Our Services

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 the brain.
  • 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 lifestyle.

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 plans.

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 frequent most.

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



Our Specialists

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.

Shayna Goode, Au.D.

Dr. Shayna Goode has an extensive understanding of client-centered quality care and services. She is especially interested in the prevention, identification, diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and balance disorders of all age groups.

The Wellsburg, WV, native received her audiology doctoral degree, as well as her bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology, from West Virginia University. Dr. Goode has experience in evaluation and treatment of vestibular disorders involving balance and dizziness.

Certification

Both Dr. Lichtman and Dr. Goode are licensed by the West Virginia Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Dr. Lichtman also is licensed by the Ohio board, and is board certified by the American Institute of Balance and the American Board of Audiology. In addition, Dr. Lichtman has a CCC-A (Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is board certified in neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring.

Contact

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 blichtman@wheelinghospital.org.

For appointments at any of the three locations, call 304-243-7879.

Wheeling Hospital

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