Audiology & Hearing Aids

Hearing loss affects more than 466 million people worldwide. It can be caused by multiple factors including (but not limited to) genetics, chronic infections, excessive noise, and most popularly, aging. However, the frustrations of living with hearing loss can be resolved easily with today’s wide-range of hearing devices and proper audiological care.

Hearing Devices

We offer three primary types of devices to help treat hearing loss across various severities
Hearing Aids

Removable devices used to amplify sound for those with conductive or sensorineural hearing loss

Osseointegrated Devices

Implanted device used for the treatment of conductive and mixed hearing loss as well as single-sided deafness

Cochlear Implants

Implanted device that provides sound detection and speech recognition for those with severe to profound hearing loss

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Stapedial Reflex Testing


A test performed to evaluate the stapedial reflex from the stapedius muscle (attached to the ossicular chain) in response to loud sounds.




Assistive Listening Devices


Carolina Ear & Hearing Clinic, PC offers many different assistive listening devices. Assistive Listening Devices are designed to help you function better in day-to-day challenging communication environments. FM systems, loop systems, and other assistive listening devices are available depending on your lifestyle and hearing needs.




Auditory Brainstem Implants


The auditory brainstem implant (ABI) is designed to provide sound to individuals deafened by bilateral auditory nerve tumors (neurofibromatosis type II). The ABI is a surgically implanted device that bypasses the damaged auditory nerve by providing electrical stimulation to the cochlear nucleus of the brainstem.




Auditory Brainstem Response


Evaluates hearing function, by measuring the natural electricity given off by the brain. This test is like a hearing test and looks mainly at the auditory nerve. During this test the patient does not have to do anything but relax. This is the same test that is used for the newborn hearing screenings. To obtain results small sticker electrodes are placed behind each ear and on the forehead. The electrodes do not administer any shocks; they simply pick up the natural electricity given off by the brain as the signal travels through the auditory system.




Auditory Steady State Response


An auditory evoked potential used to estimate hearing sensitivity via frequency specific rapid stimuli. This is recorded via electrodes placed on the forehead and behind the ears.




Osseointegrated Devices


An osseointegrated device is a surgically implanted device that works directly through bone conduction. It is used in treatment for conductive and mixed hearing loss, as well as single sided deafness. It consists of a small titanium implant inserted in the temporal bone behind the ear and an external processor that attaches to amplify sound. There are several manufacturers of these devices including Oticon Medical and Cochlear Americas.




Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) Testing


Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a condition in which Otoconia (calcium crystals) from the inner ear dislodge and float around the semi-circular canals causing vertigo with movement. The test used for BPPV is called the Dix-Hallpike Maneuver.




Canalith Repositioning/Epley Maneuver


The Canalith Repositioning Maneuver (CRM) or Epley Maneuver is the treatment for Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). The treatment consists of head positions that will help move the otoconia back to the base of the semicircular canals so they can be absorbed into the body. The treatment can vary slightly depending on which canal that is affected.




Cochlear Implants


What is it?

  • A cochlear implant (CI) is an implantable medical device designed to provide sound detection and speech recognition for individuals with a severe to profound hearing loss. In contrast to a hearing aid, a cochlear implant bypasses the damaged part of the ear by providing electrical stimulation to the surviving auditory nerve fibers in the cochlea.
Cochlear Implant Candidacy for Adults To be considered a candidate for a cochlear implant, an adult must meet the following criteria:
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Bilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss
  • Limited benefit from appropriately fitted hearing aids
  • No medical contraindication for surgery (i.e. CT scan)
  • Desire to improve hearing, realistic expectations and be committed to participating in a follow-up program
Cochlear Implant Candidacy for Children The cochlear implant consists of two basic parts, the processor and the implant. The processor is worn outside the body over the ear and the implant is surgically placed in the ear. To be considered a candidate for a cochlear implant, a child must meet the following criteria:
  • 12 months of age or older
  • Bilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss for children under age 2 years
  • Bilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss for children over age 2 years
  • Limited benefit with appropriately fit amplification
  • Lack of progress in auditory development
  • No medical contraindications for surgery (i.e. CT scan)
  • Desire to improve hearing, realistic expectations and be committed to participating in a follow-up program
How Cochlear Implants Work
  • Sounds are picked up by the microphones on the speech processor
  • The speech processor then filters, analyzes and digitizes the sounds into coded signals
  • The coded signals are then sent from the processor to the transmitting coil
  • The transmitting coil then sends the coded signal as FM radio signals to the cochlear implant under the skin
  • The cochlear implant delivers the appropriate electrical energy to the array of electrodes that in turn stimulates the remaining auditory nerve fibers in the cochlea
  • The auditory nerve then sends this signal to the brain for interpretation




Custom Earplugs


Carolina Ear & Hearing Clinic, PC can take ear impressions for custom earplugs. There are a variety of options designed for noise reduction, musician plugs, sleep plugs, and swimming.




Videonystagmography (VNG)


Videonystagmography evaluates the causes of dizziness, vertigo, or balance dysfunction. VNG is designed to test the function of several of the systems involved in keeping us steady and balanced. Video goggles are used to measure and record eye movements for objective assessment of the oculomotor and vestibular system.




Hearing Aids


Carolina Ear & Hearing Clinic, PC offers comprehensive hearing aid services. We offer consultation, fitting and programming of hearing aids, repairs, earmolds, batteries, and other hearing aid supplies. We work with ALL levels of technology, styles of hearing devices, and hearing aid manufacturers to ensure the best fit and sound quality for each individual patient.

The best hearing aid choice will depend on the type and degree of hearing loss, physical ear structures, lifestyle, and appearance preferences. The Doctor of Audiology will work with you to determine the hearing devices most appropriate for you. CEHC offers a thirty-day trial period from the date of purchase. Our Doctor’s of Audiology use both functional testing and verification measurements to ensure accurate hearing aid fitting. All hearing devices come with a three-year manufacturers repair and loss & damage warranty.




Otoacoustic Emissions


Otoacoustic emission testing evaluates cochlear function. A microphone and a receiver are placed in the ear canal. A clicking sound is presenting to the ear. A computer monitors the ear for a response for the Doctor of Audiology to determine normal cochlear function.




Pure Tone Audiometry


Pure tone audiometry is used to measure hearing for frequency specific tones and speech. The person is typically asked to raise their hand or press a button when they hear a sound. The softest sound an individual can hear is called the hearing threshold. Results from the test are plotted on a graph called an audiogram.




Speech Testing in Quiet and in Noise


Speech testing evaluates an individual’s ability to detect and understand speech signals. Speech testing can be carried out with word or sentence materials.




Tympanometry


Tympanometry is a procedure that measures the mobility of the eardrum as air pressure is increased or decreased in the ear canal. Results are plotted on a graph called a tympanogram and can determine middle ear and eustachian tube function.




Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential


Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP) evaluates portions of the vestibular system that the VNG cannot test. This test evaluates the vestibular system by looking at the contractions of neck muscles. During the testing the patient is asked to lift their head and turn away from a beeping sound. This stimulates the muscles needed to measure the response. To measure the response small sticker electrodes are placed on the face and neck. The electrodes do not administer any shocks; they pick up the electricity given by the muscles as they move.




Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP)


Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) is an objective method of differentiating sensory, motor, and central adaptive functional impairments of balance and is comprised of three test protocols. The Sensory Organization Test examines the patients use of vestibular, visual, and proprioceptive systems to control balance. The Motor Control Test evaluates the patients motor automatic reflex responses to restore balance following sudden translations of the support surface. The Adaptation Test evaluates the patient’s ability to adapt to unexpected support surface irregularities.




Electrocochleography (ECOG)


Electrocochleography is an objective measure of the electrical potentials generated in the inner ear as a result of sound stimulation. ECOG is used to determine excessive inner ear fluid pressure which can cause symptoms such as fluctuating hearing loss, dizziness, aural fullness and pressure, and tinnitus.




Intraoperative Monitoring (IOM)


Our Doctor’s of Audiology are trained to monitor the facial nerve and auditory nerve during complex neurotologic surgeries. Using electromyography and sensory and motor evoked potentials to identify function changes in a patient’s peripheral and central nervous systems to reduce risk of injury during surgery and avoid significant postoperative impairment.





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© 2007 Carolina Ear and Hearing Clinic.

The information contained in this website is intended to provide general information and patient education on certain topics only and are not intended to and do not offer healthcare/medical advice. This information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice from your physician. If you have, or suspect you have, a health problem you should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical attention because of something you have read on this website. If you have questions about a medical condition or seek advice, see your healthcare professional.