Virginia Head and Neck Surgeon’s is proud to have its own Audiologist dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. We also specialize in hearing aid evaluations and fittings. The hearing center is run by Dr. Andrew Silva, an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist and Dr. Kathryn Stover, Audiologist. We offer a wide array of hearing testing that can aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance disorders.
I am sure that everyone has heard the saying that ” not every patient is the same.” This is especially true when it comes to hearing testing. Different tests and techniques must to be used when testing children as opposed to adults. Depending on the patients age and level of understanding, a particular hearing test will be selected. We offer the following tests in our office:
Hearing Aid Evaluations and Fittings can be performed when significant hearing loss is determined and amplification is necessary. Our Audiologist will discuss with you the various styles and technology of hearing aids available, and will help you make an informed decision on instruments most appropriate for you. We offer the latest styles and technology in this rapidly changing field. You must have a current comprehensive audiogram, and children require medical clearance.
Comprehensive Audiometry is performed within the sound booth on children older than three to four years of age and adults. Pure tone sounds of different pitch and volume are presented through earphones. The patient will press a button to respond. The patient is also asked to repeat words to determine speech discrimination ability.
Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA) is commonly used to test your toddler in the sound booth. Sounds are presented to your child through earphones at different volumes and pitches. A game is made out of the test by asking the child to place a block in a bucket each time they hear the sound. This test does require your child’s cooperation and the assistance of a parent or caregiver.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) is a different technique in the sound booth that can be used to get your child’s cooperation. In this test, the audiologist trains your child to look in the direction of a visual reinforcement when he or she hears a sound. This is commonly used in children six months to three years of age.
Behavioral Audiometry is commonly used to test toddlers. This test is performed in a sound booth where your childs response to certain sound levels is observed and documented.
Tympanometry is a very helpful tool to analyze the middle ear pressure and determine if there might be fluid in the middle ear space. The test also indirectly measures how well a patient’s eustachian tube functions, and can detect if there is any stiffening of the ear drum or hearing bones.
Evoked Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) are commonly used in children to do initial or follow-up newborn screenings mandated by the Virginia Department of Health. This test is also used for children under the age of 3 yrs., when testing in the booth is difficult. It is a painless test that can be completed within minutes. It does not require your child to respond, making it perfect to use in the very young or developmentally delayed child.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing is commonly used in both children and adults. The ABR test records the brain’s response to sound via electrodes placed on the head and ears. Small ear phones deliver the sound stimulus and record the response. This test requires the patient to be sleeping or in a very relaxed and cooperative state. The brain wave activity can be analyzed for indications of hearing loss, most commonly used to see if there is a delay between activity being relayed from the ear to the brain which might suggest a tumor or degenerative brain process.
Electrocochleography (ECOG) is a very useful test in determining the cause of vertigo in patients. It is commonly used to identify a patient at high risk for having Meniere’s Disease.
Patients and referring doctors can request a visit with our Audiologist for diagnostic hearing testing alone, or a visit with both our Audiologist and our Ear Nose and Throat Specialist. If our Audiologist feels immediate medical attention is necessary, then the physician can be consulted.
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