What to Expect
ELITE HEARING of Colorado Springs is the elite standard in hearing healthcare. Dr. Kovel provides preventative and diagnostic hearing services using cutting-edge technology, evidence-based practice, and proven strategies.
When making an appointment, our office administrator will ask specific questions to make sure you get the appointment type your needs require.
The first step in any evaluation is to assess your current health and your health history with an audiologist. Hearing loss can be associated with common diseases such as diabetes or noise exposure that occurred many years ago. Dr. Kovel will further her understanding of your hearing needs, history and current health by discussing your health history.
The entire ear, outer, middle and inner, will be evaluated. An otoscope is used to evaluate the outer ear and ear canal. The middle and inner ear are tested in a soundproof room with a series of tones through earphones, known as air conduction, as well as through a bone oscillator, known as bone conduction. Your ability to understand speech in quiet and in noise will also be evaluated.
If additional middle ear testing is required, an eartip is placed at the opening to the ear canal delivering pressure and tones to the eardrum. This is an objective method to tell us if there is fluid behind the eardrum, a hole in the eardrum, or other middle ear problems.
Education is a key component at ELITE HEARING. Following the hearing test, Dr. Kovel will counsel you in a way that will help you understand your hearing health as well as the relationship between the test and the difficulties you are having. Recommendations will be made based on the test results. As a Doctor of Audiology, Dr. Kovel is skilled at sharing her education and experience with you so you can become an educated consumer. You will leave the office with a better understanding of how you hear and all the solutions available to you.
Addressing hearing loss is a rehabilitative process. It is important to understand that in most cases, a person won’t be able to purchase a piece of technology and have all their issues resolved in a day. When a person needs hearing aids, they typically have not been hearing normally for some time, maybe even decades. Dr. Kovel has the experience and patience needed to take patients through the adjustment process on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that our patients have the right technology, counseling tools and assistive devices needed to meet their needs.
Although we know that addressing hearing loss is a rehabilitative process, Dr. Kovel also understands that it is very difficult to guess what hearing aids sound like or even acknowledge what sounds are missing without trying out a hearing aid first. Therefore, a FREE demonstration is available. Our clinic is designed to test hearing in typical troublesome situations like the TV, over the phone and with background noise.
Although we try to replicate typical listening environments, the true test will be how well a patient can function in their own listening environments.
A risk-free 45 day trial period is given with every hearing aid purchase to ensure that you are completely satisfied with your hearing device.
Dr. Kovel chooses to work with digital hearing aid manufacturers who are on the cutting-edge of research and development in addition to having decade’s worth of proven track records. By offering different levels and pricing of technology in multiple styles, Dr. Kovel can customize your purchase to best suit your needs. The most advanced hearing aid fitting methods are used to give you a precision hearing aid fit.
A tinnitus evaluation is a continuation of the hearing evaluation. We will further evaluate your tinnitus by testing frequencies beyond the normal hearing test. We will match the pitch and loudness of your tinnitus in order to give us information about our ability to mask, change or interact with your tinnitus as treatment. This information will help us to decide which treatment options are best suited for you.
Additionally we will evaluate loudness tolerance in a controlled environment. Often, individuals with hearing loss and tinnitus also suffer from sound sensitivity.
Tinnitus is a much disputed subject. Although significant research is being done, no consensus has been reached on the cause. There are several proposed methods of treatment. But literature and research suggests there are common elements of effective tinnitus management within these proposed methods. ELITE HEARING uses one or all of these methods to develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient suffering from tinnitus.
Dr. Kovel will use your health history, an additional Tinnitus questionnaire, and your hearing test to determine your treatment options. Sometimes, patients are referred to other healthcare providers for additional testing when necessary.
ELITE HEARING always starts every tinnitus management program by helping patients understand what is known about tinnitus, potential causes, its relationship to hearing, various treatment options and the brain’s ability to pay attention or ignore information. Together, we will determine the best option for you.Treatment options include:
- Educational Counseling
- Hearing Aids
- Widex ZEN Therapy
- Sound Therapy through multiple modes
- Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
- Masking Devices/Hearing Aids which include Masking Devices
- Relaxation Methods to increase sleep and decreasing stress
We hear with our ears but we listen with our brain. The aging process as well as the loss of hearing sensitivity will affect our brain’s ability to filter background noise, focus on one speaker out of several and understand rapid speech. Often hearing aid dispensers focus only on technology to make sounds louder without paying attention to the need for retraining the brain’s ability to process the sound. At ELITE HEARING, we combine technology with auditory training to enhance communication to the best of your ability.
Dr. Kovel can custom fit specialized earplugs for any activity requiring noise reduction while sleeping, swimming, and hunting. Earplugs can also be created for sports enthusiasts or as attachments to listening devices. In addition, musician’s plugs can be created to provide a clear sound for musicians and concert attenders while protecting your hearing. To create a customized and better fitting earmold, impressions of the earcanal are taken with a playdough-like substance. It only takes a few minutes to create an exact replica of the inside of your ear canal and customized earplugs can be ordered with an array of different options.
It’s important to build a relationship with your audiologist as hearing aids need periodic checks and thorough cleanings. At ELITE HEARING, all hearing aids come standard with a 3 year service and repair warranty to ensure your hearing devices continue to work as they should.
Your First Visit
Each patient’s visit is unique and catered to their needs, but if this is your first time considering hearing aids or the first time you’ve visiting us, this outlines what you can expect. We want your visit with us to be as stress free as possible.
- We’ll begin by taking a detailed patient history. We’ll ask a series of questions about your medical, work and personal life as it relates to your ears and your hearing.
- After discussing your concerns, a thorough examination of your ears is conducted to check for any physical conditions that might indicate a need for a medical referral.
- Next we will check how your ears are functioning. We will use Impedance Audiometry to find out how well the eardrum, the middle ear bones and a few of your ears reflexes are working.
- What you may be familiar with as a traditional “hearing test” is the next part of your visit. We use Pure Tone Audiometry to measure you hearing by presenting your hearing system with pure tones (beeps). We measure the pitch of the sound and how loud the sound has to be before you’re aware of it.
- Speech Audiometry is done because we don’t want to know just how loud you need a sound to be to hear it, but how well you understand words once they’re loud enough to hear.
And then we explain everything to you because we believe your journey to better hearing should be a partnership with you and your hearing healthcare provider. And we believe that journey should begin by making you sure you’re as well informed as possible about your problem and all possible solutions.