Audiology

Vidant Health audiology services are offered at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. Services include:

  • Hearing evaluations
  • Hearing aids and other devices
  • Cochlear implant
  • Newborn hearing testing
Hearing evaluations

To determine if you have hearing loss, you will undergo conventional testing, which determines how well you hear pure tones (high, medium and low-pitched sounds) and speech, as well as your ability to understand speech at a comfortable volume.

Pediatric patients who are too young for this method will complete testing by playing a game in response to tones, or possibly by looking for visual reinforcement in response to sound. Middle ear function and cochlear (inner ear) function are also assessed with specialized, objective tests for all patients.

Automated Brainstem Response (ABR) testing is a specialized test procedure that allows hearing thresholds to be obtained, with no behavioral response needed from the patient. This type of testing is recommended and performed on an individual and as-needed basis.

Our focus is early identification, appropriate and timely intervention, and family-centered care and education.

Hearing aids and other devices

Vidant audiologists work to determine your hearing aid needs and goals, in addition to providing hands-on guidance to patients and families. Follow-up visits are scheduled as-needed, and testing is routinely performed to ensure optimal hearing aid settings and measure patients’ progress.

We can also provide you with information regarding personal sound amplifiers, personal FM systems, wireless accessories for hearing aids and cochlear implants, captioned and amplified telephones, “TV ears” and assistive alerting devices such as vibrating alarm clocks, flashing fire alarms, etc.

Hearing protection

Many people do not realize the importance of protecting their hearing, and that hearing loss secondary to noise damage is likely permanent. We offer custom earplugs to protect against loud noise for musicians, construction workers, landscapers, shooters, concert-goers and others. Additionally, custom swim plugs can be ordered for individuals who have recurrent swimmer’s ear or who have PE tubes in place.

Cochlear implants

A cochlear implant is a device that helps reverse nerve-related hearing loss. An implant does not restore normal hearing; instead, it can give a person useful representation of sounds in the environment. A cochlear implant is designed to assist significantly hearing impaired people who gain little to no benefit from hearing aids.

Eligibility

Children are given a series of tests to assess basic hearing milestones in the development of their listening skills. Adult testing typically includes measuring speech perception ability with the use of hearing aids in addition to the standard test battery. If patients are unable to demonstrate these skills and/or perform adequately while using hearing aids, they may be considered a candidate for a cochlear implant.

As a part of every cochlear implant evaluation, candidates are interviewed to discuss reasons for wanting a cochlear implant and to evaluate the level of commitment by the candidate and family. Commitment and support are essential for successful cochlear implant outcomes. Medical evaluation by a neuro-otologist is also required as part of the cochlear implant candidacy evaluation. This will include a discussion of hearing and otologic history, imaging studies and realistic expectations counseling.

Post-implantation

Multiple follow-up visits with a variety of professionals will be required after cochlear implant surgery. The device is not activated until approximately one month after it is placed, to allow for adequate healing of the surgical site. In the first year of cochlear implant use, adults can expect approximately four to six audiology follow-up visits for “mapping,” and children can expect about six to eight audiology visits. Additionally, all children will benefit from intensive speech-language therapy in order to have the opportunity to develop listening and spoken language skills. For all cochlear implant recipients, there is usually a significant adjustment period, as electrical sound is very different than acoustic sound.

Newborn hearing testing

Vidant Medical Center Audiology is one of the few diagnostic centers east of Raleigh for babies that are referred on the newborn hearing screening performed just after birth. We may repeat the screening and, if indicated, will complete diagnostic testing (ABR). Our Greenville location is one of a select few hospitals statewide in which the audiology department oversees the newborn hearing screening program.

Currently, all babies born in the United States are required to have their hearing screened by one month of age. Follow-up diagnostic testing should be completed by three months of age, if warranted. Contact us if you have questions or a concern regarding your infant’s hearing acuity or newborn hearing test results.

Audiology appointments

Please call 252-847-7605 for appointment scheduling. Many types of audiology appointments require a referral from a patient’s primary care or ENT physician. We ask that you request a referral to be faxed to the hospital’s scheduling office at 252-847-6625. Additionally, copies of recent hearing tests at outside facilities and/or ENT appointment summaries are appreciated.

Please call 252-847-4448 with questions regarding the scheduling and referral process.

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