Complete Care for Hearing Loss and Balance Problems
Diagnostic Audiology Services
Patients come to UC Health Audiology for evaluation of hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus. Our audiologists work in tandem with UC Health otolaryngologists, community otolaryngologists and other physicians to provide the testing essential for an accurate diagnosis of your problem.
Some hearing and balance disorders are complicated and difficult to diagnose. State-of-the-art testing allows us to zero in on real causes and give you a precise diagnosis.
Every Test You Need
UC Health provides the most comprehensive audiology testing available in the tri-state region.
Comprehensive Audiometric Testing
- Hearing testing measures your hearing sensitivity and ability to understand speech in a quiet environment. You wear headphones or earplugs and sit in a test booth. The audiologist asks you to repeat words and raise your hand or press a button in response to very soft sounds. You then wear a headband and again respond to soft sounds that are delivered through the bone behind your ear. This test allows the UC Health team to describe the degree of hearing loss you have and the type of loss⎯conductive, sensorineural or mixed.
- Tympanometry measures the function of your middle ear. You have a small earplug in your ear and feel slight pressure. The test measures the movement of your eardrum.
- Acoustic reflex testing measures the reflexes in your middle ear in response to loud beeping sounds. You wear earplugs and hear loud beeps in both ears. The results of this test help determine if your nerve pathways are grossly intact.
- Otoacoustic emissions testing (OAE) determines the function of the microscopic hair cells in your cochlea (hearing organ). You hear a clicking sound delivered through an earplug throughout this test.
Auditory Evoked Potential Testing
Auditory evoked potential testing helps to determine if specific portions of your hearing and vestibular system are working properly. These tests measure nerve response to sound and electrical stimulation:
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR) measures how signals travel from your ear to brain. Electrodes are attached to your head, and earplugs are inserted in your ear canals. During this test, you hear clicking sounds, and your responses to these sounds are recorded.
- Electrocochleography (ECOG) determines if you have excess fluid pressure in your inner ear. Electrodes are placed on your head, and earplugs are inserted into your ear canals. The audiologist can evaluate the responses that occur in your cochlea.
- Electroneuronography (ENOG) checks the function of your facial nerves. You have electrodes placed on your face, and a small device introduces electrical pulses. The audiologist measures the responses on both sides of the face to determine the function of your facial nerves.
- Vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) checks inner ear vestibular function. You have earplugs in each ear and electrodes attached to your head and neck. When you hear sounds through the earplugs, the response in your muscles is recorded through the electrodes.
Balance Assessment Testing
Balance assessment testing evalutes your balance in various environments:
- Videonystagmography (VNG) is a series of tests to check the function of your inner ear and central motor functions. You wear video goggles during these tests to record your eye movements. You are asked to follow a light with your eyes. The audiologist moves you into various positions and checks for responses. During the last part of the test, the audiologist stimulates your ears with different air temperatures. This is called caloric testing. The VNG helps to determine if you have an inner ear vestibular issue that contributes to your balance problems.
- Rotary chair requires you to sit in a computerized chair in a darkened room while an audiologist in an adjacent room records your eye movements as their chair rotates. You are asked to track moving lights with your eyes.
- Platform posturography requires you to stand on a platform that shifts your body weight and balance as you either focus on visual targets or stand with your eyes closed. This test helps determine if you inner ear, vision or motor issues contribute to your balance problems
After you’ve been diagnosed and treated, you may need to repeat some of these tests to measure the effects of your treatment and determine if more therapy is needed.
Our compassionate audiology team is dedicated to working with you to find the cause of your hearing or balance problem and to finding a solution that gets you back to feeling whole.