The Department of Audiology at Sengkang General Hospital consists of a dedicated team of Audiologists. They work closely with a team of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors and other healthcare professionals. Audiologists specialises in diagnosing and managing various hearing and balance problems by performing a range of diagnostic assessments. They provide services to help improve the patient's hearing-related quality of life and ability to understand speech through hearing device prescription, fitting, counselling and rehabilitation. The team also provides support for tinnitus (ringing in the head or ears) management.
Pure Tone Audiometry
This diagnostic hearing test takes about 20 – 30 minutes to complete and is done in a soundproof room. This test aims to find the softest level of sound frequencies one can hear as well as to provide detailed information on the type and degree of hearing loss. This test forms a basis for ENT doctors and Audiologists to decide on further medical, surgical or rehabilitative management of hearing and balance conditions.
This is a simple and quick objective test to assess the function of the middle ear by measuring the movement of the eardrum in response to pressure changes. A probe will be placed against the ear canal and pressure is varied in the ear canal to make measurements.
This test provides information on the function of the middle ear and supplements information from the Pure Tone Audiometry test.
The ability to hear sounds does not always translate into good comprehension of speech. Understanding speech is much more complex compared to simply noticing the presence of sound around us. Speech tests assess the patient's ability to understand speech without any visual cues (e.g. lip reading). Speech sounds are usually presented through headphones or speakers and the patient is required to repeat the words or sentences that she/he has heard. Background noise may be used to help assess the ability to understand speech in the complex listening situation.
Auditory Brainstem Response test (ABR) and Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR)
These objective tests assess how the inner ear and brain pathways respond to sound. Sounds are presented via earphones and responses are measured through non-invasive recording pads attached on the head. These tests will take approximately 2 hours to complete.
Oto-acoustic Emissions test (OAE)
This objective test assesses the inner ear's response to sounds. This test takes a few minutes to complete and is often performed together with other tests such as ABR and ASSR.
The balance system does a complex integration of information from our eyes, balance organs in the inner ears and the sensation of the relative position of the body (proprioception) from limbs. For patients with imbalance or dizziness, a series of tests may be performed to help identify the cause and to measure the type and the amount of dysfunction. Sophisticated instrumentation and video goggles will be used to record the eye movements and to aid in the diagnosis and treatment.
Hearing rehabilitation services
Hearing aids are sophisticated electronic hearing instruments. After thorough diagnostic hearing assessments are completed, the doctor will assess and refer suitable patients to the Audiologist for a hearing aid evaluation. Hearing aids can help people with hearing loss to hear better in daily listening situations and meet their communication needs by providing sufficient amplification based on their hearing loss. Audiologists will provide the necessary information and realistic expectations for the patient to make an informed decision. They will also provide professional advice in selecting the appropriate hearing aid style and technology based on the patient's hearing loss, lifestyle and communication needs. Upon being fitted with hearing aids, there will be follow up appointments to optimize the hearing aids.
Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ears or head without any external sound source. Prolonged disturbance may affect one's sleep, work and mood which can compromise one's quality of life. The team adopts a patient-centric approach to educate, and offer evidence-based strategies to help patients better manage their tinnitus.
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