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People who have disabilities and complex injuries can experience hearing loss related to their primary conditions. At Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, audiology care is part of a broad range of services we offer to our patients.
Our audiologists are experts in working with people who have physical disabilities as well as cognitive (thinking and learning), behavioral and communication challenges. We specialize in understanding how complex conditions, such as genetic syndromes, craniofacial conditions and neurodevelopmental delays, relate to hearing challenges.
Why Choose Gillette?
- We provide audiology care from experts who understand the unique needs of children, teens and adults who have disabilities and complex conditions.
- Our specialists collaborate to provide custom treatment plans.
- We provide facilities and technology designed specifically for your needs.
Conditions We Treat
Many of the conditions we treat at Gillette benefit from audiology evaluations and care.
Conditions that most often lead to audiology referrals include:
- Brain injury and related neurotrauma
- Cerebral palsy
- Cleft lip and palate
- Developmental delay
- Genetic syndromes
For more information about the complex conditions we treat at Gillette, search Conditions and Care.
Tests and Treatments We Offer
Early diagnosis and interventions are essential to minimize the effect of hearing loss on communication abilities and overall development. Gillette’s audiology tests are designed for people who might be nonverbal, experience developmental delays, or have other challenges that can affect evaluations and testing.
In the Twin Cities, we are the first children’s health care organization to offer auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing that doesn’t require patients to sleep or be sedated. We also have the expertise to sedate patients when necessary for testing.
Gillette performs the following evaluations for patients of all ages and ability levels. We also offer speech therapy for patients who experience communication issues resulting from hearing difficulties.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Testing
ABR is useful in evaluating patients who are young, developmentally delayed, or unable to control there movements and therefore unable to recognize and reliably respond to sounds. The test uses electrodes to measure the brain’s reaction to sounds and to show how well a patient’s auditory system is working.
In the past, ABR evaluations could take place only during sleep or under sedation. Today, Gillette is the first children’s health care organization in the Twin Cities to add ABR equipment that lets many patients avoid sedation. Children can talk, eat and move around without disrupting the tests. When necessary, we also have the expertise to sedate and test patients.
Conditioned Play Audiometry
In conditioned play audiometry, the hearing test is made into a game. For example, children drop a block into a bucket each time they hear a sound. The test evaluates how well children can hear sounds at specific frequencies.
Otoacoustic Emissions Testing
Otoacoustic emissions tests evaluate the health of the cochlea by using a small earphone, which sends sound into the ear. If the inner ear is healthy, we can measure a response or echo.
Tympanometry provides information about the health of the middle ear. First, we examine the ear canal to make sure there is a clear path to the eardrum. Next, we place a device in the ear that changes air pressure inside the ear, making the eardrum vibrate. A machine records the movements on graphs called tympanograms.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry
The test evaluates a patient’s sensitivity to specific frequencies. Light-up toys and videos reinforce a child’s head-turn response to a sound. If we discover hearing loss, our ear, nose and throat (ENT, or otolaryngology) specialists can perform further evaluations.
For more information about the tests and treatments we offer at Gillette, search Conditions and Care.
Locations of Service
Services vary by location. For all of our locations, visit Directions and Locations.
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