Archives: Services

Hearing Conservation Program

Hearing Conservation Stockton CA University of the Pacific’s San Francisco clinic offers a Hearing Conservation Program open to all organizations whose employees are subject to potentially damaging levels of noise exposure. By participating in this program, you’ll benefit in the following ways:

  • You can be assured that your organization is OSHA-compliant.
  • This program is an inexpensive benefit for your employees.
  • Hassle-free—we’ll do the work so you can focus on your business.
  • Excellent hearing health for your employees will result in fewer claims over time.
  • HIPAA-compliant.

Services included in our Hearing Conservation Program:

  • Employee hearing testing (baseline & annual)
  • Baseline comparison and case review
  • Clear recommendations
  • Medical referrals
  • Audiological follow-up
  • Reporting to employers with easily implementable recommendations
  • Discounts on custom earplugs and ear pieces

Because exposure to loud noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss, OSHA requires all employers to protect their workers from noise-induced hearing loss. When noise levels exceed 85 decibels, the recognized threshold for safe hearing, OSHA requires that you provide a hearing conservation program. A successful hearing conservation program identifies noise levels that are dangerous to your employees and reduces their exposure through ear protection. A certified technician will provide annual hearing testing and will monitor and track results to ensure adherence to OSHA’s guidelines. A Certified Clinical Audiologist will be available for this portion of the program.

The staff at University of the Pacific can help you determine which employees will need to be enrolled. For reference, the chart below depicts OSHA’s standards in determining how long an employee can be exposed to various decibel levels before risking damage to their hearing.

HoursdB
890
495
2100
1105
.5110
.25115

Musician’s Monitors

Musicians in-ear monitors are the best way to protect your hearing from loud music. Exposure to loud music is one of the leading causes of noise-induced hearing loss. Musicians spend many hours practicing and performing and depend on hearing well to compose or perform their music. Unfortunately, consistent exposure to loud music carries a high price.

Damaging sound levels can lead to a host of hearing disorders including long-term hearing loss and tinnitus. Musicians earplugs and in-ear-monitors can help prevent noise-induced hearing loss while allowing musicians to enjoy the music and reduce their risk of developing permanent hearing damage.

Musician monitors block out the loud surrounding sounds made by electric instruments, drums and audience members while delivering excellent sound feedback directly to your ears at a safe volume.

Since musicians are often surrounded by very loud noise, most musician monitors are custom-made to fit an individual’s ears. This ensures that the earplugs are comfortable and that environmental noises are fully blocked while the sounds you want to hear are transmitted at the highest quality possible. Universal in-ear monitors are also available for musicians looking to cut costs, though they reduce the effectiveness of the earplugs and the caliber of the music.

Musician monitors have two parts: a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitters can be set up for mono or stereo sound and are typically worn by a band’s vocalist. One transmitter can send sound to as many receivers as is necessary, so members of a band can all hear the same feedback through their in-ear musician monitors.

Call University of the Pacific Hearing & Balance Center for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Custom Earmolds

Your ears are unique. In order for your hearing aids to fit comfortably, the majority of today’s devices are made using custom molds of your ears.

Custom ear molds are created using impressions of your ear canals and middle ears. This ensures a perfect fit and optimal performance.

Because they will perfectly match the contours of your ears, custom ear molds offer a tight and secure fit, and are not reserved for hearing aids only. They are also used to design earplugs, Bluetooth headsets and other devices.

USES FOR CUSTOM EAR MOLDS

In addition to providing an excellent fit for hearing aids, custom ear molds offer unparalleled protection from noise exposure, and help keep water out of your ears while swimming or bathing.

custom ear molds stockton When participating in recreational activities where noise is an issue (rock concerts, sporting events, riding motorcycles, hunting) or working at job sites with excessive noise (industrial and construction settings), earplugs created from custom ear molds offer better protection than generic, one-size-fits-all plugs, and will help reduce noise leakage.

If you frequently listen to music through an MP3 device, earbuds created from custom ear molds offer a snug fit that improves sound quality and helps keep the earbuds in place during strenuous activity.

Those who enjoy swimming and other water activities will benefit from swimmer’s earplugs made from custom ear molds. They keep the ears dry and prevent infections and other diseases such as Swimmer’s Ear and Surfer’s Ear.

Speak with your audiologist today about the benefits of custom ear molds.

Tinnitus

Approximately 20% of California’s population suffers from tinnitus, a phantom noise in the ears that may be described as a ringing, hissing, roaring, whooshing, whistling, buzzing, or clicking sound. The tinnitus may be constant or intermittent, varies in pitch and volume and can be present in only one ear, or both.

Tinnitus can be a severe distraction that negatively impacts your quality of life. Tinnitus isn’t considered a disease, but rather, a symptom of an underlying condition. As such, there is no cure, but management strategies bring relief to many.

WHAT CAUSES TINNITUS?

It may be impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of tinnitus. A wide range of conditions can cause ringing in the ears. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Head/neck injuries
  • Impacted earwax
  • Meniere’s disease
  • TMJ disorders
  • Ototoxic medications
  • Stress
  • Hypertension
  • Migraines
  • Acoustic neuroma

Tinnitus is usually subjective in nature; that is, only the person experiencing it can hear it. Occasionally, another person – usually a doctor – is able to pick up the sounds, as well. This is known as objective tinnitus, and is rare.

TINNITUS RISKS AND TREATMENT

Tinnitus ManagementOlder individuals, males, smokers and those with cardiovascular problems are most at risk of developing tinnitus.

Tinnitus can greatly impact a person’s quality of life. It may lead to fatigue, depression, anxiety, memory loss, lack of concentration and irritability. While there is currently no cure for tinnitus itself, treating the underlying condition can bring relief. If not, there are several effective strategies for managing tinnitus. Noise suppression therapy trains the brain to ignore tinnitus by masking it with white noise. This can be achieved through the use of a special “white noise machine” or a simpler device such as a fan, air conditioner or humidifier. Tinnitus retraining devices utilize a similar concept, generating patterned tones that are meant to divert the brain’s attention from the annoying background sounds. Some people with tinnitus benefit from antidepressants or other medications.

Dizziness & Vertigo

Vertigo and dizziness are commonly lumped together, but each has a distinct set of symptoms.

Dizziness refers to a feeling of faintness or lightheadedness, while vertigo is characterized by the sensation of movement in the surrounding environment.

Dizziness and vertigo are both common, especially in older adults, and are classified as balance disorders. They are the result of underlying conditions.

SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES OF UNSTEADINESS

vertigo symptoms stocktonThe primary symptom of dizziness is a feeling of lightheadedness. You may feel like you are going to faint, and might experience nausea, confusion, disorientation, and a floating sensation. Vertigo is characterized by a feeling that the room is spinning. Additional symptoms include nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, a feeling of fullness in the ear, double vision and hearing loss.

Dizziness

A variety of conditions can cause dizziness. Low blood pressure, anemia, dehydration, heat disorders, bleeding, diabetes, thyroid disease, hyperventilation, heart conditions and certain medications (beta blockers, nitroglycerin) may all cause unsteadiness.

Vertigo

Often the result of loose calcium crystals in the inner ear. This can also be caused by inflammation of the inner ear, Meniere’s disease and benign tumors known as acoustic neuromas.

Treatment targets the underlying condition, and may include medication, surgery, physical or occupational therapy, vestibular rehabilitation and changes to your lifestyle.

If you are experiencing any of these dizziness or vertigo related symptoms, contact our San Francisco office today.

Hearing Test

Hearing test are instrumental in measuring the sensitivity of an individual’s hearing. This test helps audiologists determine whether a hearing loss exists, and if so, to what degree. With this information, an appropriate treatment plan can be developed.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HEARING TEST

Many people in San Francisco and Stockton have their vision checked regularly, but neglect their hearing. In reality, hearing test are every bit as important. Hearing loss is a gradual process that may develop so slowly the patient is unaware of his or her condition until it has reached a stage where fewer treatment options exist.

The sooner hearing loss is identified, the more effective treatment will be.

When hearing loss is identified through a hearing evaluation early, many patients are able to maintain the quality of life to which they have become accustomed. There may be more treatment solutions available, and they tend to be more effective.

WHAT A HEARING TEST ENTAILS

hearing test san francisco
Hearing evaluations begin with a review of your medical history. Your audiologist will ask you questions related to your hearing, and will physically examine your ears using an otoscope.

The hearing test continues with a series of hearing tests designed to measure sensitivity to different frequencies; the results are plotted on a chart called an audiogram. Tests may include some or all of the following:

  • Pure Tone Audiometry Test During this test, you will wear earphones and identify a series of tones of varying frequencies and volume directed to one ear at a time. This is used to measure the threshold of your hearing range.
  • `

  • Word Recognition Test. This measures the clarity of how your ear detects speech sounds and if you are able to hear the speech at a loud level.
  • QuickSIN (Quick Speech in Noise) Test. This measures your ability to separate speech from background noise, and is a useful test for determining whether hearing aids will be of benefit.
  • Tympanometry. This test measures movement of the eardrum in response to changes in air pressure. It is used to measure how your ear reacts to different sounds and pressures, and can help an audiologist detect problems such as impacted earwax, fluid in the middle ear, perforated eardrum, and tumors.
  • Acoustic Reflex Test. Measures involuntary muscle contractions of the middle ear when exposed to sound. Unusual responses can indicate problems with the ossicles, cochlea, auditory nerve, facial nerve, or brainstem.
  • Bone Conduction Test. A bone conduction oscillator is placed behind the ear, allowing tones to bypass the outer and middle ears and go directly to the inner ear. This is helpful in determining whether hearing loss is conductive (related to problems in the outer or middle ear) or sensorineural (the result of inner ear dysfunction).