Audiology

What do we do:

The Audiology Department offers diagnostic hearing tests for people of all ages, including newborn babies referred from the newborn hearing screening programme, infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, school-aged children and adults. The Audiology Department also offers hearing aid fitting and follow up for children with permanent or significant hearing loss, and hearing aid fitting and follow up for a small number of adults who meet the entry criteria for this service. The Audiology Department also carries out ultra-high frequency hearing tests, used for monitoring the hearing of patients undergoing certain chemotherapies.

We receive referrals from GPs, Well Child Services, Paediatricians, ENT Specialists, Vision and Hearing Testers, the Child Development Service, Speech and Language Therapists, Newborn Hearing Screeners, Hearing Therapy, and other places

The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme also runs out of the Audiology Department. This service is offered to all newborns born in New Zealand. It is a simple, safe and free screen.

It is often completed in hospital shortly after birth but before babies go home, but can also be completed in an outpatient setting up to 3 months of age.


Services:

0-3 months - Newborn hearing screening

A service that is offered to all babies born in NZ; carried out in inpatient and outpatient settings at Gisborne Hospital

This programme only covers babies up to 3 months of age

Referral process: Offered to all babies born in hospital by newborn hearing screeners, referrals from LMCs/Midwives, Turanga Health or Plunket for babies born at home/at Te Puia Springs.

0 months - 16 years - Diagnostic hearing assessment (tests chosen based on the age of the child)

Hearing aid fitting and follow up (provided on a regular basis, frequency of appointments depends on the age of the child). Funding provided through Enable (Ministry of Health) with no costs passed on to families.

Appointments generally are done at Gisborne Hospital but older children can be seen at Te Puia Springs for hearing tests only (clinic once every 2 months).

16 years and over - Diagnostic hearing assessment

Diagnostic hearing assessment. Hearing aid fitting and follow up for some patients if they meet the entry criteria. Funding provided through Enable (Ministry of Health).

Appointments generally are done at Gisborne Hospital but adults can be seen at Te Puia Springs for hearing tests only (clinic once every 2 months)

There are two private practices that provide audiology services in the community to over 16 year olds; one of these clinics provides a full diagnostic hearing assessment for free at the first consultation.

Referrals are from GPs, ENT, Ear Nurses, Hearing therapists, audiologists, other professionals

Patients will not be seen without a referral.


Team:

Bridget Bethel – Audiologist
Stephanie Temple – Newborn Hearing Screener
Donald Sowerby –Newborn Hearing Screener
Barbara Vincent – Newborn Hearing Screener/Audiology Technician
Hinemoa Ratapu – Audiology Administrator


Exams and procedures:

Please list the procedures and treatments here so we can link the services to another site which explains them.

Newborn hearing screen – skin is prepared with gel in 3 spots on the head. An ear phone is placed over the ear (one at a time) and soft clicking sounds are played into the ear while baby sleeps. This screen is attempting to measure a response from the hearing nerve.

ABR – Auditory Brainstem Response – a test on babies (generally under 3 months old) who do not pass the newborn hearing screen, where 4 stickers are placed on the head, and earphones play soft clicking sounds into the ears (one at a time). Recordings are made from the hearing nerve while baby sleeps

VRA – Visual Reinforcement Audiometry – sounds are played and babies/toddlers (aged between 6 months and 30 months old) are taught to turn towards the sound when they hear it. When they hear the sound they are rewarded with a puppet or video

Play Audiometry– sounds are played through headphones and children (aged between 30 months and 5-6 years old) are taught to respond by putting a peg on a peg board each time they hear a sound

Pure tone Audiometry – sounds are played through headphones and older children/adults push a button each time they hear a sound

Speech testing – repeating words presented at different volumes in different listening conditions

Tympanometry – test of ear drum movement and middle ear health – feels like a change of pressure when a small ear tip is put into the ear. Does not require a response from the patient

DPOAE testing – test of inner ear function – plays a range of different beeping sounds into the ear with a small soft ear tip. Does not require a response from the patient

Ear Impression taking – soft putty like material is safely placed into the ear by the audiologist. This takes 2-3 minutes to set and when removed, it gives a moulded shape of an individual’s ear. This procedure is needed for fitting hearing aids to all children and some adults.

Hearing aid fitting

Hearing aid follow up

 

 

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