Hearing Tests

Diagnostic Audiology

Woman's Hearing Being Tested

Northwest Audiology offers comprehensive evaluation and management of various degrees of hearing loss in infants, children, adolescents and adults. Our audiology experts are trained to diagnose hearing disorders and recommend appropriate treatment and care for individuals suffering from hearing loss. While hearing loss is a very common condition, few people with hearing loss use hearing aids. According to the American Academy of Audiology, nearly 30 million Americans have some type of hearing problem and approximately 30% of adults over 65 experience hearing loss as a natural result of aging. Recent technological advances allow hearing aids to be programmed to a person’s specific hearing loss pattern. A variety of styles are available including hearing aids that can be hidden in the ear canal.

Audiology Tests

Tympanometry

This test allows the audiologists at Northwest ENT and Allergy Center to examine the condition of the middle ear and the mobility of the eardrum. Tympanometry is used to detect disorders of the middle ear such as chronic ear infections, fluid behind the eardrum, abnormalities with the middle ear bones or a hole in the eardrum. Tympanometry also helps to differentiate between the two types of hearing loss, conductive and sensorineural.

The audiologist will begin by examining the ear canal to make sure there is a clear path to the eardrum. Then he or she will place a device in the ear to determine change movement and stiffness of the eardrum while the tympanogram records the results. The measurements will show the ear’s response to varying degrees of pressure, which allows us to identify any problems needing medical attention.

Otoacoustic Emissions

Child's Hearing Being TestedOtoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are sound waves that are generated by the inner ear itself. Studies show that OAEs disappear after the inner ear has been damaged; by measuring these sound waves, we can evaluate inner ear health.

At Northwest Audiology, we measure otoacoustic emissions using a series of brief acoustic stimuli or clicks. First, the audiologist will insert a probe into the outer third of the ear canal. The probe has a speaker that generates clicks, as well as a microphone that measures the resulting OAEs. If the test reveals that a patient has no OAEs, he or she may suffer from hearing loss.

This test is often used to identify hearing defects in infants and children who are too young to cooperate in conventional hearing tests.

For more information about the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, call Northwest ENT and Allergy Center at (770) 427-0368 to make an appointment with an audiologist today.

Cochlear Implants – Not Just for Children

Here at Northwest ENT, we offer the option for cochlear implants, and they aren’t just for children! While the use for a cochlear implant is typically used in infants when they suffer from congenital sensorineural hearing loss, or simply the inability to hear, implants can be used in adults for acquired sensoineural hearing loss due to noise exposure, autoimmune disease, or just aging.

Audiologist Dr. Geralyn Drumheller and Dr. Sean Barak along with physicians Dr. Van Deusen and Dr. Dharamsi are professionally trained in cochlear implant evaluations and the only cochlear implant team in Cherokee and Cobb counties. If a patient meets the criteria for a cochlear implant, the procedure will be discussed at length with the surgeon. The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis and takes between one and two hours. During the operation, a tiny electrode is placed inside the cochlea behind the ear, where is directly stimulates the nerves of hearing.

The implant is then activated about 3-4 weeks later and sounds are sent to the implant via a magnetized external sound processor. Patients will continue to work with the audiologist for specific programming and rehabilitation.