Your Hearing


Comprehensive Hearing Assessments

When Was The Last Time That Your Hearing Was Tested?

Although we all regularly have our teeth checked, get a yearly physical, and have our eyes tested, hardly any of us regularly test our hearing.

With hearing loss becoming increasingly common in younger generations and with our part of the world exposing many people to experience-rich lives that have impacted their hearing, we’re incredibly passionate about raising awareness for regularly testing your hearing.

Self-diagnosing a hearing loss is very difficult, as you can’t hear what you’re missing. Hearing loss can be so slow and gradual that you don’t notice the difference from day to day and have no way to compare to what your hearing was once like.

If a loved one has expressed any concerns that you may have a hearing loss or you’ve experienced any of the common signs of hearing loss, then we strongly encourage you to schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment.

It’s convenient and non-invasive, and it will ensure that any potential hearing challenge can be caught early and preventive measures can be taken, rather than taking the risk of having much more complex and irreversible hearing challenges at a later date.

To schedule your hearing assessment, simply complete the form on this page or call our friendly team at 650-854-1980 (Menlo Park) or (650) 941-0664 (Los Altos).

“‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’ We love this Chinese proverb that can be applied to the importance of testing your hearing.”

– Dr. Deborah Clark

Dr. Deborah Clark of Pacific Hearing Service


Pacific Hearing Service Methodical 5-Step Testing Process

A female audiologist performing otoscopic inspection

#1 - Otoscopic Inspection

We will use an otoscope to look into your ears. This will allow us to see if earwax has accumulated in your ear canals or if there are signs that might require a referral to a physician. If you have a lot of wax in your ear canals, you may need to have it removed before the hearing test can be done. We can do this in our office (see our page on ear cleaning), or you can have it done by your medical doctor. Your audiologist can discuss the options with you.

A senior man undergoing eardrum test at Pacific Hearing Service

#2 - Immittance

This is a series of tests that tells us about the mechanical function of your eardrum and some of the nerves that innervate the middle part of the ear. A small rubber tip is placed into your ear canal and you will feel slight pressure changes. You will also hear some buzzing and beeping sounds. For most people, it is not uncomfortable and it gives us valuable information about what the cause of your hearing symptoms might be. For example, if your hearing difficulty is related to allergies or a cold, this test will help us to identify that.

A female doctor of audiology discussing Otoacoustic results with a senior patient

#3 - Otoacoustic Emissions

When you hear a sound, it activates tiny hair cells that are in the inner ear. When these cells are activated, they make a noise themselves. During this test, we put a small microphone into the ear canal to measure the sound your hair cells are making. This allows us to determine how healthy those cells are. This test is routinely done with children and frequently with adults, particularly at the initial evaluation.

A female undergoing hearing evaluation at Pacific Hearing Service

#4 - Pure-tone Audiometry

This is the portion of the test that most people think of as a hearing test or hearing profile. You will go into a sound booth and listen through headphones to a series of tones that range from soft to loud as well as bass to treble, representing the sounds important for speech understanding. You will be asked to press a button or raise your hand every time you hear a tone. Your audiologist will record your responses, creating a graph of your hearing ability called an audiogram and indicating the degree of hearing deficit (mild, moderate, severe, etc.). Additional information is obtained about the potential cause of your hearing difficulties by evaluating how you hear via bone conduction. Since sound is vibration, this is done simply by putting a small oscillator behind your ear and, once again, asking you to respond when you hear tones.

A hearing specialist performing lack of speech clarity test

#5 - Speech Testing

Some people have more difficulty understanding speech than others regardless of how loud the speech is. This is referred to as a loss of discrimination or clarity. You will be asked to repeat a series of words from a standardized recorded test in order to see if you are having difficulty understanding specific speech sounds. One of the most important evaluations we do is a measure of how you hear in noise. You will hear a series of sentences with cocktail party noise in the background. Your ability to correctly repeat the sentences helps us to understand the degree of difficulty you have when in noisy situations such as a restaurant. We consider this one of the most important components of a hearing evaluation!

Ready to Schedule Your  Hearing Assessment?

The first step toward better hearing is to schedule your hearing assessment with the team of experts at Pacific Hearing Service.

It’s quick, non-invasive, and this simple test will allow you to address your hearing challenges and take the right preventative measures if required.

To schedule a convenient time, please complete this form and a member of our team will call you back shortly to confirm your appointment.

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