The last several months have felt like a far-fetched Hollywood plot as our world has completely changed.

Who would have thought we’d all be wearing face masks, watching our church services on Facebook or YouTube, celebrating family milestones by Zoom, and avoiding handshakes and hugs?

Coronavirus also presented some challenges for us at Alabama Hearing Associates.

Our business was built on face-to-face conversations with patients, being hands-on and personally helping people to achieve better hearing. Coronavirus has forced us to change the way we operate.

As hearing care clinics across the country shut their doors this Spring, we quickly decided that the most important thing we needed to do was be there for our patients. While our doors were temporarily closed, our team worked every day to stay connected and helpful to our patients.

In order to keep our staff safe, half of them worked from home. These caring ladies made over 800 phone calls, just to check on our patients and make sure they were doing alright.

Tele Audiology allowed us to support patients remotely using advanced online technology. During April and May, we scheduled 50 telehealth appointments, including 26 remote programming adjustments, where we offered support to patients without them having to travel to the office. We even fit 28 hearing aids remotely to some of our long-time patients who were ready to upgrade to new technology.

Even though our doors were closed, our small in-office team stayed very busy supporting our patients every day and sometimes on the weekends too. We mailed over 720 batteries, at no charge. We repaired 170 hearing aids, delivering them back to patients using our safe curb side pick-up.

The final challenge was juggling a full schedule. Alabama Hearing Associates celebrated its 19th anniversary in January, and we typically see our patients twice a year for scheduled maintenance. Between new and existing patients, we had to reschedule over 332 appointments. Our staff has done a wonderful job arranging our schedule for ongoing patient support and safety for the remainder of 2020.

It’s certainly been a crazy time, but we feel incredibly grateful to have so many understanding and loyal patients. We’re also thankful for our staff and look forward to serving alongside them for many years to come!

Warm Regards,

Your Alabama Hearing Associates Team

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Dr. Jan Liles

Dr. Jan Liles

Dr. Liles earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Montevallo and her master’s degree from the University of Alabama. From 1991 to 2001, she worked with two ENT medical practices and initiated one of the first newborn hearing screening programs in the state. In 2002, she was awarded a doctorate in audiology from the University of Florida. Dr. Liles and her longtime best friend, Dr. Sheehy, founded Alabama Hearing Associates in January 2002.
    Basic Hearing Test

    A basic hearing test begins with an air conduction test. You will be seated in a soundproof booth and single-use, foam earphones will be inserted into your ear canals. The Audiologist will ask you to push a button or raise your hand when you barely hear a series of beeps (tones) presented at various frequencies (pitches) to obtain your air conduction thresholds.

    To determine whether your hearing loss is a conductive (mechanical) loss, sensorineural (permanent) loss or combination of the two, we perform a bone conduction test.  

    For this test, a head band is place on the bone behind one of the ears to obtain your bone conduction thresholds. This process provides a different form of sound transmission using vibration, which bypasses the eardrum and the middle ear bones and directly stimulates the auditory nerve. When you hear the beeps/tones, you will push a button or raise your hand.

    If bone conduction thresholds are better than air conduction thresholds (through the foam inserts), you have a conductive hearing loss. This suggests a problem with the mechanical structures (moving parts) of the ears.

    Conductive hearing loss is often a medically treatable condition for which we will provide you with a referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) physician. However, if bone and air conduction thresholds match, it indicates a sensorineural hearing loss (permanent), and the treatment will likely involve hearing aids.