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Audiology & Hearing Services at Altru

With Altru’s Audiology and Hearing Center, your ears are in good hands.

When you visit either of our convenient locations you will be seen by a doctor of audiology, experts in hearing assessment, treatment and technology. Our audiologists are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and licensed to practice audiology and dispense hearing aids in both North Dakota and Minnesota.

Altru’s audiology and hearing center offers full audiological services for infants, children, adolescents, adults and geriatric populations. If you or someone close to you is experiencing hearing loss, now is the time to talk to our audiologists to see how they can help.

In addition to our Grand Forks locations, our licensed audiologists provide outreach services to the communities of Cavalier, Devils Lake, Crookston, Roseau and Thief River Falls.

Your insurance may require a referral to see an audiologist. Please contact us to see if a referral is required or proceed by talking to your physician about a referral to audiology.

Altru's Audiology & Hearing Center is located in Altru Main Clinic and Yorhom Medical Essentials. For more information please call, 701.780.6204.

Audiology Services

  • Comprehensive hearing evaluations
  • Tympanometry and acoustic reflex testing
  • Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) testing
  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing
  • Videonystagmography (VNG) testing
  • Central Auditory Processing (CAP) evaluations

Hearing Loss

The purpose of an audiological evaluation is to determine hearing acuity. If hearing loss is identified, it is categorized by the type, the degree and the configuration of the loss.

Type

The type of hearing loss suggests the point in the auditory system where the loss is occurring.

  • Conductive: Temporary or permanent loss typically due to abnormal conditions of the outer and/or middle ear, such as earwax, infection or abnormal bone growth in the middle ear. May be medically or surgically treated by an ear, nose and throat physician or primary care provider.
  • Sensorineural: Typically a permanent hearing loss affecting the nerve cells in the cochlea and/or auditory nerve, which may be due to disease, the aging process, noise exposure, trauma or inherited conditions. Typically not medically or surgically treated.
  • Mixed: Combination of both conductive and sensorineural.

Degree

The degree categorizes the severity of the hearing loss.

  • Normal: Hearing is within normal limits, suggesting no hearing loss.
  • Mild: Minimal hearing loss; individual will miss some consonants and vowels.
  • Moderate: Individual may understand face-to-face conversation in a quiet situation; can miss 50-75 percent of spoken language in the presence of background noise.
  • Moderately severe: Individual will miss most of all spoken message, even talking face-to-face.
  • Severe: Individual may not hear voice, unless speech is very loud.
  • Profound: Individual may not be able to detect the presence of speech or even loud environmental sounds.

Configuration

Configuration attributes:

  • bilateral versus unilateral hearing loss
  • symmetrical versus asymmetrical hearing loss
  • high frequency versus low frequency hearing loss
  • flat versus sloping hearing loss
  • progressive versus sudden hearing loss
  • stable versus fluctuating hearing loss.

Depending on results, the audiologist may recommend amplification and/or possibly refer you to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist for a medical consult.

Are You At Risk

Groups at risk for hearing loss

  • History of noise exposure
  • Family history of hearing loss
  • Natural decrease of hearing due to the aging process
  • Chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments

Signs and Symptoms

  • Complaints of muffled speech or that “everybody mumbles”
  • Difficulty understanding words against background noise or in a crowd of people
  • Turning the television or radio louder than other people would like
  • Difficulty hearing women or children
  • Asking for several repetitions – saying “what?” often
  • Straining to hear or follow conversations
  • Withdrawal from conversations due to difficulty understanding
  • Difficulty hearing on the telephone

If you or someone close to you is experiencing hearing loss, now is the time to talk to our audiologists about how we can make a difference.

Hearing Center Services

  • Hearing aid evaluations and fittings
  • Electroacoustic analysis of hearing aids to determine proper function
  • Hearing aid batteries and miscellaneous supplies
  • Ear molds, custom swim plugs and hearing protection
  • Osseointegrated devices (bone-anchored hearing aids)
  • Tinnitus Management