Friday, March 27, 2020 at 5:00 PM Update
In response to COVID-19, Ochsner Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) is rescheduling non-urgent visits, offering virtual visits for some conditions and implementing increased measures to ensure that we can still provide urgent care to our patients with time-sensitive ENT needs. For more information or to schedule an in-person or virtual visit, please call (504) 842-4080 or message your provider in MyOchsner.
The Audiology program at Ochsner is one of the leading and largest audiology centers in the Gulf South Region. We are a comprehensive hearing center, specializing in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and management of hearing disorders in newborns, seniors and everyone in between. We provide the full spectrum of hearing health care from hearing screenings and diagnostic exams to the fitting of hearing aids and programming of implants.
We are Relentless
Many people just accept their hearing loss. Sometimes, after buying hearing aids that don’t work for them, they simply give up. At Ochsner, we don’t give up. We are relentless about connecting you with the treatment or devices that will help you stay connected to the world and the people you love.
A Team Approach to Hearing Health Care
Ochsner’s full-time staff of audiologists (Doctors of Audiology and Audiologists with Master’s degrees) work closely with ENT physicians, using a team-based approach to manage hearing loss and improve hearing health care. We offer both surgical and non-surgical solutions to hearing problems and pride ourselves on being a trusted partner in that decision. We’re here to educate and empower our patients about hearing loss and provide management options to fit your individual lifestyle.
Benefits of Managing Your Hearing Loss
At Ochsner, we pride ourselves on the quality of care we offer our geriatric patients, as well as patients who experience hearing loss not related to aging.
When hearing loss is treated, it has been shown to improve intimacy and family relationships, physical health, performance at school, and even earning power. It can give you a sense of control over life events.
On the other hand, unmanaged hearing loss can lead to depression, anxiety, isolation, frustration, and embarrassment. Hearing loss has even been linked to dementia.
Warning signs of hearing loss:
- Irritability, negativism, anger
- Fatigue, tension, stress, depression
- Avoidance or withdrawal from social situations
- Social rejection and loneliness
- Reduced alertness and increased risk of personal safety
- Impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks
- Reduced job performance and earning power
- Reduced performance in school
- Diminished psychological and overall health
You might have hearing loss if you:
- Require frequent repetition
- Think other people sound muffled or are mumbling
- Have trouble hearing children and women
- Have your TV tuned up to a high volume
- Answer or respond inappropriately in conversations
- Feel stressed from straining to hear what others are saying
- Feel annoyed at other people because you can’t hear or understand
- Feel embarrassed or nervous about trying to understand
- Withdraw from social situations that you once enjoyed
Your child might have hearing loss if they DO NOT:
- Startle to loud sounds
- Respond when you call their name
- Follow simple commands
- Use speech and language like other children their age
Ochsner Audiology Program Locations
Through a system approach, Ochsner serves the community at multiple locations:
1514 Jefferson Hwy.
4th floor Clinic Tower
New Orleans, LA 70121
- Scheduling Phone Number: 504-842-4565
- Hours: Mon-Fri: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Services for Children and Adults:
2820 Napoleon Avenue, Suite 820
New Orleans, LA 70115
- Scheduling Phone Number: 504-314-4420
- Mon: 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Tues-Thurs: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Fri: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
- Hearing testing for adults and hearing aids
200 West Esplanade Ave. Suite 410
Kenner, LA 70065
- Scheduling Phone Number: 504-443-9500
- Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Hearing Evaluations
- Hearing Aids
- Custom earmolds for noise protection
- Swim plugs
16777 Medical Center Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
- Scheduling Phone Number: 225-761-5200
- Hours: Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Audiologic evaluations (infant-adult)
- Hearing Aids
- Vestibular Evaluations
10310 The Grove Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70836
- Scheduling Phone Number: 225-761-5200
- Hours: Mon-Fri: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Audiologic evaluations (infant-adult)
- Hearing Aids
- Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (Baha)
1000 Ochsner Blvd.
Covington, LA 70433
- Scheduling Phone Number: 985-875-2816
- Hours: Mon-Fri: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Audiological testing (Audiograms, Tymps, Acoustic Reflexes, OAEs, VRA/CPA)
- VNG and Dix Hallpike testing with Canalith Repositioning Maneuvers
- Hearing Aids
Ochsner Hearing Services for Newborns and Children
Ochsner offers a wide range of specialized testing to determine how well an infant and child hears. From follow up newborn hearing screenings (ALGO) to behavioral testing in the audio booth to diagnostic auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing, our audiologists are driven to get a diagnosis and implement intervention as soon as possible. They strive to adhere to state guidelines which state that hearing screenings should happen no later than one month of age, diagnostic evaluations no later than 3 months of age, and amplification fitting and early intervention happen no later than 6 months of age. If these guidelines are followed and early intervention is implemented then children have a much better opportunity to develop their speech, language, auditory, and communication skills.
Pediatricians all over the region refer their patients to Ochsner for comprehensive testing. We are home to the only fellowship trained pediatric ENT physicians in the area.
Risk factors for hearing loss include:
- Chronic ear disease
- Family history of childhood hearing loss
- Hospitalization in a neonatal intensive care unit
- Congenital ear malformations
- Malformations and tumors of the ear and temporal bone
- Speech and language delay
Ochsner is one of only two locations in New Orleans that offer the sedated Auditory Brainstem Response Test (ABR) for infants and children. With ABR testing, the child sleeps while listening to soft clicks. Electrodes pick up activity from the hearing nerve and a computer measures the integrity of the hearing nerve. Results obtained provide an accurate estimate of hearing sensitivity.
Older children and adults listen to beeps at different frequencies under headphones and a graph is plotted to understand what they hear. All this information provides a precise hearing picture and assists in determining management options.
Our hearing healthcare team consists of ENT physicians and audiologists. Depending on the nature of the hearing loss, Ochsner’s ENT doctors provide medical/surgical solutions or provide medical clearance for non-medical options, such as a hearing aids or assistive listening devices. Effective communication strategies are also reviewed.
Ochsner’s Baha Implant program offers options for patients with single sided deafness, mixed hearing loss and conductive hearing loss. Baha, which stands for “bone anchored hearing aid”, is a surgically implantable system consisting of three components, the sound processor, the connecting abutment, and the implant placed in bone behind the ear. This implant integrates into the bone and transfers sound directly to the inner ear via bone conduction.
While hearing aids attempt to push sound through the damaged part of the ear, Baha implants use the natural ability to conduct sound through bone vibrations. This way, sound bypasses the damaged outer or middle ear parts and sends crisper, clearer sound directly to the inner ear.
Cochlear Implant Program
Ochsner has one of the largest cochlear implant centers in the Gulf South. Our dedicated team of surgeons, audiologists, and speech therapists has treated more than 1000 patients. Our implant audiologists are experienced in evaluating and determining the right time for an adult or child to consider a cochlear implant surgery.
A cochlear implant is an electronic device that bypasses the damaged organ of hearing and stimulates the auditory nerve directly. It consists of two components – one that is surgically implanted and another that is worn externally. Outcomes vary but the majority of implant patients hear significantly better following surgery.
Ask our team about our quarterly support group meetings that are available for both our newly implanted and long-term implanted adults. We also offer support groups to our parents that have children with implants. An annual Christmas party, “Hearing for Life Celebration”, is organized every December. At this special Christmas event, cochlear implant recipients and potential candidates get a chance to meet and greet with each other, see what’s new in technology, and enjoy unique entertainment. It’s a special event that our patients look forward to every year!
Balance System Assessments
The CDC reports that one in three individuals over 65 years old falls annually. Ochsner's balance lab is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for assessing complaints of dizziness or vertigo as well as balance problem complaints.
Nystagmography, the "gold standard" for the laboratory assessment of complaints of "vertigo" and "dizziness," has been around for 50 years. Our lab uses VideoNystagmoGraphy (VNG) to record and analyze the eye movements associated with these complaints including testing for BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), the most commonly occurring inner ear-related dizziness problem.
More generalized balance problems are assessed using Computerized Dynamic Posturography that measures how the inner ear, vision and somatosensation interact for balance.
Together, these two clinical exams provide both diagnostic information and form the basis for treatment recommendations.
Ochsner offers a selection of 100% digital hearing instruments for all types of hearing loss. Recent advances in hearing aid technology have greatly improved circuitry and signal processing strategies in hearing aids. Advanced digital technology provides superior sound quality which can optimize your speech understanding and provide listening comfort in noise.
Today there are hearing aids with wireless connectivity to your smart phone so you can make some adjustments without even coming into the office. Some hearing aids automatically adjust in response to the environment enabling you to transition from one listening environment to the next. These advanced features make it easier to go from church setting to a noisy restaurant in a more seamless fashion.
Our audiologists can help you determine if you are a candidate for a hearing aid and if you are, they can assist you finding the best style and technology to fit your lifestyle and hearing needs. Ochsner’s hearing aids are state-of-the-art digital hearing instruments from the most reputable hearing aid manufacturers in the world.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with a hearing loss and medical clearance is provided, a hearing aid consultation can be scheduled. At this visit, your audiologist will inquire about your lifestyle and budget. Three different price levels in hearing aid technology are introduced: basic digital, mid-level digital and premium digital. The pros and cons of each technology are considered. Audiologists then tailor each fitting to target personal hearing challenges, such as hearing on the phone, understanding conversations in noise, living with tinnitus and appreciating music.
During the fitting process, the hearing aids are programmed according to the patient’s needs and a discussion of how to use the devices takes place. After an initial trial period and several fine-tuning appointments, most patients report a significant improvement in hearing and understanding, along with an enriched quality of life.
Although most hearing aid purchases are an out-of-pocket expense, it is recommended to consult your insurance company to learn more about your specific hearing aid benefits.