Ear, Nose & Throat Services
Audiology is the branch of science that studies hearing, balance, and related disorders.
An audiologist is a healthcare professional specializing in identifying, diagnosing, treating and monitoring disorders of the auditory and vestibular system portions of the ear. Audiologists are trained to diagnose, manage and/or treat hearing or balance problems. They dispense hearing aids and recommend and map cochlear implants. They counsel families through a new diagnosis of hearing loss in infants, and help teach coping and compensation skills to late-deafened adults. They also help design and implement personal and industrial hearing safety programs, newborn hearing screening programs, school hearing screening programs, and provide special fitting ear plugs and other hearing protection devices to help prevent hearing loss. In addition, many audiologists work as auditory scientists in a research capacity.
An Audiologist usually graduates with one of the following qualifications: a Master's degree (MS) or Doctoral degree (AuD), depending the program attended.
Cochlear Hearing Implants
St. Francis ENT has partnered wwith Cochlear Americas who provide a number of different hearing solutions including hearing implants. Here's how an implant works.
Many people suffer hearing loss because their hair cells in the inner ear or (or cochlea) are damaged. The cochlear implant enables the sound to be transferred to your hearing nerves and enables you to hear. The process is described below with number corresponding to the image on the right.
- A sound processor worn behind the ear or on the body, captures sound and turns it into digital code. The sound processor has a battery that powers the entire system.
- The sound processor transmits the digitally-coded sound through the coil on the outside of your head to the implant.
- The implant converts the digitally-coded sound into electrical impulses and sends them along the electrode array placed in the cochlea (the inner ear).
- The implant's electrodes stimulate the cochlea's hearing nerve, which then sends the impulses to the brain where they are interpreted as sound. (Image and information from Cochlear.com website.)