Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders Home > Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic > Audiology Clinic
The goal of the Audiology Clinic is to help you determine if your hearing is prohibiting you from successfully communicating with the rest of the world, whether it's your spouse, children, grandchildren, co-workers, or simply the people you interact with on a daily basis. We provide comprehensive diagnostic services to determine if you are having difficulty hearing. In addition, we are able to prescribe and dispense a vast array of assistive listening devices should it be determined you would benefit from hearing aids or even hearing protection.
At the Saint Louis University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, we want to advance your knowledge regarding your hearing status and possible treatments for hearing loss. We are a reduced fee clinic, able to serve a wide range of clientele who otherwise could not afford assessment or treatment for their communication disorder. The clinic is staffed by professionals in communication disorders who specialize in audiology, are licensed by the State of Missouri, and hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Our audiologist are also members of the American Academy of Audiology. Each of our Audiologists also obtains a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education each year. Our clinic accepts self-referrals, as well as referrals from physicians and other professionals. The Audiology Clinic serves clients starting at age 2 through adults.
Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations
This type of evaluation will determine the current status of your hearing. You will be seated in a sound-reduced room and asked to participate in a variety of tasks from listening to tones to repeating words. We will also perform immittance testing to determine if your eardrum and middle ear are functioning properly. Following the testing, your audiologists will present the results of the testing and answer any questions you may have. The audiologist will also give you recommendations based on the evaluation. If the audiologist recommends hearing aids or other assistive device, she will recommend that you return for a hearing aid evaluation appointment.
Auditory Processing Evaluations
Auditory Processing Evaluation (also known as Central Auditory Processing) is provided for children, who are seven years and older, and adults with normal hearing and intelligence who have an impaired ability to attend, discriminate, recognize or comprehend auditory information. (If your child does not meet these criteria, but you feel that an auditory processing evaluation may provide insight into your child's educational performance, please contact the audiologist prior to scheduling an appointment.) These youngsters may have any of the following characteristics: be distracted by background noise, be limited in their ability to understand speech in noise, have auditory figure ground problems, have shortened attention spans, have reduced auditory memory, have auditory language and perceptual deficits, and have difficulty in language-based academic areas. The Central Auditory Processing Evaluation includes: a peripheral audiologic evaluation including acoustic reflex testing; tests of speech recognition in quiet and noise; testing to assess central auditory processing disorders including, but not limited to, dichotic listening tests, distorted speech, speech in noise, and temporal ordering/patterning tasks. Your child may also be given a speech and language screening during the evaluation. Our goal is to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to evaluating and managing auditory processing disorders. A detailed report will be generated based on the evaluation and a parent/family conference will be held with the audiologist to review the results from the evaluation.
A hearing screening is a quick and simple test given to determine if additional testing is required. We will determine if you are able to hear a low intensity tone at various pitches. A hearing screening usually only takes a few minutes and is a good first step if you are not sure about how well you hear. If you know that you have hearing loss or currently wear hearing aids, then the diagnostic hearing evaluation is the best choice for you.
Hearing Treatment & Services
Hearing Aid Evaluation
The first step in evaluating candidacy for hearing aids is to have a comprehensive hearing test completed. Federal and State law require a recent (last 6 months) thorough hearing test prior to purchasing a hearing aid. The audiologist will meet with you and discuss your communication needs. The audiologist may also perform additional tests to help determine which hearing aids are best for you. We will show you many different styles of hearing aids from larger behind-the-ear models to tiny completely-in-the-canal models and discuss which type of technology is best for your lifestyle and hearing loss. Once you have decided on the style and type of hearing aid you wish to purchase, earmold impressions will be taken of your ears. A soft, silicone material will be injected into your ears. Once dry, the impressions are removed and sent to the manufacturer so that a custom product can be made specifically for your ears. The hearing aids will ready for you in approximately two weeks. An appointment will be set up for you to return and be "fitted" with your new hearing aids.
Hearing Aid Dispensing
When your hearing aids are ready for you, you will be scheduled for a hearing aid delivery appointment. At your delivery appointment, we will hook the hearing aids up to a computer and program the aids based on your hearing loss. Modifications will be made to the aids based on how they sound to you. A complete orientation will be given. You will be counseled on not only how to use the hearing aids, but also on care and maintenance of the hearing aids. We want to make sure that your feel comfortable with the hearing aids prior to leaving. You will also be given written information on how to care for your hearing aids. We will then schedule a follow-up appointment because it is often necessary to make adjustments to the hearing aid to ensure comfort. All follow-up appointments are free of charge during the warranty period of the hearing aids. All hearing aids come with at least a one-year warranty period and a one-year loss and damage protection.
At Saint Louis University, you are given a 45-day trial period to become accustomed to your new hearing aids. During that time period, you may decide to exchange the aids for a different model or return the aids all together. If you decide to return the aids, a $75.00 fee will be charged per aid. Once we are satisfied with the fit and comfort of the hearing aid, we recommend you schedule a hearing aid check appointment every six months to ensure your aids are functioning up to specifications.
Hearing Aid Repair
If you are having difficulty with your hearing aid, we are able to repair many hearing aids on site, regardless of manufacturer. If you have a more extensive problem, we work with many of the major manufacturers and can assist you in getting your aid repaired quickly.
Hearing Aid Battery Sales
Batteries are available for sale in the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. If you wish to have batteries mailed to you, please contact the Clinic administrative assistant at (314) 977-3365.
Assistive Listening Devices
The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) requires communication accessibility for those individuals with hearing loss. Use of assistive listening devices (ALD's) by persons with hearing impairment helps to accomplish this goal. There are three types of ALDs: 1) those that assist in face-to-face communication and with listening to the television; 2) those that assist in telephone communication, and 3) those that assist in awareness of environmental sounds. ALDs can be very simple and inexpensive or very elaborate and expensive. For example, an inexpensive portable phone amplifier that runs on batteries can be carried in the pocket or purse by a person with hearing impairment. When that person wants to use the telephone, they simply slip the device over the phone receiver to listen to amplified speech over the telephone. ALDs can be much more elaborate such as listening systems for churches, meeting rooms and classrooms. ALDs should be fit to the individual and delivered by an audiologist who has the professional expertise to make sure the device is compatible for a person's hearing aid. Examples of assistive listening devices are:
Custom Ear Molds
We can provide you with custom ear molds for your hearing health care and a variety of other applications. Our custom ear mold products provide highly comfortable, highly effective sound transmission to the ear. Our ear molds provide custom protection in the work, recreational, and entertainment environments. Our clients include:
We also do custom plugs to keep water from entering the ears when children have tubes (pressure equalization tubes) placed in their ears due to frequent middle ear fluid. Please feel free to call us and ask how we may be able to help you and your ears.
Kerri A. Helms, M.S., CCC/A, FAAA
Attention Saint Louis University Alumni!! Faculty, staff, students, and alumni of Saint Louis University are eligible for a discount in the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. Please inquire with your audiologist for details.