Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation
Your hearing level throughout different frequencies (tones) will be determined to identify your hearing ability relative to age-appropriate levels. This is done to determine if you have hearing loss, to what degree, and the type or classification to assist with identification of the cause. This information is necessary to help determine if medical or surgical intervention is possible or if an assistive hearing device could improve your hearing ability.
Cochlear Implant (CI) Evaluations and Programming
If your hearing loss is severe in one or both ears, you may be a candidate for a cochlear implant. To determine if you may be an appropriate candidate, special audiological testing is performed both in quiet and noisy conditions to simulate your real-world environment. After the surgery is performed, follow up programming will be performed at regular intervals. Similarly, if you have had a cochlear implant placed elsewhere, we are happy to see you for transfer of care for any services you may need from our highly trained experts in audiology and cochlear implant surgery.
Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) Evaluations and Programming
Bone Anchored Hearing Aids are useful devices for multiple types of hearing loss (conductive, mixed, or Single Sided Deafness) and/or situations where a traditional hearing aid may not offer the best solution (prior ear surgery). Our specialty trained audiologists work closely with the implant surgeon to determine if this may be the best option for you.
Tinnitus (head noise) is the perception of a sound or noise in the ear that only you can hear – it is most often described as “ringing” in the ears, but can occur as a “buzz,” “hum,” “heartbeat,” or “musical” sound. This is a very common problem, affecting more than one in ten adults. Often this is a symptom of an underlying condition and therefore warrants full evaluation from an audiologist and medical professional. While this symptom can be persistent, it can often be improved with certain devices, therapies, and medication, which will be discussed during the evaluation.
A small puff of air is placed in the ear to assess how well the ear drum (tympanic membrane) and ear bones (ossicles) move. This test helps to assess the middle ear function and hearing to determine if fluid, blockage, or additional ear malfunctions are present. This test can assist with identification of hearing loss and/or ear disorders.
Stapedial reflexes and reflex decay
A tone is placed in the ear canal and results of ear drum and ossicle motion are recorded to evaluate the auditory nerve’s ability to transmit hearing signals to the brain and ossicles. Abnormalities identified with this test can point to specific pathology along the hearing nerve or problems with the motion of the stapes bone.
Auditory brainstem response (ABR)
This test uses tones and clicking sounds to measure how electrical impulses from sounds are carried from the inner ear to the brain. The audiologist places sounds in the ear canal and electrodes placed along your head measure the electrical activity created by the sounds. This test is often used for children that cannot participate in traditional behavioral hearing tests, such as newborn babies. It can also be used to identify pathology or growths along the hearing nerve, such as an acoustic neuroma.
Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs)
Otoacoustic emissions are signals generated by normal inner ear hair cells that can be detected following acoustic stimulation (evoked) or in the absence of any stimulation (spontaneous). A small device containing a microphone is placed in the ear canal to generate and receive the stimuli.
Vestibular diagnostic testing
If you’re experiencing dizziness or imbalance, vestibular diagnostic testing along with balance tests can be performed to assess the cause of your dizziness and imbalance to determine a course of action.
- Videonystagmogram (VNG)
The most common test obtained for dizziness is the electronystagmogram (ENG) or Videonystagmogram (VNG). This test takes advantage of the reflex arc between the balance system and eye movements- coordinated eye movements are recorded as a way to test the strength of each inner ear. Warm or cool air is placed into the ear canal briefly and the subsequent eye movements are recorded. This may cause a normal sensation of mild dizziness or sensation of motion. Multiple types of medications can interfere with the test results, such as benzodiazepines (i.e. Valium, Xanax), antihistamines (Antivert, meclizine), alcohol, and others. You will receive a set of instructions prior to the test which includes medications to avoid prior to testing.
- Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP)
This test also takes advantage of the reflex arc between the balance system and eye movements or neck muscle activation as a way to test the strength of the vestibular system.