Christiana Care Rehabilitation
Christiana Care Audiology offers the following diagnostic services:
Comprehensive hearing evaluation
- Pure-tone air and bone conduction and speech audiometry: This test is performed to determine threshold sensitivity levels for pure-tone and speech signals. Results are used to determine the degree and type of hearing loss. Based on the findings, appropriate recommendations are made for medical or surgical treatments, or amplification (hearing aids). Testing techniques vary with patient age.
- Tympanometry: This test evaluates the function of the eardrum and health of the middle ear. Middle-ear problems often can be treated medically or surgically.
- Acoustic reflex testing: This test assesses the auditory nerve's ability to transmit hearing signals to the brain. Disruptions along this pathway would indicate the need for medical consultation.
- Distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE): This test measures function of the outer hair cells in the cochlea (inner ear). These emissions are measured by placing a microphone in the ear canal opening and analyzing the signals obtained using a computer.
Evaluation of auditory processing disorders (APD)
Hearing does not end with the detection of a sound signal. The sound input must be interpreted by the brain. Measures are performed that assess the brain's sound-processing ability through the use of competing noise and speech signals.
Tinnitus, often described as a ringing in the ears, is the perception of sound that isn't there. Many people who experience tinnitus find that it negatively affects their quality of life. A tinnitus evaluation will assess the need for medical consultation or formalized tinnitus management.
Auditory brainstem response testing
This test assesses neural synchrony (electrical nerve impulses that carry the sound) from the inner ear to the brain. Electrodes are placed on the ear lobes or behind each ear and on the forehead, and clicking sounds are presented through earphones. The audiologist can determine if the nerve impulses to the brain are interrupted.
This test is a non-invasive test of facial-nerve function. It is often used to measure muscle weakness in the face, such as that associated with Bell's palsy.