Audiology

The audiology clinics in both Hillcrest and La Jolla provide diagnostic hearing evaluations to inpatients and outpatients. Each patient, caregiver and/or family member receives individual instruction and counseling related to hearing loss and hearing aids.

The latest in digital programmable hearing aids are available for hearing impaired patients to purchase.

More about hearing loss at UC San Diego Health.

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Hearing Testing

There are several ways in which hearing is evaluated. Tests include:

Audiometry

Immittance tests

Speech perception testing

Otoacoustic emissions (OAE)

Auditory brainstem response (ABR)

Auditory brainstem response (ABR)

Auditory brainstem response electrocochleography (ECoG)

Hearing Aids and Assistive Devices

Assistive devices include any tool that increases communication for a person with a speech, voice, language or hearing loss disorder. The following devices are available at UC San Diego.

Programmable digital hearing aids

Hearing aid accessories and maintenance (batteries, repair and cleaning services)

Assistive listening devices (ALDs)

CROS/BiCROS hearing aids

Osseointegrated bone conduction devices (Baha)

Custom earplugs

Tinnitus Treatment

Tinnitus can be caused by several different things: age, earwax buildup, medications, or disorder (e.g., thyroid disorder,  Ménière's disease). If treating the cause of tinnitus doesn't alleviate symptoms, there are devices that can help.

Neuromonics treatment

Hearing aids and tinnitus maskers

Cochlear Implants

When the hair cells in the cochlea are damaged, sound is unable to reach the auditory nerve. Cochlear implants helps bypass these damaged hair cells and provide direct stimulation to the auditory nerve, thereby restoring hearing.

Candidacy assessment

Programming and troubleshooting

Auditory Brainstem Implant

An auditory brainstem implant (ABI) is a small device that is surgically inserted to restore sensations of sound. It is recommended for people who would not benefit from a cochlear implant or hearing aid because their auditory nerves are not functioning, they have bilateral cochlear ossification, or absent/severely malformed cochleae.

An ABI bypasses the cochlea and auditory nerves and restores some sensations of sound by directly stimulating central auditory pathways to the brain using electrical impulses.

An ABI may also be implanted during surgery to remove a tumor such as an acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) in cases of neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). See a news release about this procedure.

For more information contact Kris Siwek, patient navigator, at 858-657-5376; ksiwek@ucsd.edu.

About the Device

The ABI device has two parts:

Internal component: The implanted component is a neural stimulator electrode that is placed directly onto the auditory portion of the brainstem and connected to a receiver placed just under the skin behind the ear. The implant will only work in conjunction with the external component.

External component: This includes a sound processor, microphone, and transmission coil and must be worn behind the ear for sound to be heard. This will not be activated until at least six weeks after the implantation surgery.

What to Expect with ABI

The ABI Process

Vestibular (Balance) Evaluation

The vestibular system is vital to daily function and activities as it helps maintain body and head posture. If damaged in childhood, the vestibular system can greatly impact development. The following tests help diagnose a vestibular system injury. 

Videonystagmography (VNG)

Vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP)

Electrocochleography (EcoG)

Facial Nerve Evaluation

Facial nerve damage has a huge impact on the muscles of the face. One of our audiologists will assess the extent of facial nerve damage and muscle weakness with the following test:

Electroneuronography (EnoG)

Appointments & Referrals

Audiology Locations

La Jolla

Hillcrest

Audiology Team