Audiology


An audiologist is an individual who specializes in the study, identification, and rehabilitation of hearing disorders. Audiologists receive specialized training which allows them to administer a variety of test procedures and provide different services to patients of all age groups, from infants to the elderly. Audiologists hold masters or doctoral degrees from accredited universities and are trained in the prevention, identification, assessment and non-medical treatment of hearing disorders. Continuing education is a must in this field as testing and hearing aid fitting techniques are constantly changing. The audiologists at EN&T are licensed by the State of West Virginia to practice audiology and dispense hearing aids. They hold certificates of clinical competency through the American, Speech, Language & Hearing Association and are fellows of the American Academy of Audiology.

 

  • The audiologists at EN&T perform the following services:
  • hearing evaluations
  • comprehensive hearing aid services
  • dizziness / balance testing and interpretation
  • tinnitus evaluation and management
  • fit water protection and noise protection plugs

In addition to performing all of the audiological testing for the physicians at EN&T, our audiologists welcome self referrals and referrals from other outside providers by appointment.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

        

 

 

Specialized Training


Videonystagmography (VNG)

Videonystagmography (VNG) testing is considered the new standard for testing inner ear functions over Electronystagmography (ENG), because VNG measures the movements of the eyes directly through infrared cameras, instead of measuring the mastoid muscles around the eyes with electrodes like the previous ENG version. VNG testing is more accurate, more consistent, and more comfortable for the patient. By having the patient more comfortable and relaxed, consistent and accurate test results are more easily achieved.

VNG testing is used to determine if a vestibular (inner ear) disease may be causing a balance or dizziness problem, and is one of the only tests available today that can decipher between a unilateral (one ear) and bilateral (both ears) vestibular loss. VNG testing is a series of tests designed to document a person's ability to follow visual objects with their eyes and how well the eyes respond to information from the vestibular system.

This test also addresses the functionality of each ear and if a vestibular deficit may be the cause of a dizziness or balance problem. To monitor the movements of the eyes, infrared goggles are placed around the eyes to record eye movements during testing. VNG testing is non-invasive, and only minor discomfort is felt by the patients during testing as a result of wearing goggles. Appointments usually last about 1.5 hours, and testing is covered by all insurances.

For those individuals with vision impairments or other conditions which preclude the vision portion of the VNG testing, ENG testing is available.


 


Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)

Under certain circumstances, a traditional behavioral hearing test (responding to tones) does not provide enough information about an individual's hearing and other testing methods must be considered. One non-behavioral test which is often employed is Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) testing. In this procedure, a small tip is placed into the ear to deliver sound into the canal. When the inner ear is functioning normally, it actually emits its own sound, an echo, which is measured by the probe. These emissions or echoes must be present at a certain intensity level at several frequencies to pass the test. OAE testing can indicate to the audiologist whether or not an individual's hearing is adequate for speech comprehension. Although this test is used for patients of all ages, it is especially useful for small children because it usually only takes a few minutes to complete. It has become a widely used tool for newborn hearing screenings in hospitals.


Tinnitus Assessment

For those individuals suffering from clinically significant tinnitus (noise perceived in the ears) we offer standardized testing to determine the nature and extent of the tinnitus. Counseling and treatment options are available for those who are deemed likely to benefit from the services. Potential options include hearing aids, counseling and Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment.