Center for Audiology
Wheeling Hospital’s Center for Audiology is the area’s leader in basic diagnostic
hearing tests for the pediatric through geriatric population.
Other sophisticated evaluations include assessment of balance and dizziness, central
auditory processing, and tests of electrophysiology measurements, such as otoacoustic
emissions (OAEs), auditory brainstem response (ABR) and electrocochleography (ECochG).
In addition, screening measures are provided for newborns, at-risk toddlers, preschoolers
and school-age children.
The audiologists provide aural rehabilitation and hearing aid technology for patients
of the community and surrounding areas.
The department’s primary goals are to help identify those people with hearing loss
and balance dysfunction and improve their quality of life with the most appropriate
audiologic diagnostic treatment strategy.
The Center for Audiology at Wheeling Hospital also has locations at the Belmont Community
Health Center in Bellaire, and in Wellsburg at the Marks Building, 1006 Commerce St. Diagnostic
hearing evaluations are performed every other Monday, alternating between the two offices.
Hearing aids are available to patients at both offices, as well as at Wheeling Hospital.
Hearing and Balance Services
Tests of the Auditory (Hearing) System
- Adult Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation: This is a test to evaluate your level of hearing,
and determine your ability to hear relative to normative data. This information
is important for your doctor to better understand your hearing and balance mechanism.
If hearing loss is identified, it helps determine if a hearing aid would be of benefit.
- Pediatric Hearing Evaluation: We are able to assess the hearing of children as young
as 6 months using play audiometry and visual response audiometry. For those children
younger than 6 months, we are able to evaluate their auditory system using other
tests such as otoacoustic emissions.
- Otoacoustic Emissions: This evaluates the function of the outer hair cells that
helps transmit sound to the inner ear. This test is used regularly to screen newborns.
In addition, it also helps in the evaluation of tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
- Auditory Brainstem Response: This measures the amount of time sound takes to reach
the brainstem. With the use of electrodes and sounds (clicks), the audiologist can
determine if there are any blockages along the nerve path from the inner ear to
- Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears) Evaluation: Tinnitus (commonly referred to as ringing
in the ears) affects as many as 50 million people in the U.S. Tinnitus symptoms
can negatively impact normal daily activities and can lead to additional medical
conditions, such as anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation and elevated stress.
With the use of audiometric testing, and otoacoustic emissions, we can better understand
your tinnitus, and provide treatment and coping strategies to relieve the affects
so tinnitus does not significantly affect your day-to-day life.
Tests of the Vestibular (Balance) System
Dizziness is the second most common complaint patients take to their doctors. Dizziness
can take the form of spinning, lightheadedness, or perhaps even a feeling of being
faint. The balance team consists of your physician, audiologist and physical therapist.
These professionals work collaboratively to effectively diagnose the cause of your
dizziness and ultimately provide the most effective rehabilitation protocol.
- Videonystagmography (VNG): This is one of the gold standards of balance function
testing. This evaluation helps find the cause of your dizziness. Wheeling Hospital
uses state-of-the-art technology to assess your vestibular and balance system. The
results are evaluated within a 24-hour period allowing for accurate and efficient
results. Dr. Brandon Lichtman is an expert in vestibular assessment and is certified
by the American Institute of Balance.
Tests of Auditory Processing
Testing for auditory processing disorders is a specialized service offered by the
Audiology Department. Auditory processing is the brain’s ability to recognize and
interpret sound. Some children have difficulty with the interpretation of sound,
which can significantly impact their progress in school. These children often have
normal hearing and intelligence, but have difficulty understanding
what they hear. The NIDCD (www.nidcd.nih.gov)
lists some of the symptoms of auditory processing, such as:
- trouble paying attention to and remembering information presented orally.
- problems carrying out multistep directions.
- poor listening skills.
- more time to process information.
- low academic performance.
- behavior problems.
- language difficulty (e.g., they confuse syllable sequences and have problems developing
vocabulary and understanding language).
- difficulty with reading, comprehension, spelling and vocabulary.
If a child is diagnosed with a disorder in auditory processing, he or she is then
referred to the team of Speech-Language Pathologists at Wheeling Hospital for treatment
and rehabilitation strategies.
Hearing Aids and Aural Rehabilitation
In addition to their expertise in diagnostic hearing and balance evaluations, the
doctors of audiology at Wheeling Hospital are experts in hearing aid technology,
counseling and patient management. They are committed to helping you learn about
your level of hearing loss, and can introduce you to the latest advancements in
hearing aid technology to help improve your hearing health.
The audiologists do not believe in jeopardizing the trust and respect of their patients
by “selling” hearing aids when they are not needed. It is far too common in the
hearing aid industry that patients are “sold” hearing aids that do not benefit their
Improving your hearing health care is our only concern. Hearing aids are a treatment
option for those with hearing loss. It is our belief that if a person has hearing
loss, the cost should not prevent a patient from using hearing aids. Therefore,
there are options for patients to obtain hearing aids by providing easy payment
All patients receive a 30-day trial period for the use hearing aids. By having a
suitable trial period, you can test the use of hearing aids in the environment you
We urge you to become educated and ask questions regarding hearing loss and hearing
aids. Feel free to download the “Guide to Hearing Aids” by the Better Hearing Institute
for a full understanding of hearing aids and expectations. Of course, you are always
welcome to call our office with any questions to make the transition to using hearing
aids as easy as possible.
Signs of Hearing Loss
- You are aware of people talking, but cannot understand what they are saying.
- Difficulty understanding people talking when in the presence of background noise.
- Require repetition of what was said.
- Notice people mumble when they speak.
- Have difficulty understanding the television and/or telephone.
The above signs of hearing loss are just a few of the more frequent complaints when
a person has hearing loss. Often hearing loss may cause you to feel annoyed at other
people because you can't hear or understand them, or withdraw from social situations
that you once enjoyed because of difficulty hearing.
If you answered “YES” to any of the above statements, you may have hearing loss
and should have your hearing evaluated.
"I am just as deaf as I am blind. The problems of deafness are deeper and more
complex, if not more important than those of blindness. Deafness is a much worse
misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus -- the sound of the
voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir, and keeps us in the intellectual
company of man.”
-- Helen Keller
Brandon Lichtman, Au.D., CCC-A
Dr. Brandon S. Lichtman specializes in pediatric audiology, vestibular assessment,
hearing aid technology, counseling and patient management.
He received his bachelor's degree is communication sciences and disorders at The
College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, and his doctorate in clinical audiology at
Nova Southeastern University, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Dr. Lichtman trained alongside
renowned neurotologists focusing on vestibular assessment and treatment. During
his studies, Dr. Lichtman also became specialized in pediatric audiology, specifically
in evaluations in central auditory processing disorders.
Following his studies, Dr. Lichtman received further training in intraoperative
neurophysical monitoring and received his board certification.
Natalie Moses, MA, CCC-A
Performing diagnostic evaluations at Belmont Community Hospital is audiologist Natalie
Moses is a graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in speech
pathology and audiology, and a master’s degree in audiology.
Her focus is working with both pediatric and adult populations in the areas of diagnostic
evaluation, amplification and related aural rehabilitation.
Both Dr. Lichtman and Moses are licensed by the West Virginia and Ohio boards of Speech-Language
Pathology and Audiology. Lichtman is board certified by the American Institute of Balance
and the American Board of Audiology. In addition, both Lichtman and Moses have a
CCC-A (Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing
For more information, or to make an appointment at Wheeling Hospital, Belmont Community Health Center
or the Wellsburg office at 1006 Commerce St., call 304-243-7879. The Audiology Department at Wheeling Hospital
is located in Tower 3, Suite 223. Belmont Community Health Center is located at 3000 Guernsey St., Bellaire.
Dr. Lichtman may be contacted directly at
For appointments at any of the three locations, call 304-243-7879.