Audiology

Audiology | Programs and Services

Audiology Services and Programs

Several evaluation and testing services may be employed by our audiologists to help effectively diagnose your child. If our team and your family decide that hearing aids will help your child, we will guide you through the evaluation and fitting process. We also offer hearing solutions for children who get little benefit from traditional hearing aids or who cannot wear them.

Among our services and programs, we offer:

  • Diagnostic Services
    Including Auditory Brain Response (ABR) Testing, Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Testing and Behavioral Testing
  • Hearing Aid Process 
    Including evaluation, fitting and hearing aid checks

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
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.

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

Our Balance Center offers a team-oriented approach to diagnosing and treating disorders of the pediatric vestibular (balance) system. Children may be born with a balance disorder. A child may also develop a balance disorder later.

Conditions Treated

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Inner ear anomalies
  • Migraine with dizziness
  • Motor delays
  • Difficulty walking
  • History of ototoxicity (from medication exposure)
  • Motion sickness
  • Head injuries
  • Frequent falls for unknown reasons

Testing

We offer tests that help figure out what is causing your child’s symptoms. These are some of the tests that we may use:

Test Type Testing Methods
Videonystagmography (VNG)
  • Your child will wear a "scuba mask" type of headgear. They will be asked to follow a character on a screen and to move into different positions. A camera will record your child’s eye movements.
Platform Posturography Test
  • The child stands on a special platform that measures their natural sway (movement while balancing).
Rotational Testing
  • Your child will sit on a gently turning chair. A camera is used to record their eye movement. Smaller children are tested while sitting on a caregiver’s lap or in a car seat.
Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (VEMPs)
  • Your child will lay in a chair while holding up their head in this test. Small electrode stickers are used to measure muscle changes in the neck. Also, sticker electrodes are used to measure movement from the eye muscles.
Video Head Impulse Test (vHIT)
  • Your child will wear special glasses in this test. Eye response during head movement will be measured.

Why Refer to Us?

Our multidisciplinary team works together to evaluate and prescribe the best treatment for your child. This collaboration involves:

  • An otolaryngologist (ENT doctor) diagnoses and treats the balance disorder. They order testing.
  • An audiologist tests the health of the balance system.
  • A physical therapist recommends and provides therapy if needed. Please visit Vestibular Rehabilitation for more information.

Other specialists may be included in your child’s balance assessment if needed. They may include specialists from neurology, oncology, psychology, and neurosurgery.

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.

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.

Research Efforts

Our Audiology researchers are committed to developing novel treatments and technologies to better understand, identify and treat hearing loss and inner ear problems, including newborn screening and diagnosis. Read More

Health topics.

We provide information on your child's health specific to audiology, including conditions & diagnoses, tests & procedures and treatment options.

A toddler is prepared for a series of tests to ensure her hearing aids are functioning properly.
A toddler is prepared for a series of tests to ensure her hearing aids are functioning properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Division of Audiology provides answers to frequently asked questions, including short video explanations on some response testing and rehabilitation services. Read More

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