Audiology

  • Additional Services

    Besides our diagnostic and traditional hearing aid services, we also provide additional services, including:

    • Cochlear implants
    • Pediatric Balance Center
    • Aural Rehabilitation Program
    • Bone anchored hearing aids
  • Audiology: Cochlear Implants

    Watch a video as Michael Scott, coordinator of our Cochlear Implant Program, explains the benefits of the surgically implanted device.

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    Cochlear Implants

    A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device available to people 12 months of age and older with a severe to profound sensorineural (permanent) hearing loss in both ears and who receive little benefit from traditional hearing aids.

    Our cochlear implant team works closely with families to determine the appropriateness of cochlear implantation, the availability of resources and appropriate implementation of rehabilitation for children affected by hearing loss.

    We also offer services to patients who currently have a cochlear implant, including programming and troubleshooting of the device. We work closely with a patient’s educational setting and FM systems.

    Audiology is a part of the cochlear implant team at Cincinnati Children’s that provides an interdisciplinary approach in evaluating and providing care for potential candidates.

    Learn more about the evaluation process and candidacy for cochlear implants.

    Pediatric Balance Center

    Watch a short video as audiologist Violette Lavender explains the process pediatric balance testing at Cincinnati Children's.

    The Pediatric Balance Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center enjoyed its grand opening in August 2008 at the new Cincinnati Children's Liberty Campus. This is a team oriented approach to diagnosing and treating disorders of the pediatric vestibular system.

    The vestibular system is made of cues from the inner ear sensory organs, the eyes and the feet (proprioception). These cues are integrated in the brain. This specific pathway is called the "vestibular system."

    Some children are born with or later on acquire a vestibular disorder, that is, a disruption of the above cues. There are tests designed to measure how the pediatric vestibular system is interpreting cues.

    About Our Team

    The Pediatric Balance Team is a collaborative effort from Otolaryngology, Audiology, and Occupational and Physical Therapy.

    Otologist: An otologist will diagnosis the balance disorder and appropriately refer for special testing.

    Audiologist: An audiologist will perform the hearing and balance assessment.

    Occupational / Physical Therapist: The therapist will complete a sensory motor evaluation that will include sensory processing, occulomotor and, self help skills assessments.

    Other professionals, such as neurologists, oncologists, psychologists and neurosurgeons, may play an active role in assessing balance.

    Children with a Vestibular Disorder May Have One or More of these Symptoms

    • Dizziness
    • Spinning sensation motor delays
    • Difficulty walking
    • Sensorineural hearing loss
    • Inner ear anomalies
    • Migraine with dizziness
    • History with ototoxic drug exposure
    • Gait disturbances
    • Clumsiness
    • Lightheadedness
    • Motion sickness
    • Frequent unexplained falls

    What the Testing Involves

    Testing will help the team decide if parts of the balance system are causing your child's dizzy symptoms. Some people may feel slightly unsteady, nauseated and / or dizzy from the tests. This does NOT happen to everyone. In fact, most of people feel fine after the test.

    If your child is of driving age, it is necessary to have someone accompany them to the test. It is important to note that no procedure listed below hurts or will harm your child. One or all of the following tests will be performed:

    Videonystagmography (VNG)

    A camera is used to record eye movements. A "scuba mask" type of head gear will be used to hold the camera. Instructions include following characters on a TV screen with their eyes and moving into different positions. The final part of the VNG will consist of putting warm and cool water into the ears to stimulate the inner ear.

    Platform Posturography Test

    This test will involve standing on a platform that measures the natural sway of your child.

    Rotational Testing

    Small children will sit on their parents lap and older children will sit alone on a chair that gently turns. A camera or electrodes will be used to record the eye movements.

    What Therapy Involves

    Treatment will focus on:

    • Ways to increase and improve safety and self care independence
    • Improving tolerance for movements that your child typically avoids
    • Improving sensory processing and adaptive responses to sensory input
    • Visual-motor exercises

    Aural Rehabilitation Program

    Watch a short video about aural rehabilitation.

    The Aural Rehabilitation Program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, also called audiologic habilitation, is a complete program for hearing impaired children and their families. The program focuses on using a form of amplification to make the best use of residual hearing.

    Play-based activities are used to teach the parent how to encourage auditory skill development by progressing through an auditory hierarchy and to create the best possible listening environment for their hearing-impaired child.

    Auditory Hierarchy

    Detection: The ability to respond to the presence or absence of sound.

    Discrimination: The ability to perceive similarities and differences between two or more speech sounds.

    Identification: The ability to label.

    Auditory Comprehension: The ability to understand meaning of speech.

    Aural Rehabilitation therapy helps to improve a hearing-impaired child’s listening skills and allows him/her to process spoken language more easily. The main goal of therapy is to enable the child to function to his / her maximum potential within a hearing society. The following factors may impact a child’s progress toward becoming an independent communicator: the age of the child when the hearing loss was identified, the severity of the hearing loss, parental compliance with therapy activities, and the presence of additional disabilities.

    Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA)

    BAHA devices provide an option for children who cannot wear a traditional hearing aid due to congenital conditions, such as aural atresia and microtia, or conditions that cause drainage from the ear and could be made worse by an in-the-ear hearing aid.

    Unlike a traditional hearing aid, which transmits sound through the ear canal, the BAHA device uses a titanium implant to transmit sonic vibrations through bones in the head. The inner ear translates the vibrations the same way a healthy ear translates sound waves.

    Cincinnati Children’s is one of few audiology programs in the United States that has in-house BAHA implant surgery specialists. These specialists are able to perform the implant surgery and manage post-surgical care.

    The team has direct contacts with BAHA device manufacturers, facilitating easy troubleshooting. Their experience and expertise with these devices also benefits families, as they can connect patients and their families with an array of support groups and resources.

    The Division of Audiology at Cincinnati Children’s is also conducting research pertaining to the BAHA implant, looking at outcomes for patients of various ages. This information could lead to new ways of managing children’s hearing loss using this high-tech device.

 
  • Patients and Families

    We provide patients and families with several resources, including a glossary of terms, answers to frequently asked questions and links to online resources from the state and national levels.

    Read more