What to Expect at Emory Audiology

Hearing Evaluation

When you visit one of Emory’s audiology clinics for the first time, you and your audiologist will discuss your past medical history, your hearing challenges and how they’ve progressed over time.

Other aspects of your appointment include:

  • A physical examination of your ears to check for blockages and other visible issues
  • A pressure test (tympanometry) to determine whether your eardrum moves as it should
  • A hearing test 
  • Counseling and recommendations on next best steps

Testing Your Hearing

During your hearing test, headphones or earphones will be placed on or in your ears. You will be given a button to press when you hear beeps.

First, you’ll repeat two-syllable words that get progressively quieter until you can’t hear them anymore. Next, the audiologist will tell you to press the button when you hear a beep. Finally, you will repeat words played at a comfortable decibel level. This helps your audiologist determine whether you would benefit from a hearing aid.

Depending on your results, you may need additional tests. Your audiologist will explain your care needs and answer questions before continuing your evaluation.

Cochlear Implant Evaluation

You may be a candidate for cochlear implantation (CI) if you have significant hearing loss in both ears and hearing aids offer limited benefits. You’ll start with a CI evaluation to assess whether it is a possible solution. You’ll be given hearing aids and asked to repeat words and sentences. We test you in quiet and noisy conditions. Testing includes both ears at once and each ear individually. Depending on your scores, you may qualify for cochlear implantation, per insurance regulations. Your care team will help you decide if a cochlear implant is right for you.

Initial Activation of Cochlear Implant

A cochlear implant has both internal and external components. The internal electrode array is implanted surgically. It is synced to an external processor four to six weeks after your surgery. You will hear with the cochlear implant for the first time during this appointment.

Expect that sound will be VERY different while listening with the CI. At first, you will not be able to understand speech. Your brain is used to a very different type of sound signal. Learning how to use your CI to make sense of different sounds takes time (often months) and practice.

During this appointment, we measure the internal electrode array to ensure it's working correctly. We also introduce you to your CI kit and teach you how to use your processor and accessories.

Cochlear Implant Audiology Follow Ups

Expect several follow up appointments, including:

  • Initial activation four to six weeks after surgery
  • Two week follow up after activation
  • One month follow up after activation
  • Three month follow up after activation
  • Six months follow up after activation
  • Annually after the first year

We measure your internal electrode array at these appointments and check that it's functioning correctly. You'll complete booth testing to ensure your CI does all it can to meet your unique needs.

Bone Anchored Hearing System

A bone anchored hearing system (BAHS) is a surgically implanted hearing device with internal and external components. Depending on your selected device, you’ll be fitted with the external portion one to three months after your surgery. During this appointment, the external portion of your BAHS is synced to the internal portion. Unlike a CI, the sound created by a BAHS closely matches natural hearing. You should experience a minimal adaptation period. Most people can hear quite well and very quickly. Follow-up visits are scheduled at the six-month mark and then annually after surgery.

Make an Appointment with Emory Audiology

To make an appointment at Emory Clinic Department of Otolaryngology Audiology Program, please call 404-778-3381.