By Nichelei A. Talmore, M.A., CCC-A Clinical Audiologist
The State of Georgia requires all newborns to be screened for hearing loss before leaving the hospital. Any newborn that fails the screening is required to be re-evaluated within one month for early detection of hearing loss. With its new Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing system, the Auditory-Verbal Center, Inc. (AVC) now has the ability to evaluate newborns whether they are awake, feeding or asleep. We attempt to schedule all new referrals within three to seven days of initial contact.
The ABR is a measurement of how the brain reacts to sound. An ABR test can be performed on patients of any age to see how well sound travels along the auditory nerve pathways from the ear to the brainstem. A computer analyzes changes in brain waves in response to the sounds. This test is used to diagnose hearing loss for those who are hard to test, or cannot be evaluated by traditional hearing tests such as children, as well as site of lesion testing for differentiating conductive, sensory-neural, and retro-cochlear disorders. In addition, ABR can identify central nervous system lesions, like auditory neuropathy, and auditory dys-synchrony, which are not detectable by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
AVC was the first facility in the state of Georgia to purchase the VIVOSONIC INTERGRITY ABR and OAE system the world's first and only Bluetooth wireless system for Auditory Electrophysiological Assessment and Hearing Screening. This system allows patients to be awake during testing. No sedation is necessary. The patented Amplitrode reduces electromagnetic interference from electrical cords, radio frequency noises, overhead lights and physiological artifacts. The Bluetooth wireless part of the device, VivoLink, interfaces with the computer and the recording unit, eliminating electrically conducted noises from the computer and power lines. The advanced digital signal processing technique called Vivography reduces patient muscle artifacts and movement. These three features allow patient evaluation consistent and reliable results.
The VivoLink is very light and runs quickly once the patient is hooked up. The ABR test is performed in a child oriented environment, which allows us to engage the child in play if he/she is awake. The room has a television with a DVD player, a child table and chair, coloring easel, play mat and educational toys. Parents can even recline in our comfortable chairs while holding their child and watching television.
Appointments for non-sedated Auditory Brain Response hearing evaluation can be made by calling The Auditory-Verbal Center, Inc. at (404) 633-8911.