication’ Assessment
Q: How long does a ‘360 Communication’ Take?
Each assessment is unique, depending on your specific needs and concerns.
On average, they last between 90 minutes to two hours.
The ‘360 Communication’ is the most advanced and comprehensive communications evaluation available.
Q: Should I have this instead of a standard hearing assessment?
Changes in your health often occur too gradually to be noticed, so it is important to establish baselines for critical functions. By being proactive and optimizing your health you may decrease the risk of memory loss, cognitive decline, or falls. When we capture more details about your communication abilities we are better able to support your best hearing outcome so you can remain engaged and continue living life to the fullest.
Q: Do I need to prepare ahead of an assessment?
You don’t have to prepare ahead of time for your appointment. Come well rested and on time so we don’t feel rushed. If you wear reading glasses, please bring them.
Q: Will my insurance cover this?
No, the ‘360 Communication’ is an out-of-pocket investment into your overall communication health. It is typically done as an add-on to your hearing evaluation (which in many cases is covered by insurance.) The ‘360 Communication’ assessment costs $360 in addition to your other evaluations.
Schedule Your 360 Communication Assessment
360 Communication is the most comprehensive speech, understanding, and engagement assessment available.
Developed by highly trusted Doctors of Audiology, it ensures that you’re not just having a hearing test, but you’re putting your entire ability to communicate to the test.
To schedule your assessment, complete this form and a member of our team will contact you shortly to find a date/time that works for you.
// STORIES //
Proud To Care for Some of the Most Influencial People in Silicon Valley
// MY STORY
How past Secretary of Defense William J. Perry found Pacific Hearing Service the right experts for his needs
As a former Secretary of Defense, William J. Perry has lived a life that few could imagine. But just like millions of people across America, he’s also had to contend with a hearing loss.For over sixteen years, Pacific Hearing Service has been proud to provide William with innovative treatments and excellent care. It’s been fantastic to help him on his journey to better hearing.
// MY STORY
We’re proud to call Ann Hardy a patient: she’s a true Silicon Valley pioneer and a friend.
As a pioneer in computer programming, Ann joined IBM in New York in 1956. Among other projects, Ann worked on one of the first Fortran compilers, which was for STRETCH, IBM’s supercomputer of the day. STRETCH can now be seen in the Computer History Museum.
Ann’s hearing loss journey started when she visited her doctor to complain that she couldn’t hear very well. He referred her to Dr. Deborah Clark at Pacific Hearing Service.
// MY STORY
How Dr. Deborah Clark saved Tom from Brain Surgery
Tom went to Dr. Deborah Clark at Pacific Hearing Service for a second opinion, and his own words says, “She saved me from brain surgery.” – She advised that he may not need surgery and her help resulted in him getting the advice of a neurologist that advised that he didn’t need brain surgery.
The rest is history and Dr. Deborah has been helping Tom to achieve better hearing and continue to bring his unique and memorable personality to the world.
// MY STORY
‘I call them my ears’ – find out why writer and NPR commentator Debbie Duncan loves her Widex hearing aids
Like many people, writer and NPR contributor Debbie Duncan’s children were the first to notice that she had a hearing loss, a friend recommended that she talk to the experts at Pacific Hearing Service. This is where she met Dr. Clark, clinical audiologist at the Los Altos office. “She’s wonderful,” Debbie says. “She figured out that I have a weirdly shaped right ear. She made wearing hearing devices comfortable.”
// MY STORY
They are committed to getting the best results for each patient.
My first experience of a hearing challenge was when I had a sudden and profound hearing loss in my left ear. Prior to visiting Pacific Hearing Service, I didn’t have any concerns, but I was anxious to see what Dr. Baxter and her team could do for me.
My first impression was that Dr. Baxter and her team were extremely passionate about helping those who have lost their hearing and committed to getting the best results for each patient. They are also very thorough and knowledgeable.
They have improved my hearing so that I am not constantly having to say, “What did you say?” or, “Sorry, but I can’t hear you.”My overall verdict of Pacific Hearing Service is that they are excellent.