Hey there!

This year has been a difficult one, as we’ve become disconnected from the things we love the most – family, friends, social events … and so much more. But the good news is that new information is being learned about the virus every day.

And now, from an audiological viewpoint, the latest development is quite important—if not somewhat alarming—that we feel we must share it with you.

A link between sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) and COVID-19 has been made by experts at the Royal College London in the UK. Two cases have been documented, one in the US and one in the UK, where patients with COVID-19 have experienced SSHL soon after recovering from the virus. Neither had a hearing loss prior to becoming ill, leading experts to believe the virus was responsible for their sudden hearing loss.

You can learn more about SSHL and this newest development here. But most importantly, if you have had COVID-19, it would be beneficial to have your hearing assessed in order to detect any possible hearing loss early.



Our team would be delighted to check your hearing once the virus symptoms have cleared up and you have passed the recommended isolation period.

Just give us a call to arrange an appointment.

Updates from the Office

With a heavy heart, we recently said farewell to our wonderful office manager, Pam Moore Chambers, who is retiring after 16 years of fantastic service at Alabama Hearing Associates.

Pam took care of everyone who stepped through our doors – whether they were our patients, our front office staff, or Susan and Jan.

We will miss her wisdom, steady leadership, and faithful support. But after working so hard for so many years, we also hope she enjoys a fantastic retirement.


As the new year approaches, now is the time to see if your insurance coverage will change in 2021. You may discover that new benefits have been added to your plan.

If you need help determining what insurance benefits you are entitled to, this article is a great place to get started, or phone our office and a member of our team can contact your insurance on your behalf to find out the answers for you.

Our office will be closed for Thanksgiving on November 26 & 27. Everyone at Alabama Hearing Associates hopes you have a happy Thanksgiving!

Six Great Tips to Help Hearing Aid Users When Wearing Face Masks



clear masks

Although face masks are helpful when it comes to controlling the spread of the virus, they are also creating some communication difficulties for those who wear hearing aids. ​

Consumer Reports recently published an article that suggests ways to improve communication skills during these challenging times.

If you wear hearing aids, these tips should make communicating so much easier. Be sure to:

  • Ask people to slow down and speak clearly – this will produce better results than when someone raises their voice and fails to enunciate their sentences.
  • Speak face to face – as long as you remain six feet apart, experts suggest that eye contact is important during conversations.
  • Find the right mask – although clear face masks are useful for lip reading, research shows that cloth and surgical masks can make sounds easier to understand.
  • Adjust your hearing aids – they can be programmed to help with these interactions; feel free to give us a call if you need assistance.
  • Use a transcription app – smartphone apps, such as Dragon or Google Live, will reproduce speech that you can read back.
  • Make meetings virtual – use your hearing aids as a tool to stream sounds via your smartphone, tablet, or computer, so you don’t lose touch with others.

Find the full article here.

Useful Resources 


Hearing Loss is the Third Most Common Health Problem in the USA

The Centers for Disease Control reports that hearing loss is the nation’s third most common chronic physical health problem. So, here’s how to preserve your hearing for many years to come…

Read more…

What is Conductive Hearing Loss?

Unlike sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss can be cured in most cases.

In this article, we explain what some of its common causes are and how we can treat them…

Read more…


Have a question or need help? Then we’re here for you.
Call us at (256) 319-4327.

Have a great November!
The team at Alabama Hearing Associates

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

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.
    Real World Adjustments

    Your hearing loss didn't occur overnight, so it will take some time to adjust to the hearing aids. Your patience and persistence will be well worth it.

    Choose Your Level of Technology

    Assessing Outcomes

    To ensure the most success with your hearing devices, we measure the benefits of amplification at the end of your adjustment period—some of the surveys and tests included in the “Connect 365” Functional Hearing Assessment will be repeated to evaluate progress, quality of life, and patient satisfaction with the hearing aids. 

    Wireless Connections

    Most hearing aids automatically come with wireless streaming from smartphones and it has been a lifesaver for those that are working remotely and spending hours on teleconferences. As for other wireless accessories, the two most popular solutions are a small microphone used in less-than-ideal listening environments and a TV streamer that streams the TV’s sound directly into your ears—which can be a lifesaver when watching British TV shows or during football season. If your audiologist believes they would be beneficial for you, they will discuss your options and demonstrate the device in the office.

    Orientation, Counseling, and Follow-up

    Dr. Cliff (the creator of the Best Practice Pro Network) said it best:

    “Having a detailed orientation can dramatically improve how much success you have with hearing treatment.  Counseling & Follow-up care can also ensure that you have success for years to come.  Regular visits to a hearing care provider who spends the time to discuss treatment related information and who will maintain your devices is extremely important.”

    During the orientation, your provider will give you the tools you need to be a successful hearing aid user. Everyone has different learning styles and we want to make sure whatever works best for you is what’s used. After the 75 day adjustment period, routine checkups are necessary to maintain the hearing aids and to ensure optimal hearing healthcare. 

    What Is Real-Ear Measurement?

    Real-ear measurement (REM) is how an audiologist knows that hearing aids are working the way they should in each patient’s ears.

    Ears are as unique as a fingerprint. Because of this, every ear will collect sounds differently.

    Even if I had two patients with the exact same hearing loss and hearing aids, there’s almost no chance the hearing aids would be programmed the same way.

    How do I know my new hearing aids are working properly?

    Without verifying that the hearing aid is working correctly from the start, all of the other steps in the hearing aid fitting process are useless. The most sensitive quality control measure is something called Electroacoustic Analysis. We complete EAA on every new set of hearing aids, before delivery of repaired devices, and on an annual basis.

    Prescription Hearing Technology with a Methodical Plan

    Our community understands better than most what can be achieved when you combine technology with human intelligence and persistence. It is much the same with hearing technology.

    The latest prescription hearing aid technology is incredibly powerful, offering stellar sound quality and performance. Wireless connections allow phone calls, music and television to stream directly to your hearing aids for exceptional clarity.

    But hearing aids do not fit and program themselves! For best outcomes, you also need the human touch and expertise provided by our Doctors of Audiology.

    A Comprehensive12-Step Functional Hearing Assessment

    If you struggle to understand conversations in social situations, restaurants, or other noisy environments, you do not need to schedule a basic hearing test. You certainly don’t need to schedule a “free” hearing screening or online hearing test.

    You need to schedule a “Connect 365” Functional Hearing Assessment at Alabama Hearing Associates!

    Schedule Appointment



    Comprehensive 5-Year treatment plan with premium prescription hearing aid technology

    If you want premium “out of this world” technology and the highest level of service and expert support, our All-Inclusive treatment plan is the right investment for you.

    The All-Inclusive treatment plan offers long-term value for your on-the-go lifestyle, providing everything you need to connect with family and friends for years to come.


    • Stellar  prescription hearing devices from top manufacturer (rechargeable option available)

    • Wireless accessory included at no charge

    • Comprehensive Annual Visit including hearing assessment, hearing device adjustment, and 19-Point preventative maintenance valutaion

    • Bi-annual hearing aid software update and reprogramming

    • Same day diagnosis and in-office repair during weekdays for devices dropped off before 3:00 p.m.

    • 5-Year full-service repair warranty

    • Unlimited remote hearing aid adjustments

    • 100% moisture removal by Redux and cleaning

    • Hearing aid supplies (stock receivers, batteries, domes and filters)

    • $1000 contribution towards purchase of upgraded technology within 48 months

    • 3-Year replacement warranty for loss or damage (no deductible)

    • Dedicated team of hearing care experts at your service

    • Unlimited teleaudiology appointments

    • Access to our “speed of light” repair specialists

    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.