At NYU Langone’s Hearing and Balance Center, certified audiologists provide adults and children with a full range of audiological testing, as well as hearing aid assessment, fit and follow-up care. We also offer comprehensive vestibular tests to diagnose conditions of the inner ear that may affect your balance. Patients are referred to us by otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat physicians) and a wide variety of other specialists, including physicians at NYU Langone Otolaryngology Associates.
Our experts provide compassionate care and a variety of assessments, including hearing assessment and advanced audiological testing for your family. An audiometric hearing test is used to assess the level of hearing loss in adults and older children. During this test, which lasts 30 minutes, you are seated in a soundproof booth with headphones that transmit a variety of sound levels and frequencies to each ear. Your audiologist asks you to respond by speaking or pressing a button when you hear a sound. Based on your answers, our doctors will assess the type of hearing loss that is causing your symptoms.
If your baby does not pass Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, our audiologists may use an otoacoustic emissions test to look for objective responses from your child’s inner ear. During this test, which lasts a few minutes, you hold your baby while an audiologist inserts a soft earpiece into your child’s ear. It is important that you and your baby remain still and silent during the test.
Our audiologists can use a brainstem auditory response (ABR) test to measure the lowest sound level your baby can hear. We use a soft earphone and place self-adhesive electrodes on your child’s forehead and behind their ears, so please do not apply any creams or oils to your baby’s head before the test. Your child should arrive awake but ready to sleep, and you can bring a pacifier or bottle to feed them if it helps keep them comfortable. During the test, which lasts one to two hours, you hold your child in a reclining chair.
Our specialists use the same ABR test to assess an adult’s cochlear nerve, and additional vestibular tests can also be used.
Children up to the age of 5 can be tested for hearing loss using visual reinforcement audiometry or conditioned game audiometry. Using interactive games, our audiologists are able to assess even the most active children.
Auditory processing assessments are recommended for children who have normal hearing but have significant difficulty processing sound when there is background noise. Your child’s teacher or pediatrician may refer your child if they are having difficulty academically and frequently ask for instructions to be repeated. This assessment can help diagnose auditory processing disorder, a condition that affects the way your brain understands speech.
Hearing aid assessment and adjustment
If you or your child has a hearing loss, our experienced audiologists can help you select the right hearing aid from a variety of leading manufacturers and demonstrate how it works. We specialize in fitting custom hearing aids and provide follow-up care to make sure they are working properly. During fitting appointments, an audiologist inserts a probe microphone into the ear canal to accurately measure sound and confirm that patients are receiving the appropriate level of amplification for their specific hearing loss. Our audiologists also provide information on assistive listening devices, which can help increase the sound of a telephone, television or computer.
If you suffer from severe hearing loss in one ear, our qualified audiologists can help you choose the right hearing amplifier. We offer a wide range of unilateral hearing devices. These include the Contralateral Signal Routing System (CROS), which uses two hearing aids to transfer sound to your non-functioning ear. We also offer a selection of bone conduction hearing aids, including Baha®, Osia®, Ponto ™ and ADHEAR. These devices work by transferring sounds directly into your cochlea, a hollow tube in your inner ear.
Dizziness, the sensation that you spin even when you are motionless, is diagnosed by an otolaryngologist or neurologist. Our specialists use a physical exam, a review of your medical history, and hearing assessments and tests to assess your balance function. We use the following diagnostic vestibular tests:
- brainstem auditory response (ABR) test, which records how sound travels from your inner ear to your brainstem and upper auditory zone
- electrocochleography, to determine if excess pressure in the inner ear is caused by fluid buildup
- rotating chair test, to assess your eye movements
- vestibular evoked myogenic potential test, to measure the natural response of muscles in your neck and vestibular system to certain sounds
- videonystagmography, visual and sensory tests to assess the function of your inner ear
Please see your doctor one week before your rotary chair or videonystagmography test for dietary, drug, and alcohol restrictions. On the day of your test, please show up with flats and comfortable clothing, and not wearing makeup or cream. Wear your contact lenses if you use them, but bring your case, solution, and glasses as you may need to remove your lenses.
Our highly trained audiologists consult with experts in otolaryngology and neurology to diagnose your condition after testing is complete. This patient-centered, multidisciplinary approach helps our team develop a personalized treatment program for different types of hearing loss and disorders, including:
- conductive hearing loss
- otosclerosis, a condition affecting the stapes bone in the middle ear
- Sensorineural hearing loss
- tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- fear of heights
Audiologists at the Hearing and Balance Center work with otolaryngologists to manage your care, including providing referrals for speech therapy services for adults and children at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation, and any necessary educational support for your child. .
Eligible children and adults with hearing impairments may choose to be assessed at the NYU Langone Cochlear Implant Center to determine the suitability of a surgically placed hearing aid. A cochlear implant bypasses damage in the inner ear to stimulate the auditory nerve and restore hearing. A brainstem hearing implant attaches directly to your brainstem and bypasses damaged hearing nerves to make hearing easier.
Our doctors strive to advance their knowledge through to research conditions that affect the ear. We work to improve the care of our patients through innovative methods of identifying the causes of vertigo and loss of balance.