Hearing Loss & Hearing Testing

If your family complains you have the TV too loud, or you find you're missing bits of conversation, you may be experiencing a hearing loss. Even mild, transient hearing problems can delay your child's speech and language development. It is very important to determine an infant's hearing status early by initially screening for hearing loss at birth. This allows for early intervention when necessary. Early screening can help prevent a variety of learning, social and emotional problems that can be related to speech and language development. Because we screen newborns 7 days a week we have a 99% in-house screening rate for all babies born at the University of Michigan. Some of our referrals involve children who are having difficulty in school. Children may be missing bits of conversation or having problems with articulation or vocabulary. In such cases, ruling out, or determining the presence of hearing loss, is very important for management planning.

At the Audiology Clinic, at the University of Michigan Health System, we evaluate everyone with hearing issues, from birth through seniors. We also provide comprehensive hearing testing, diagnosis and treatment, often in conjunction with our Department's otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat physicians).

Each year, we see approximately 18,000 patients, fit more than 1,000 hearing aids and provide nerve monitoring for nearly 500 surgeries in the operating room.

We provide comprehensive hearing evaluation and hearing loss management services, including:

  • Hearing tests
  • Newborn hearing screening, and follow-up
  • Hearing aid evaluation, dispensing, fitting and tuning for all ages, including infants and children
  • Preoperative testing of hearing and facial function for adults with vestibular schwannomas/ acoustic neuromas
  • Intraoperative monitoring - monitoring cranial nerve function during surgery, to help preserve hearing and reduce risk of facial and other cranial nerve injury
  • Hearing rehabilitation
  • Diagnostic testing for patients with facial nerve/facial movement deficits, including hemifacial spasm
  • Tinnitus evaluation and treatment
  • Testing hearing and higher level hearing function in infants, young children and other difficult to test patients, using neurophysiological measures

Our cutting edge diagnostic testing is conducted within the Audiology clinic. Pure-tone testing determines the faintest tone levels heard at a variety of pitches. Speech audiometry involves listening to words to determine how well you understand what you're hearing. Impedance evaluation shows how your middle ear is working mechanically. An auditory brainstem response is used to determine how the hearing nerve works and can be used for both diagnostic testing in adults, or for hearing testing in newborns and infants. Facial nerve testing - if a patient is referred to us with facial paralysis - determines if the integrity and functional status of the facial nerve.

Depending on your hearing complaint, you may be seen only by an audiologist or also by a physician. Audiologists handle the advanced audiologic testing. They are also qualified to fit hearing aids and provide other interventions, including advice about the treatment of tinnitus (ringing in the ear). The physician performs any medical or surgical intervention and may order additional diagnostic evaluations. The goal for both the audiologists and physicians is to preserve your hearing and rehabilitate any hearing loss to the best of our ability.

Unique to our culture is the strong and collegial collaboration that exists between the audiologists and physicians. Sharing in patient care and collaborating on their hearing concerns means we can make cohesive and comprehensive treatment decisions.

The University of Michigan team is very experienced at treating rare forms of hearing loss that other specialists may not be comfortable treating, such as Meniere's disease (a disorder of the inner ear that causes vertigo and ringing in the ears), superior canal dehiscence syndrome (a rare condition where the roof of the superior semicircular canal in the inner ear is missing), or hearing loss caused by a malfunction of the immune system. Our hearing aid dispensing program provides excellent professional services of the highest quality and integrity.

Additional Resources

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Hearing Aids: Step by Step

  • Schedule an appointment by calling us at 734-936-8051

    Contact Information

    • A. Alfred Taubman Health Center
      Otolaryngology Clinic
      1500 E. Medical Center Drive , Floor 1, Reception A
      Ann Arbor, MI 48109
      • Phone734-936-8051
    • Brighton Health Center
      Otolaryngology Audiology Clinic
      8001 Challis Rd.
      Brighton, MI 48116
      • Phone810-227-9510
    • East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center
      Audiology Clinic
      4260 Plymouth Road
      Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2701
      • Phone: 734-936-8051
    • Livonia Center for Specialty Care
      U-M Audiology
      19900 Haggerty Rd., Suite 103
      Livonia, MI 48152
      • Phone734-936-8051