Audiology & Speech Therapy
About 28 million people in the United States have some degree of reduced hearing sensitivity, and 54 percent of the population 65 and older has hearing loss. Medical conditions, aging, certain drugs, trauma and exposure to loud noises can all cause hearing difficulties.
At Baptist, we can help with a wide range of audiology services including hearing loss testing, evaluation of voice quality, speech therapy and special pediatric programs. Depending on the nature and severity of the disorder, common treatments may range from physical strengthening exercises, instructive or repetitive practice and drilling, to the use of audio-visual aids. Our speech therapists work closely with a team of medical professionals on a plan of care that is customized for each patient, and we encourage families to become actively involved in the patient's progress.
Children are different than adults; their hearing tests need to be conducted differently and treatments for pediatric hearing problems will be different than adult treatments. Baptist offers extensive pediatric audiology services, including hearing screenings, aural habilitation and speech therapy. Also, Baptist operates the area's only integrated preschool program for children with hearing impairments and their hearing counterparts.
Because improper swallowing is often linked to speech problems, several Baptist facilities offer VitalStim, a specialized therapy used to treat dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing.) VitalStim uses electrical stimulation to re-educate muscles to swallow by stimulating the muscles into contraction-increasing range of motion, preventing muscle atrophy and increasing local blood circulation. VitalStim can be used for patients of all ages with a wide variety of conditions.