Hearing Associates is a group of highly trained professionals and support staff dedicated to exceeding customer expectations by providing the highest quality service to our patients, their families, their doctors, and the community.
We are committed to helping each patient manage their hearing loss for effective communication with their family and friends by providing the resources to minimize the negative consequences of hearing loss. We are also firm believers of appropriate medical management of hearing loss. When a patient needs medical intervention, we discuss these needs with the patient, and make every effort to also communicate with the family and physicians. Most patients can obtain substantial benefit from properly fit hearing aids. The key to this success is the expertise of the audiologist and specialists who will choose and program the circuitry, the motivation of the patient, and proper counseling. We work with each patient to achieve a comfortable fit, as well as satisfaction with the degree of aided hearing improvement. If a patient is not satisfied at the end of the 45 day adjustment period, the patient can obtain a 100% refund.
We hope to have the opportunity to offer you a pleasant experience at our office!
Complete hearing testing for all ages provided by a certified clinical audiologist.
Hearing tests evaluate and measure the sensitivity of a person’s sense of hearing. Audiologists employ various testing strategies to determine whether the auditory system is functioning within the normal range. Evaluations include measures of hearing sensitivity for air and bone conducted sounds, measures of speech discrimination ability, assessment of the middle ear function (impedance audiometry), and assessment of the inner ear function (otoacoustic emission testing). If hearing is deficient, testing can provide information about what type and degree of hearing loss is present.
Audiogram showing: Familiar Sounds and The Speech Banana
HEARING AIDS & REHABILITATION
Hearing Aid Fittings
At Hearing Associates, Inc, our highly trained professionals take care in programming your new hearing aids in a highly customized fashion. Your evaluation results, lifestyle and environmental soundscape, and personal listening goals are analyzed in order to choose the most appropriate rehabilitation plan specifically for each patient. We utilize your prescription, fitting verification methods, and individual sound preferences to cuztomize the sound of devices further. It is normal to have two patients with the same hearing loss to prefer their hearing aids set differently from one another.
When hearing aids are fit onto an ear, that person’s unique anatomy can cause certain frequencies of sound to be increased and some sounds to be absorbed, and subsequently dampened in volume. Additionally hearing aids have a variety of parts that fit differently into/onto the ear that can also change some sounds. A process called Speech Mapping, is when a tiny microphone probe is placed in the ear canal and measures the sounds. This measurement will be unique to everyone, allowing the fitter to make adjustments to the device and parts in a highly specific method. This process is a fitting verification method that allows the fitter, you, and your family to see and understand benefits of hearing aids.
Hearing Rehabilitation & Adjustments
Hearing aids are just one of the tools used in an individualized hearing rehabilitation plan. For first time users, an average of 3 visits can allow the fitter to adjust parts and sound for comfort while also counseling patients and their families to give them the confindence and tools to best adapt to the hearing world. Our providers additionally recommend follow-up visits every 3 months thereafter for the first year to continue to customize the fitting and discuss questions. Hearing aids are highly customizable instruments that can be adjusted over time and provide the fitter with information to tailor the hearing aid performance to your needs. Most devices are able to be adjusted to changes in your prescription over time! We are always available to see if your hearing aids could be fit better!
Hearing Aid Repairs
We offer a range of in house repairs and work with the top hearing aid and audiology product manufacturers to ensure assistance where possible. Our staff emphasizes ongoing cleaning and maintenance after your hearing aid purchase to insure you receive optimum performance and benefit from your hearing aids. Repairs are provided on all makes and models with loaner hearing aids available when necessary. Come in and let us take a look!
Accessories & Assistive Listening Devices
We offer a range of Accessories for all types of Hearing Aids as well as assistive devices. If we don’t have it in stock we can definitely order it for you!
CUSTOM PRODUCTS: Hearing Aids, Hearing Aid Earmolds, Custom attachments for your headphones, Earplugs, Noise Plugs, Musician Plugs, Specialty earmolds (Aviation, Security, etc.) and more!
HEARING PROTECTION: ETY Plugs, ETY filters, and more!
BATTERIES: All Battery Sizes including Z-Power rechargeable batteries, Battery Testers, Battery Caddies, Rechargeable Hearing Aid Chargers, Charging Cables, and more!
ASSITIVE DEVICES: TV Listening Devices, Captioned Telephones, FM Systems, Pocket Talkers, TV Ears, Telephone Amplifiers, Streamers, Chargers, Audio Induction Loops, Infrared Systems, and more!
HEARING AID MAINTENANCE: Hearing Aid Replacement Parts (Wax Filters, Domes, Tubing, and more), Cleaning Supplies, Hearing Aid Saver Kits, Dri Aid Kits, Earmold Tubing Blowers, Moisture Covers (Super Seals, Ear Bands), and more!
EAR HYGIENE/PROTECTION: Ear Lotions and Lubricants, Cerumen (Wax) Management Kits, Water Protection Products, Infection Protection Products, Noise Protection products, and more!
Maybe it’s just wax?
Sometimes, a hearing loss could be caused by something as simple ear wax! Ear wax, or cerumen, a waxy oil made in the ear and is a normal part of a healthy ear environment! Unfortunately, in some people, wax can build up and dampen sound coming into the ear. Wax build up can be caused by many different factors, but we often find that it is caused by, or made worse, when people try to remove wax on their own….
“Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear“
There is a good reason this phrase became so popular- it’s true! The use of cotton swabs are one of the worst factors related to a build up, by pushing wax deeper into the ear and risking permanent damage to the ear. Additionally, the use of ear candling/coning is a “method” we strongly advise against. This is not only dangerous, it has proven to be ineffective in managing ear wax. Check out the video from Dr Cliff at the bottom of the page!
Let us help you with your wax concerns!
If you think wax could be your problem, call us to schedule an appointment!
Hearing Associates, Inc. works with a variety of manufactures to offer a wide variety of products for each patient’s individual needs. We understand some manufacturers work directly with their clients and you may only need our services for an impression of the ear, no problem! If you do not see what you are looking for, just ask.
EAR IMPRESSIONS: Comprehensive ear and needs evaluation with guaranteed ear impressions. We accommodate manufacturer requests.
SWIM PLUGS: Used to prevent water from entering the ear while children with PE tubes are swimming and bathing. Swim molds are custom made to fit each individual ear providing maximum protection and come in a variety of fun colors.
NOISE PROTECTION: Any kind of noise exposure is potentially damaging to hearing, so whether your noise exposure comes from your work environment or just mowing your lawn, custom earmolds can provide protection from noise-induced hearing loss. Filtered options are great for dentists, professionals in the music industry, vehicle hobbyists, club/bar/restaurant workers, and more!
MUSICIAN PLUGS & MONITORS: Filtered earplugs reduce sound levels evenly so that music and speech are clear and natural, not muffled as with other earplugs. They reduce risk of hearing damage for many noisy occupations and noisy venues. They enhance the music experience for audiences while protecting hearing and lets musicians hear their own instrument to blend with others. Custom Monitors and custom headphones are also available.
ACCESSORY ATTACHMENTS: Custom attachments for headphones and other devices enhance your listening experience. These can be made for your headphones, monitors, as well as aviation, security, and other communication devices, and more!
SLEEP PLUGS: Get a better night’s sleep with earplugs made of materials soft enough to be used while sleeping.
“Phantom sounds in the head”
All patients with tinnitus should have an audiometric assessment. Diagnostic testing should include audiography, speech discrimination testing, and tympanometry. A formal audiogram establishes a base from which to pursue more advanced diagnostic testing.
Additional audiologic measurements of tinnitus include pitch matching (matching the frequency of the tinnitus with a variety of stimuli) and loudness matching (estimating the loudness of tinnitus with a pure tone or noise). Further measurements may provide information as to whether the tinnitus can be masked by an external noise.
Treatment for tinnitus may include habituation training, masking devices, and/or hearing aids.
We offer videonystagmography (VNG) test to help determine the status of the peripheral balance system located within the inner ear. The videonystagmography (VNG) is a series of tests used to evaluate the causes of a patient’s dizziness or balance disorders. Together with an extensive case history, a VNG can decipher whether or not a patient may have an inner ear disease. If dizziness and/or imbalance are not caused by the inner ear, other areas such as the brain, migraines, and low blood pressure could be the source.
How the VNG Works
VNG is short for videonystagmography. The name of the test is essentially describing that an audiologist will record eye movements using video goggles. Hi-tech video goggles with infrared cameras are worn during the test. These recordings are analyzed, looking for involuntary eye movements, called nystagmus, which is associated with inner ear disorders.
Three Parts of the VNG
The first part is testing eye movement. This checks the patient’s ability to follow a visual target. The patient follows a dot on a screen. The second part is testing for dizziness related to certain positions and motion related cells. The patient will move in different positions, such as sitting, lying down, and turning the head. The last part of the VNG measures the vestibular portions of the ears. This test looks to see if the ears are responding normally and the function is balanced between the left and right ear. This is performed using cool and warm air in the ear canal. Throughout the test cameras record the patient’s eye movements and display them on a video/computer screen. This allows the examiner to see how the eyes move which is very helpful in assessing balance system health.
Dix Hallpike Test
The Dix Hallpike is testing for dizziness related to certain positions and motion related cells. The patient will move in different positions, such as sitting, lying down, and turning the head. Throughout the test, cameras record the patient’s eye movements and display them on a video/computer screen. This allows the examiner to see how the eyes move which is very helpful in assessing movement related dizziness like Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).
Treatment for balance problems is dependent on the cause, or possible causes of dizziness. Treatments may include one or a combination of the below:
- Balance Exercises Performed with an Audiologist
- Balance Retraining Exercises Performed at Home
- Balance Retraining Exercises Performed with a Physical Therapist
- Dietary Changes
Positional Vertigo (B.P.P.V)
In Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) dizziness is generally thought to be due to debris, which has collected within the wrong part of the inner ear. This debris can be thought of as “ear rocks” or “crystals”, although the formal name is “otoconia”. Otoconia are small crystals of calcium carbonate derived from a structure in the ear called the “utricle”. The utrical and saccule, or “gravity detectors” use these crystals to pull their sensory cells toward the ground with gravity. (While the saccule also contains otoconia, they are not able to migrate into the canal system.) Crystals migrate into one of the semicircular canals. These three canals are the “motion detectors.” When the crystals enter they cause the sensory cells to react abnormally causing dizziness or imbalance.
The cause of BPPV is often unknown. The utricle may have been damaged by head injury, infection, or other disorder of the inner ear, or may have degenerated because of advanced age. Normally otoconia appear to have a slow turnover. They are probably dissolved naturally as well as actively reabsorbed by the “dark cells” of the labyrinth (Lim, 1973, 1984), which are found adjacent to the utricle and the crista, although this idea is not accepted by all (see Zucca, 1998, and Buckingham, 1999).
BPPV is a common cause of dizziness. About 20% of all dizziness is due to BPPV. While BPPV can occur in children (Uneri and Turkdogan, 2003), the older you are, the more likely it is that your dizziness is due to BPPV. About 50% of all dizziness in older people is due to BPPV. In a recent study, 9% of a group of urban dwelling elders were found to have undiagnosed BPPV (Oghalai et al., 2000).
The symptoms of BPPV include dizziness or vertigo, lightheadedness, imbalance, and nausea. Activities that trigger symptoms will vary among persons, but symptoms are almost always precipitated by a change of position of the head with respect to gravity. Getting out of bed or rolling over in bed are often common “problem” motions. Since people with BPPV often feel dizzy and unsteady when they tip their heads back to look up, sometimes BPPV is called “top shelf vertigo.” Women with BPPV may find that the use of shampoo bowls in beauty parlors brings on symptoms. An intermittent pattern is common. BPPV may be present for a few weeks, then stop, and then come back again.
BPPV can be treated with specific exercises performed with an audiologist that move the crystals into an area that does not cause symptoms. BPPV can also resolve on its own by “dark cells” of the labyrinth actively absorbing the crystals.