Hello there!

Hearing aid technology has come a long way in the last twenty years, making patients’ lives better and brighter than ever before. It keeps people with a hearing loss connected to the world and means everyday life is less challenging.

One of our patients recently expressed that he didn’t know how he would have managed without his hearing aids during the past couple of months.

He works from home—like many are, due to the pandemic—and spends hours each day on the phone with clients. His hearing aids connect to his phone, allowing him to hear with ease. He says, “It’s made all the difference!”

Hearing technology comes packed with options, so we always encourage our patients to never give up – there is a solution for everyone. Options like remote microphones …

What is a Remote Microphone?

Another patient and long-time hearing aid wearer recently found herself struggling to understand her family and friends, and she was desperate for help.

So we programmed her a pair of new hearing aids along with a remote microphone to see if her conversational hearing could improve.

A remote microphone is given to the person you are talking to, and it streams their voice directly to your hearing aids for clearer sound. In this case, the patient’s word recognition score went from 0% to 80% when speech was transmitted from the remote mic to her hearing aids.

She is completely thrilled with her new technology and is hearing her loved ones better than ever!

Sometimes hearing aids need help from additional features, such as remote microphones, to provide the best word recognition and performance in more challenging environments.

To explore whether remote microphones or any other add-ons could boost your hearing performance, give us a call at (256) 319-4327, and we’d be happy to discuss further options with you.

Updates from the office

August was a busy month for us as we proudly flew the flag for Hearing Health Awareness Month. It was great to connect with so many people in the community and spread the word about the importance of early hearing loss treatment. 

We also produced material relating to this on our website – including why so many people have an untreated hearing loss. Visit our Patient Resources page for all the latest news and support.

Hearing Loss and Dementia

A recent report by Lancet Commission, Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care: 2020, states that hearing loss is the number one modifiable risk factor for dementia and has the greatest impact when hearing loss is corrected in midlife.

In addition, twenty-eight leading experts indicate that cases of dementia in America could be reduced by 40 percent if the general public addresses 12 key risk factors.

Protecting ears in high-stress environments and seeking treatment at the first signs of hearing loss rank high on their list of measures people should take.

Studies show that your hearing is crucial in how your brain processes information.

Therefore, researchers believe that hearing loss prevents your brain from functioning optimally, reducing your overall cognitive capacity.

Social isolation, often a side effect of untreated hearing loss, may add to this problem.

If you know someone who has a concern, contact the team about a comprehensive hearing assessment – it’s the best way to diagnose an issue.

Useful Resources 

What happens at a hearing assessment

What Happens at a Hearing Assessment?

This step-by-step guide for first-time patients explains everything you need to know about your hearing assessment appointment…

Learn more…

Why Do So Many People Have an Untreated Hearing Loss?

Learn why thousands of people don’t treat their hearing conditions at the first sign of their symptoms…

Learn more…

Why do so many people have an untreated hearing loss?

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

Have a great September!
The team at Alabama Hearing Associates

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

Dr. Susan Sheehy

Dr. Sheehy earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in audiology at the University of Alabama before beginning her career as a clinical audiologist in Huntsville. In 2005, she received her doctorate in audiology from Salus University. Dr. Sheehy is one of a specialized subset of audiologists certified in tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT). By appointment from the governor, she has served as a member and chairperson of the Alabama Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
    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.

    ALL INCLUSIVE PLAN

    $6,790

    Comprehensive 5-Year treatment plan with premium 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.

    Includes:

    • Stellar 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

    Schedule Appointment

    Choose Your Level of Technology

    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!

    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 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.

    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.

    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.

    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. 

    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.

    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.

    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.