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Audiology

Audiologists diagnose and treat individuals with hearing impairment, which can affect the peripheral, central and/or vestibular function (parts of the inner ear and brain involved with balance and eye movements).

Audiologists care for people of all ages, including infants and children. Services may include clinical treatment, home intervention, family support and case management.

These health professionals are responsible for evaluating the need for and fitting amplification devices such as hearing aids or assistive listening devices. 

Audiologists are members of the implant (e.g., bone anchored hearing aids) team who determine candidacy based on hearing and communication information. The audiologist provides pre- and post-surgical assessment, counseling and all aspects of treatment, including auditory training, rehabilitation, implant programming, and maintenance of implant hardware and software.


Audiology Services

  • Adult diagnostics
  • Adult rehabilitation and hearing aids
  • Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD)
  • Education
  • Hearing assistance technologies
  • Hearing conservation
  • Infant identification
  • Pediatric diagnostics
  • Pediatric rehabilitation and hearing aids
  • Presbycusis
  • Ototoxicity monitoring
  • Tinnitus
  • Vestibular (dizziness testing)

Diagnostic Testing

+ Cerumen (earwax) removal

This test involves an exam of the ear canal. Removal of earwax requires use of magnification, light, and a metal loop or vacuum.

+ Videonystagography (VNG)

This test can take up to 90 minutes. It requires that you visualize and attend to a red light in a dark room. Instructions are given to you throughout testing. Positioning and positionals require moving you into different head positions; modifications can be made if you have restricted mobility due to neck or back issues. Calorics require warm and cool air irrigated into the ear canal for 60 seconds each. This test commonly elicits dizzy symptoms.

+ Tympanometry

This is a fairly quick test during which a probe is placed into your ear canal to assess middle ear function. You may feel changes in pressure.

+ Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs)

A probe is placed in the ear canal and the outer hair cells of the inner ear are tested by using a series of tonal stimuli.

+ Puretone audiometry

This test involves a series of tonal stimuli, presented at different levels of volume, via headphones or inserts. You respond by saying “yes” or clicking a button when the stimuli is heard.

+ Speech audiometry

This test requires you to repeat back specific words, which are presented at different volume levels to each ear.

+ Conditioned play audiometry (CPA)

This test can take up to 60 minutes. Testing for children (typically ages 2 to 5) involves conditioning them to tonal and speech stimuli. Your child can be in the booth alone or with a parent, depending on age and independence. If you are in the booth with your child, you cannot give clues if a sound is presented. Your child participates in a game, such as Mr. Potato Head or building a tower, which requires multiple steps. Each time your child responds successfully to a stimuli via headphones or inserts, she adds a piece to her game.

+ Auditory brainstem response (ABR)

This test can take up to two hours. For infants and young children, a sleepy or quiet state is required. The exam room is usually dark and you are given time to feed or nurse your baby before testing to help the baby fall asleep. “Stickers” or electrodes are attached to the forehead and behind the ears. An insert is placed into the ear canal, and your child hears a series of “clicks” and tonal stimuli. The responses are recorded and the audiologist assesses waveforms on a computer in real time. Testing is most efficient if your child is asleep. Sometimes results can be discussed immediately following the test; however, more testing may be required to assess and interpret results.

+ Neurodiagnostic

This test can take up to one hour. A relaxed state is required, while you lie on an exam table in a dark room. An insert is placed into the ear canal, and electrodes are attached to the forehead and behind the ears. You hear “clicks” presented at loud levels. The responses are recorded and the audiologist assesses waveforms on a computer in real time. Testing is most efficient if you can stay quiet, still and relaxed.

+ Acoustic testing and tone decay

This is a quick test that requires you to sit still and be quiet. A probe mic insert is placed in the ear canal while you listen to a series of tonal stimuli varying in pitch and volume. Some tones may be loud.


Audiology Treatments

Canalith repositioning procedure

This is a fairly quick procedure that requires you to move into different positions. Your audiologist will guide you, and maneuvers can be modified if neck or back issues persist. It is normal to experience brief dizziness during this treatment.

Hearing aid consult

It is recommended that you bring a close friend or relative to this 30-minute informational appointment, where we discuss appropriate treatment for hearing loss. We also discuss your lifestyle to determine which device would be most suitable. You can select a hearing device at this time if you are ready.

Hearing aid fitting

During this 60-minute appointment, the audiologist orients you to your new hearing devices. The devices are measured using RealEar speechmapping technology to verify appropriate function on-ear. To measure sound pressure level (SPL) at the eardrum, a tiny probe tube is inserted into the ear canal and the hearing device is placed in your ear. You listen to speech stimuli at varying levels, and your audiologist may make programming adjustments to the devices. We will address all your questions and concerns. Payment is due at the fitting and you will be scheduled to return for a follow up in two weeks.

Hearing aid check

This is a 30-minute appointment during which the device is cleaned and checked. Reprogramming may be required.

Ear mold impression

This 30-minute appointment requires a clean ear canal. A soft foam piece is moved far back into the canal to prevent impression material from going too deep in the canal. The ear canal is then filled with putty material, which takes about 5 minutes to harden before it is removed.


Locations

Clinic NameAddressPhone
Kadlec Clinic - Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) 780 Swift Blvd, 3rd floor Richland, WA 509-942-3178