Kadlec’s team of audiologists provides patient-centered care to prevent, identify, diagnose and treat hearing, balance and other hearing disorders. Our doctors use the latest treatments and technology to ensure the highest quality of care in a comfortable environment. We serve people of all ages.
Kadlec audiologists provide comprehensive diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation services for auditory (hearing), vestibular (inner ear and balance) and related impairments.
See us for help with hearing impairment or loss, and many other conditions including:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
- Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD)
If you have hearing loss, we’re here to assist you. We offer the most advanced hearing aids available so you can hear better than ever before. We ensure proper fitting, programming, technical support and follow-up care.
Audiology services include:
- Adult and pediatric diagnostics
- Cochlear implant candidacy testing
- Bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) programming and follow up
- Canalith repositioning maneuvers
- Earwax removal
- Ototoxicity monitoring
- Pediatric and adult hearing aids and assistive listening devices
- Vestibular (dizziness) testing
If you need hearing aids, our team will help you find the best fit for you.
During this 60-minute informational meeting, we will discuss appropriate treatment for hearing loss. We’ll also discuss your lifestyle to help determine which device would best meet your needs. You can select a hearing device at this time if you are ready.
We recommend that you bring a close friend or relative to this consult.
During this 60-minute appointment, the audiologist helps you learn to use your new hearing aids, makes any necessary adjustments and addresses any questions or concerns you might have. We use RealEar speech mapping technology to ensure your hearing aids are working properly. Payment is due at the fitting and you will be scheduled to return in two weeks.
This is a 30-minute appointment during which your hearing device is cleaned, checked and reprogrammed if needed.
Ear molds are used to create a custom device for your ear, maximizing comfort and usefulness. The appointment takes about 30 minutes. A soft foam piece is inserted first, to keep the impression material from going too far into the ear canal. The ear canal is then filled with a putty material. It’s left in place to dry for about five minutes.
This test can take up to 90 minutes. You will look at and track a red light in a dark room. You’ll receive instructions throughout testing. The technician will move your head into different positions; modifications can be made if you have restricted mobility due to neck or back issues.
Caloric testing is a part of VNG. It uses warm and cool air on the inner ear canal to see if your ears can sense the temperature stimulation. It’s common to feel dizzy during this test.
This is a fairly quick test during which a probe is placed into your ear canal to assess middle ear function. You may feel changes in pressure.
A probe is placed in the ear canal and the outer hair cells of the inner ear are tested by using a series of tonal stimuli.
For this test you’ll wear headphones or inserts and listen to a series of tonal stimuli (sounds) at different volume levels. When you hear a sound, you’ll respond by saying “yes” or clicking a button.
This test requires you to repeat back words which are presented at different volume levels to each ear.
This test can take up to 60 minutes. Testing for children (typically ages 2 to 5) involves conditioning them to tonal and speech stimuli while they wear headphones or inserts. Your child can be in the booth alone or with a parent, depending on their age and independence. If you are in the booth with your child, you cannot give clues if a sound is presented. Your child participates in a game, such as Mr. Potato Head or building a tower, which requires multiple steps. Each time your child responds successfully to a sound, she adds a piece to her game.
This test can take up to two hours. For infants and young children, a sleepy or quiet state is required. The exam room is usually dark and you are given time to feed or nurse your baby before testing to help the baby fall asleep. “Stickers” or electrodes are attached to the baby’s forehead and behind the ears. An insert is placed into the ear canal, and your child hears a series of “clicks” and tonal stimuli. The responses are recorded and the audiologist assesses waveforms on a computer in real time. Testing is most efficient if your child is asleep. Sometimes results can be discussed immediately following the test. Sometimes, however, more testing may be required to assess and interpret results.
For this test, you will lay on an exam table in a dark room. An insert is placed in the ear canal and electrodes are attached to the forehead and behind the ears. You hear “clicks” presented at loud levels. The test takes about an hour and works best if you can stay still, quiet and relaxed.
This is a quick test that requires you to be still and quiet. A probe mic is placed in the ear canal while you listen to a series of tones or varying pitch and volume. Some tones may be loud.
My ears are ringing. What’s going on?
Tinnitus is a perceived sound that doesn’t come from an external source. Research tells us that tinnitus is actually generated within the brain. For example, patients with severe tinnitus continue to perceive ringing even after the hearing nerve is severed. Ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, can be caused by many different things, from wax buildup in the ear canal to more serious medical concerns such as an acoustic neuroma (a non-cancerous tumor, which is rare).
We investigate the auditory pathway (the path sound travels from the ears to the brain) to find the cause of the ringing. Currently, there is no treatment that is backed by scientific evidence. However, it is a symptom that can be managed successfully. The first step in addressing tinnitus symptoms is a hearing evaluation, if the tinnitus has been present and bothersome for six months in both ears. If tinnitus is only perceived in one ear, you might need to be evaluated sooner.
I have a screening from work or Costco. Is this sufficient?
A screening is not a comprehensive hearing evaluation. A comprehensive hearing evaluation measures responses to speech and sounds across multiple “pitches” using headphones or inserts in addition to a bone vibrator. A bone vibrator is a device that’s pressed against a bony part of the skull (right behind the ear, for instance) and sends vibrations directly to the inner ear. It is valuable in determining the type of hearing loss. Without this critical information, we cannot diagnose the hearing loss or determine if a medical referral is necessary.
What is the difference between an audiologist and a hearing aid dispenser?
The difference between an audiologist and a hearing aid dispenser is the level of education. An audiology degree requires a doctorate level of training, with a minimum of eight years of education and 1,820 clinical hours. In the state of Washington, a hearing aid specialist must complete a two-year degree (of any discipline) or a nine-month certificate program in hearing aid specialist instruction through a program approved by the Board of Hearing and Speech.
With a high level of clinical and academic training, an audiologist is qualified to evaluate, diagnose, treat and manage hearing loss, tinnitus and balance disorders in all ages.
My child isn’t speaking. Should I be concerned about hearing loss?
Hearing loss should be considered. If your child has a speech delay, it’s important to evaluate how well he or she is hearing. If hearing loss is present or comes and goes (caused by intermittent middle ear fluid, for example), your child will not always hear others speaking. That makes it difficult for a child to develop age-appropriate speech and language. The first step is to complete a comprehensive hearing evaluation.
Testing for children is different than testing adults. It may involve toys and boxes that light up and play sounds. This type of testing conditions the child to “find” the sounds. If hearing is normal (or if hearing loss is identified), the child may need to follow up with a speech language pathologist.
My child did not pass their newborn hearing screening. What’s next?
There has been a recent emphasis on completing universal newborn hearing screenings immediately at the hospital. The purpose of this testing is to quickly identify hearing loss. If the baby has failed the screening, the hospital, the Department of Health or the primary care provider will refer infant to an audiologist who will perform an auditory brainstem response (ABR) test.
The ABR test evaluates the functional integrity of the auditory nerve at the frequencies important for speech and language development. The goal is to follow the 1-3-6 rule: screen by age 1 month, conduct a diagnostic evaluation by age 3 months and enroll the child in intervention by age 6 months.
I’m feeling dizzy. Why do I need a hearing test?
Dizziness can be caused by many different things – from cardiovascular to neurological to audiological systems.
Dizziness is a broad term that can be described as lightheadedness, wooziness or unsteadiness. Vertigo is described as a perception of movement and can be caused by a disturbance in the balance organ in the inner ear.
The balance organ and hearing organ are both located in the inner ear, and sometimes they can both be affected. A full vestibular evaluation includes a hearing test because the test results will help determine if the dizziness is ear-related.