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Audiology

Our Audiology clinic at Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) is staffed with a skilled team of Audiologists who works closely with a team of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors and other healthcare professionals. Audiologists specialise in performing diagnostic assessments for hearing, tinnitus, dizziness and balance related problems. They also provide hearing rehabilitation services.

SKH’s Audiology offers a complete range of services to help improve patient's hearing-related quality of life and speech understanding through hearing device prescription, fitting, counselling and rehabilitation. At SKH, our patients have full access to quality care from a team of audiology specialists throughout their treatment duration. We strive to communicate findings, plans and outcomes with you and your referring doctor, keeping you involved in the management and progress every step of the way.

In cases where hearing aids are no longer helpful, our experienced team of Audiologists work closely with ENT specialists to provide more advanced options. We also aid doctors in the diagnosis and management of giddiness and vertigo through provision of a wide range of assessments. Our tinnitus (ringing in the head or ears) assessment, counselling and management services are designed to help individuals manage the condition better.

Our Audiologists are part of a multidisciplinary team together with ENT doctors, speech and language therapists that provide complete range of hearing rehabilitation services for people with complex hearing loss. The team strives to bring back the joy of hearing in such complex cases through the provision of cochlear implants or bone conduction hearing implants and co-ordinated rehabilitation services.  


Diagnostic Tests

Pure Tone Audiometry

This diagnostic hearing test takes about 20 – 30 minutes to complete and is done in a soundproof room within the hospital. This test aims to find the softest level of sound one can hear at different frequencies and 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.

Tympanometry test

This is a quick and straightforward objective test to assess the middle ear’s function by measuring the eardrum movement in response to pressure changes. A probe will be placed against the ear canal, and measurements are made as the pressure is varied in the ear canal. This test supplements information from the Pure Tone Audiometry test.

Speech test

The ability to hear sounds does not always translate into good comprehension of speech. Understanding speech is much more complicated compared to simply noticing the presence of sound around us. Speech tests assess the patient's ability to understand speech. Speech sounds are presented through headphones or speakers, and the patient is required to repeat the words or sentences that she/he has heard.

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 to 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.

Vestibular tests

The human balance (vestibular) system performs a complex integration of information from eyes, balance organs in the inner ears and the sensation of the relative position of the body (proprioception). For patients with imbalance or dizziness, a series of tests may be performed to help identify the cause and to measure the type and amount of dysfunction. Sophisticated instrumentation and video goggles are used to record the eye movements and to aid in the diagnosis and treatment.  


Hearing Rehabilitation Services

Hearing aids

Hearing aids are sophisticated electronic hearing instruments used by individuals with hearing loss. Upon completion of diagnostic hearing assessments, if the hearing loss cannot be medically or surgically treated, hearing aids may help the individual hear well. 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 provide the necessary information and realistic expectations for patients to make an informed decision on hearing aid purchase. They also provide professional advice in selecting the appropriate hearing aid options and technology based on the patient's hearing loss, lifestyle and communication needs. After hearing aid fitting, you may need a few follow up consultations with Audiologists in the process of adapting to the hearing aids.  

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ears or head without any external sound source. It is commonly perceived as ringing or buzzing but it may also be perceived differently by different individuals. Tinnitus 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 strategies to better manage their tinnitus.


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FAQs

When should I see an Audiologist?

Your doctor may refer you to an Audiologist for assessment of hearing or vertigo. Upon medical clearance from the ENT doctor, you may also be referred to an Audiologist for hearing rehabilitation or tinnitus.

How do Audiologists manage hearing loss?

Audiologists assess the extent of possible benefit from hearing devices and provide you with realistic options available. Besides your remaining hearing level and speech understanding ability, communication needs, lifestyle, and occupation are some of the commonly considered factors as part of the patient-centric care.

How does a hearing aid work?

Modern hearing aids are powerful and miniature devices that are computer programmed and adapted to suit an individual’s needs. Generally, hearing aids are made up of three main components: At least two microphones, a sound processor and a speaker. Sounds enter the microphone, which is connected to the processor. The processor amplifies and adjusts the sound parameters and allows the wearer to hear through the speaker.

Why do some people benefit well from hearing aids but not others?

Hearing aid benefit not only depends upon the severity of hearing loss but also on the individual’s ability to make use of the remaining hearing. Two individuals with the exact same hearing level may have different levels of speech understanding, as the changes or damages occurred to the ear may be totally different among individuals. For most people, hearing loss occurs gradually over several years, hence they get used to living in quiet. Consistent hearing aid usage, acceptance of environmental sounds and willingness to adapt are important in adapting to new hearing aids. Age and memory may also play a part.

How is tinnitus diagnosed?

The diagnosis of tinnitus includes a complete health history and evaluation by ENT doctor. Hearing tests by an Audiologist are generally required in most cases. Depending on the suspected cause, other tests may be needed in some cases.

How is tinnitus managed?

Tinnitus management will depend on your symptoms, age, hearing status, and the general health. It will also depend on the impact it has on the quality of life. The ENT doctor may refer for tinnitus counselling and management once the underlying medical conditions are ruled out. Audiologist may use various strategies such as counselling, hearing devices or sound therapy depending upon the individual needs. You may also be referred to other professional when necessary.