At Northeast Georgia ENT, we are hearing healthcare professionals that specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and maintenance of hearing loss. Our experience and knowledge in audiology provides us with the ability to offer excellent care to each and every patient that walks through our door.
Hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of simple age-related changes in the inner ear. These changes could also represent an infectious or pathologic change to the inner ear that requires evaluation for proper diagnosis and treatment. In either case, our audiologists will provide thorough testing to answer your questions and will work to assuage your concerns. There are a variety of hearing tests that can be used to pinpoint the exact reason and severity of an individual’s hearing loss. The patient’s age and other factors will determine which of the following methods are used:
This is a formal measurement of hearing loss performed by an audiologist. Cooperation is needed by the patient during this testing by pushing a button or raising your hand each time you hear a soft sound or tone. The sounds are presented through earphones and results are graphed on an audiogram chart.
Visual Reinforced Audiometry (VRA)
VRA testing is used to test infants and small children, as well as older aged patients not able to respond to sounds via standard audiometry test procedures. Sounds are presented through headphones or loudspeakers. The patient learns to respond to these sounds by turning to look at animated toys that are paired with the sounds. Results are graphed on an audiogram chart.
This test helps measure how the eardrum and middle ear are working. This test is important because fluid or other problems in the middle ear can affect hearing. During a tympanogram test, a small earphone is placed in the ear canal and air pressure is gently changed.
This type of testing evaluates the function of the cochlea, the auditory portion of the inner ear, both in adults and in children of all ages, including newborns. A small earphone with a microphone is placed in the ear canal and tones are presented. The microphone then measures an echo response from the inner ear.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
We perform ABR testing on patients of all ages. Sounds are presented to the patient via small insert earphones. Small, stick-on electrodes are placed behind each ear and on the forehead. These electrodes pick up responses from the hearing nerve and are analyzed by the audiologist using a computer. ABR testing is the only test available for newborns and babies that can provide information about the softest level of sound to which each ear responds. ABR testing in adults gives information about the inner ear (cochlea) and brain pathways for hearing. This test is also sometimes referred to as auditory evoked potential (AEP). The ABR is also indicated for a person with signs, symptoms, or complaints suggesting a type of hearing loss in the brain or a brain pathway.
Electrocochleography (EcochG or ECOG)
ECOG is a diagnostic test that examines the function of the inner ear. This test measures the electrical potentials generated in the inner ear in response to sound. The ECOG is most often used to determine if the inner ear has an excessive amount of fluid pressure, which can cause symptoms such as hearing loss, aural fullness, dizziness, and/or tinnitus. These symptoms are sometimes indicative of certain ear pathologies such as Meniere’s disease or endolymphatic hydrops. Sounds are presented to the patient while wearing small insert earphones. Small stick-on electrodes are placed on the forehead and send information about the inner ear’s function to a specialized computer, where it is analyzed by the audiologist.
VNG is a series of tests used to determine the causes of a patient’s dizziness or balance disorders. VNG is a test used to determine whether or not dizziness may be due to inner ear disease. If dizziness is not caused by the vestibular portion of the inner ear, it might be caused by the brain, by medical disorders such as low blood pressure, or by other physical conditions, medications, etc. VNG testing is performed while the patient wears a set of goggles that record eye movements with small cameras in a variety of test conditions and positions. These eye movements are then analyzed using video imaging technology and interpreted by the audiologist.
Self Hearing Test
Visit our online hearing quiz to see if you may be a candidate for hearing loss treatment.
If we find that your hearing problems can be overcome with amplification assistance, our certified audiologists can suggest and fit you with proper hearing aids. If you have questions or concerns about your hearing, contact Northeast Georgia ENT today. We are ready to answer your questions and get you the help you need.
To learn more about Northeast Georgia ENT’s Audiology Department, visit our Audiology website by clicking here.