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Our Services


Hearing Assessments

  • Case History
  • Immittance

The audiologist will assess the patient's eardrum movement by placing a small, soft probe tip in the ear for a few seconds. One ear is tested at a time. This test is useful to determine how well sound is passing through the eardrum. For example, if excessive wax or fluid is around the eardrum, it can reduce the sounds a patient may hear. The audiologist may also present sounds to measure a reflex response made by the ear.

  • Otoacoustic Emission (OAE)

For this test, a small, soft tip is placed in the ear.  Soft musical tones are presented.  If the sound is detected, the ear makes an "echo-like" response that is generated when a sound is heard, and this is measured.

The test is quick and painless. One ear is tested at a time. This test is most reliable when the patient is sitting still and the room is quiet.  It can be performed on patients of all ages, and is especially useful for patients who cannot give consistent behavioral responses on other tests, including babies and people with certain disabilities/conditions.

  • Audiometry Adult

This hearing test is done with the patient seated in a soundproof booth and soft insert earplugs are placed in their ears. The audiologist will ask the patient to indicate each time they hear a sound, usually by raising their hand or pressing a button. The goal of this test is to see how quiet a sound or speech can be so that the patient just barely hears it; this is called a hearing threshold. Hearing thresholds help audiologists determine the severity and type of hearing loss.

  • Audiometry Children

Children of any age can have their hearing assessed and hospital audiologists are specially equipped and well experienced in the testing of children. Below is a breakdown of different testing methods based on age. Audiologists can test children with different methods if a child is unable to complete the typical testing for their age.  Children of all ages typically have an  Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) test completed, if applicable, in addition to these methods. 

  • 0-6 months:very young children are tested with Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) and/or and Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test.
  • 6-30 months:Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) is used for children 6-30 months old. During VRA, the child sits with their parent/caregiver in a soundproof booth. The audiologist watches for the child's head turn in response to sounds. The audiologist rewards the child for correct responses by lighting up or animating a toy.
  • 30 months-6 years:Play Audiometry is similar to a game. The testing is completed in a soundproof booth and the child indicates when a soft sound is heard (e.g., throw a toy in a bucket; place a peg on a pegboard). The child may also be asked to repeat simple words or point (e.g., "point to your nose").
  • 6-7 years and older:Testing children 6-7 years of age and older is very similar to an adult hearing test. The child is seated in a soundproof booth and asked to indicate when soft sounds are heard (usually by raising their hand or pressing a response button). They may also be asked to repeat words.
  • Counselling

Counseling services provided by the audiologist are focused on providing the patient with the best possible strategies to maintain quality of life while coping with their hearing loss. The audiologist will be there to provide counselling on all hearing health related issues, and address their questions and/or concerns. Hearing aids will be discussed, if appropriate.

  • Hearing Aid Evaluation

When discussing a patient's hearing test results, the audiologist will inform them whether or not hearing aids will help. If they indicate they would be interested in trying hearing aids, the audiologist can write a hearing aid prescription, which can be taken to any hearing aid dispenser.  Hospital audiologists prescribe hearing aids but they do not sell them.  At some locations, the audiologist will have the patient return for follow-up appointment to have a more detailed conversation regarding things like types and styles of hearing aids, lifestyle and listening needs, and budget.

Hearing Aids - The Basics

Hearing aids are assistive devices that make speech and everyday noises louder so that they can be comfortably heard by the wearer. They are small computer-like devices that are constantly monitoring the environment to provide optimal hearing. For example, when the wearer walks into a crowd of people, the hearing aid may focus its microphones on speech coming from the front and reduce the volume of the background noise. This would help the wearer hear the person they are facing. Hearing aids have many more features that depend on the brand or level of technology of the device.  The main purpose of hearing aids is to help improve communication in everyday life.

Hearing Aid Styles

There are many different styles of hearing aids available, from those that fit entirely in the ear to those that fit behind the ear with a tube or wire leading to an earpiece in the ear. The audiologist considers many factors when recommending hearing aids, such as the amount, type, and shape of the hearing loss; the size and shape of the ear canals; wax issues; and dexterity of the wearer.  Personal preferences for certain features or cosmetic concerns will also be taken into account as the audiologist and patient work together to find the best fit for the patient's lifestyle.

Ears 2017

Additional Resources

Speech and Audiology Canada
Canadian Academy of Audiology
American Speech-Language- Hearing Association

Specialized Diagnostic Testing

  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)

The ABR gives information about the brain pathways for hearing. The test can be performed on patients of any age. Very young children may require mild sedation for the test, which is arranged by a team which includes a pediatrician and nurses (these cases are discussed with parents/caregivers before the test is scheduled). The ABR is performed byplacing electrodes on the head (forehead and behind the ears or on the earlobes) and recording brain wave activity in response to sound. The person being tested rests quietly or sleeps while the test is performed. No response is necessary.

  • Videonystagmography (VNG) / Electronystagmography (ENG)

This test is performed to assess and diagnose balance disorders and dizziness. The test can take up to two to three hours. During the test, eye movements are monitored as visual tasks are performed. This examination will also include a caloric test, in which the ear canals are irrigated with warm and cold water (or air) to assess the function of the inner ear. These irrigations may cause brief dizziness.

Before the test: It is recommended to not take sedatives, anti-nausea or anti-vertigo medication 24 hours prior to the test. If you are having this test, you will receive an information sheet prior to the test with more detailed instructions. If you have any questions about other medications, please contact your ENT physician or pharmacist at least 24 hours prior to the test.

For your comfort, we also recommend:
 - No eating or drinking for 2-4 hours prior to the test (unless you are diabetic or hypoglycemic)
 - No make-up or mascara (especially around the eyes)
 -If you wear contacts or glasses, you may want to bring both - some patients find glasses are slightly uncomfortable under the video recording goggles.

Universal Newborn Hearing Screening

The goal of the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening program is to identify permanent hearing loss in children as early as possible and provide early intervention (e.g., hearing aids). Most newborns have their hearing screening completed before they are discharged from the hospital. The hearing screening (OAE)  test requires a quiet baby.  Iif reliable test results cannot be obtained prior to leaving the hospital, the baby will be called back to the audiology department to repeat the test. A variation of this test is used for newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The program aims to have all newborns screened for hearing loss by one month of age, confirmation of hearing loss by 3 months, and the start of early intervention by 6 months of age.  Early identification of hearing loss is reported to reduce deficits in cognitive, speech, language, academic, and social/emotional development in children.

For further information please visit:  Universal Newborn and Infant Hearing Screening Program, by the Government of New Brunswick.

Rehabilitation (Hearing Aids) for Children with Hearing Loss

In New Brunswick, children identified with hearing loss are followed by hospital audiologists who have the specialized equipment and experience for assessing and treating them. Children with hearing loss can also order their hearing aids through the hospital, at manufacturer's cost, from birth until they are 21 years of age. The audiologist works very closely with parents, speech-language pathologists, educators, itinerant teachers to ensure that any child who has a hearing loss reaches their full academic potential. Children living in Atlantic Canada with hearing loss are followed by an interprovincial co-operative agency called Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA).  More information on APSEA can be found at: www.apsea.ca.  APSEA itinerant teachers (a teacher for the hearing impaired) follow children in the Anglophone school boards while children attending Francophone schools are followed by itinerant teachers through the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Ototoxic Monitoring

This program is for patients that have been prescribed medications, such as Gentamicin and certain chemotherapy drugs like Cisplatin, that can be potentially toxic (damaging) to the ear and cause hearing loss. Audiologists monitor patients in order to prevent the loss of hearing into the speech frequencies, and to provide information on hearing aid options if a hearing loss results.

Community Audiology

Requests are considered as staffing permits

Community Audiology may include:

  • Education sessions in schools, churches, seniors' centres, special care homes, and other professionals
  • Workplace evaluations to assess acceptable noise levels
  • Community hearing screenings in schools and seniors' centres
  • Group aural rehabilitation sessions

*Requests are considered as staffing and clinical workload permits. Resources are very limited in most areas*

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