Audiology Services assist in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with hearing and inner ear related difficulties. A full range of services are provided in order to assess hearing sensitivity, auditory processing abilities and balance function. Treatment for adult patients with hearing loss is available through the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, Tenn. Referrals can be made within the department for balance therapy and speech-language therapy.
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For more than 30 years, certified audiologists have provided quality diagnostic services at UT Medical Center. Audiology Services include the following.
- Balance Center. The Balance Center is a multi-disciplinary team that includes specially trained audiologists and physical therapists who can provide asessment and treatment for patients suffering from dizziness, imbalance and vertigo. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is available through the department of physical therapy. William Horton, M.D. (E.N.T.), is the medical director for this program. Diagnostic testing includes videonystagmography, electrocochleography, auditory brainstem response testing, and vestibular evoked myogenic potentials
- Hearing Aids. A full range of products are available for patients who suffer from hearing impairment and are interested in purchasing hearing aids in Knoxville area. State-of-the-art technology such as digital hearing aids, directional microphones and deluxe feedback management systems are available. Knoxville hearing aids are available to patients in East Tennessee. Many hearing aids are now compatible with blue tooth technology and can be coupled with cell phones, MP3 players, computers and other electronic devices.
- Hearing evaluations on patients of all ages. Pediatric testing is performed using animated visual reinforcement toys and fun activities designed to engage the child in "listening games." Otoacoustic emissions are available to provide a physiologic assessment of hearing sensitivity (cochlear function) for those children who will not cooperate for the listening games.
- Diagnostic and sedated auditory brainstem response testing is available to assess neural function and estimate the degree of hearing loss in patients who are difficult to test behaviorally. Sedated auditory brainstem response testing is performed by an audiologist, with the goal of obtaining as much information about hearing sensitivity as possible. Assessment includes otoacoustic emissions, tympanometry, tone burst testing at different frequencies and bone conduction testing.
- Central auditory processing evaluations are performed on children and adults who struggle to understand auditory information despite normal hearing sensitivity. Often, children with auditory processing disorders will have difficulties listening in noise, remembering auditory information or will have trouble with reading and reading comprehension. A diagnostic assessment is helpful in identifying areas that need to be remediated before and auditory processing disorder becomes a life long struggle.
- Inpatient services including the first and largest newborn hearing screening program in East Tennessee.
The hospital also employs five hearing technicians who assist with the infant hearing screening program.