find a
provider near you

Your Common Questions Answered

When Should You Visit a Hearing Health Care Professional?

There are two answers to this question:

  • If you notice a difference in hearing between the 2 ears, and/or any sudden change in hearing (i.e. if you wake up one day and notice that hearing has changed in 1, or both, of your ears) you should call 1-877-457-3097 to find a local EIA provider to be evaluated as soon as possible.
  • Hearing loss, especially the most common forms  – Age-Related Hearing Loss and Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, and the combination of the two! –  occur slowly and has a gradual impact that develops over time. It is estimated that by the time most people have their hearing tested, that the disease has been developing for 7 years.

Dr. Darrow, world-renowned Neuroscientist and Clinical Audiologist, encourages all individuals (as do many clinical organizations including the American Doctors of Audiology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, etc.,) to obtain your baseline hearing evaluation at the age of 50 years old. At EIA, we support the adage of ‘Ears and Rears’, helping people to remember to have their annual cancer screenings and hearing evaluations on an annual basis starting at the age of 50. Depending on the results of the initial evaluation, patients may be recommended bi-annual, annual, or perhaps a follow-up visit in 2-3 years.

Why is Early Intervention & Treatment of Hearing Loss So important?

Hearing loss is listed by the Department of Health and Human Services as 3rd most common chronic health condition affecting seniors. Like all medical conditions, the key to successful treatment is early intervention. There are many scientific reports supporting the effectiveness of early intervention for hearing loss by maintaining a high level of auditory acuity longer. Consider these 2 scenarios:

  • Early Treatment: An individuals who follows the medical recommendation to treat his/her hearing loss at the beginning stages (i.e. a borderline to mild hearing loss) will most often have a 90% and higher ‘hearing potential’ score – thus the expectation of successful treatment with Neurotechnology™ is expected to result in hearing 90% and more of what is being said in everyday conversation – even in background noisy (i.e. noisy restaurants, meetings at work, etc.,)
  • Late Treatment: An individual who waits the average 7-10 years to begin the process of treating his / her hearing loss (i.e. a moderate to severe hearing loss) is likely to have between a 50-80% ‘hearing potential’ score. This indicates that treatment, is expected to result in hearing between 50-80% of speech in only an ideal listening situation, i.e. in one-on-one conversation. In addition, this patient is expected to continue to have significant difficulty in background noise.

Our Auditory system, like all of our body, is ‘Use It Or Lose It’, or perhaps another way to think about it is: ‘Don’t use it, you will lose it!’

Are Hearing Loss and Dementia Linked?

Hearing Loss can increase the risk of developing Dementia by 200-500%, according to recent research conducted at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center.

Seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing, a study by Johns Hopkins and National Institute on Aging researchers suggests. Compared with study participants with normal hearing, those with mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss a significant increase in the risk of developing dementia over time. The more hearing loss they had, the higher their likelihood of developing the memory-robbing disease. “A lot of people ignore hearing loss because it’s such a slow and insidious process as we age,” Dr. Frank Lin (of Johns Hopkins Medical Center) says. “Even if people feel as if they are not affected, we’re showing that it may well be a more serious problem .”

Hearing loss and the impact on cognitive function and the development of Dementia is believed to be the result of a number of factors, including:

  1. Social Isolation – Withdrawal from social situations is common in individuals with hearing loss. Feelings of embarrassment, fear of making mistakes in conversations, and feeling like you are not part of the conversation are common in individuals hearing impairment – even those with a mild impairment.
  2. Cerebral Atrophy – Multiple scientific studies have demonstrated that hearing impairment is associated with accelerated brain atrophy in both the overall brain, as well as even more advanced reductions in volume associated with the memory, hearing, speech and language portions of the brain.
  3. Cognitive Overload (i.e. Working Your Brain Too Hard To Hear) – Hearing loss is not normal, and neither is the excess strain that is puts on your brain. While hearing loss may be more common (up to 50% of all people 60-70 years old have hearing loss, and 66% of people over 70 suffer from hearing loss), it is critical that hearing loss be treated. With hearing loss, the brain is constantly on ‘overload’ trying to fill in the missing pieces, and follow the conversation.
What is NeuroTechnology™?

Neurotechnology™ is designed by auditory engineers to treat hearing loss by providing proper stimulation to the auditory system. Neurotechnology™, unlike prior hearing devices that ‘just make sounds louder’, is focused on replacing the 4 primary features of auditory processing:

  • Spatial Orientation: Helping the brain preserve the natural sound differences that occur in both ears, making it easier to locate and follow the sounds patients want to hear
  • Recognition: The brain depends on its ability to recognize a sound in order to make sense of it
  • Focus: he brain uses both ears to focus on what’s important, especially in noisy sound environments
  • Separate: The brain separates relevant sounds from competing noise

NeuroTechnology™ is designed to treat hearing loss by using complex stimulation patters to help replace diminished auditory input to the brain. Traditional hearing aids just make things louder, but with today’s new NeuroTechnology™ treatment options you can hear more clearly and more naturally, in all listening environments…. even in noisy restaurants!

Today’s NeuroTechnology™ includes the following features:

  • Enhanced Clarity – to help fill in the missing speech details
  • Noise-Cancellation Features – to help filter speech in noisy environments
  • Soft-Speech Booster – to help you hear the ‘soft-speakers’ in your life (i.e. children and grandchildren, your spouse
  • Surround Sound Features
  • Bluetooth connectivity to your smart devices

NeuroTechnology™ is designed with the intent to enhance the clarity of speech details in all listening environments, including in situations with significant background noise.

What is Tinnitus? And What Are My Treatment Options?

Tinnitus is defined as the sensation of sound in your ears, sometimes in your head.

Each person with Tinnitus has a different sound experience; for many it is described as a ‘ringing.’ Tinnitus is experienced by 70-80% of people with hearing loss. Some people only notice their Tinnitus in a quiet room, whereas many others experience the sound all day – and it can interfere with daily life. Tinnitus has been linked to depression, anxiety and can interfere with concentration.

Tinnitus is most commonly the result of a ‘Central Gain’ in neural activity that occurs in the brain when there is a loss of proper neural stimulation from the ear. More simply – because the brain is not properly stimulated in individuals with hearing loss (even a mild hearing loss), the brain will increase activity to make up for the missing stimulation.

Fortunately, there is a treatment option. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved treatment for Tinnitus by providing the brain with proper stimulation.  There is no pill, no surgery, no other available option approved to treat Tinnitus. Newly available neurotechnology is for people with hearing loss and with normal hearing. Studies show that patients who use these tinnitus support devices report a significant reduction in their daily Tinnitus experience – some even say the ‘ringing is gone during the day’.

How Can You Tell If A Hearing Health Care Provider is Right For You?

As you research hearing health care providers and different types of hearing treatment options for yourself, your spouse, or a loved one, you are in the right place. Just like every ear is different, audiology practices are different too. In your search for finding the right hearing health care professional, you will most likely find there are several options available, but it is important to know that all hearing loss treatment options are not created equal.

At Excellence in Audiology™, our mission is to Empower Active-Aging through enhanced communication and hearing. To help you choose the right hearing healthcare provider in your community we have developed a ‘Top 10’ list to help you find the best provider in your area.

CLICK HERE to access the full report, “The Top 10 Things You Must Know Before Choosing Your Hearing Health Care Provider”.

What Are The Different Types Of Neurotechnology™?

 

There are different types of NeuroTechnology™ – each custom designed and programmed to meet your hearing loss, and your hearing needs, but they all ultimately perform the same function: to help you hear more clearly, and more naturally.  We hear with our BRAINS, not with our ears.

Today’s NeuroTechnology™ is the only proven hearing loss treatment options with a focus on enhancing brain function by providing enhanced clarity surround-sound with background-noise cancelling features.  NeuroTechnology™ can be used to address the full spectrum of hearing difficulties, from people with audiometric ‘normal hearing’ to individuals with severe to profound hearing loss.

We hear with our BRAINS, not with our ears.

NeuroTechnology™ comes in several ‘shapes and sizes’, including some invisible options for maximum discreteness.  The hearing health care provider will review your treatment options based on your specific hearing loss and hearing needs.  Regardless of which treatment option is right for you, whether you’re out to dinner with friends, hitting the beach, meeting with clients, or hiking, you’ll be able to hear what matters most with today’s hearing loss technology.

 

SEVERAL FEATURES AVAILABLE INCLUDE:

Invisible Treatment Options: Once placed in your ear, it’s hassle-free so that you may even forget you’re wearing the device! And that’s the point. Hearing loss shouldn’t hold you back, and neither should your hearing solution. Features in today’s invisible technology options include:

  • An invisible and custom fit device that fits deep inside your ear canal and are personally customized to you for all-day comfort.
  • Easily adapt to new sounds with automatic volume control and adaptation to listening environment
  • Wireless streaming to your smartphone and/or to keep you connected to your TV, music and other media
  • Sound comfort technology designed to provide distortion-free listening comfort for loud sounds while ensuring ultimate

Mini ‘Receiver In The Ear’ Options: Groundbreaking NeuroTechnology™ is fast and precise enough to analyze and follow the dynamics of the entire auditory environment, and differentiate between speech and background noise.

Advances in miniaturization of technology have led to the breakthrough of new NeuroTechnology™ proven to support brain function, including working memory, selective attention and processing speed (The Hearing Review: Dr. Desjardin, University of Texas, El Paso). These new devices have 3 features designed specifically to maintain the brain’s innate ability to hear in all different listening situations:

  • Clear Hearing In Background Noise: by separating important speech from background noise by as much as 10dB, this new technology provides 30% better speech understanding and clarity in noise
  • Enhanced Clarity = Enhanced Memory Recall. Individuals with hearing loss are known to have reduced memory recall because the Brain is deprived of a clear signal. With 20% more capacity to remember, this technology is the only available option proven to increase memory recall.
  • Reduced Effort: many of my patients explain that hearing requires effort as they age, and that it can make them tired after a day at work or with the grandchildren. Current available technology is proven to provide a 20% reduction in listening effort in noisy environments.

In addition, some options include Bluetooth and Internet compatible options that enable:

  • Hands-free wireless (surround sound) hearing on the phone
  • Low-Battery reminders – devices can remind You By Ear, Phone, Text or Email that your batteries (or your spouse’s batteries) are low.
  • Wireless Compatibility with any TV to enhance the clarity of the signal.  Allows for control of your Internet connected devices at home including the thermostat, lights, and even certain cooking appliances (i.e. yes, your hearing devices can automatically turn on your coffee maker each morning!)

There are different types of NeuroTechnology™ – each custom designed and programmed to meet your hearing loss, and your hearing needs, but they all ultimately perform the same function: to help you hear more clearly, and more naturally.

How Do I Pay For Treatment?

Once you are comfortable and you know specifically which hearing health care provider you want to treat you, your spouse, your parent or other family member, the next question typically is, “How much is this going to cost and how am I going to pay for this?”

I have always believed that the patient needs options to help them invest in proper hearing health care. A reputable Audiology practice understands that for some people the upfront investment in hearing healthcare can be prohibitive. Patients must be provided with options.

All Excellence In Audiology offices will offer reputable creditors/banks to help establish a payment plan (some with 0% interest for 1 year, or even a longer term payment plan with fixed interest terms).

Be sure to ask your provider if they offer the exclusive Excellence In Audiology™ ‘Hear For Life’ program that provides individuals the opportunity to pay a one time down-payment and a small monthly 

fee thereafter with the advantage of full warranty (loss, damage and repair coverage for life), complete access to supplies, batteries and service appointments for life, and no-cost automatic upgrades on new versions of NeuroTechnology™ for life.

When is the Best Time to Start Treatment?

Simple answer: if you are over 50 you should have your hearing evaluated. And if it is determined that you have a hearing loss, early treatment is the key to success with NeuroTechnology™.

A More Detailed Answer: I always stress the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss to each of my patients.

The American Speech Language Hearing Association, the American Academy of Audiology, and the American Medical Association have all considered the recommendation of including ‘hearing evaluation / screening’ between the age of 50-60 years young. I often use the catch phrase ‘Ears and Rears’ as my way of getting people to remember to have their hearing checked when they turn 50 (and of course, have a colonoscopy too!).

Similar to going to your primary care physician every year, obtaining a baseline hearing test can help to better serve you and your clinician to guide the medical recommendation at current or future appointments. Obtaining a baseline of normal hearing never hurt anyone!

Regardless of age, if you are noticing any of the symptoms of hearing loss, e.g. difficulty hearing in noisy situations, difficulty hearing the TV (compared to others), if your family is suggesting you get a hearing test, or if you have ringing in your ears (defined as Tinnitus).

Unfortunately waiting too long can significantly impact the expectations and outcome of treatment, and sadly every Hearing Health Care Provider I know has a patient they have had to tell they waited too long and the benefits of treatment will be minimal.

 

How Do I Take Care of My NeuroTechnology™?

Take Care of Your Neurotechnology™ and It Will Take Care Of You: Regular maintenance and care of your Neurotechnology™ is critical to the success of the devices and for success in treating your hearing loss.

  1. Daily Care: be sure to use the provided lint-free cloth to wipe down your technology at the end of each day. This regiment will insure that oils from the skin, cerumen (ear wax),dandruff, etc., will not build on the unit and prevent proper stimulation of the auditory system. You may also find that the provided pick/brush can be helpful at removing cerumen embedded in the domes.
  2. Weekly Maintenance: Your NeuroTechnology™ must be provided an ample supply of power to run properly. Your batteries will be expected to last between 4-7 days, depending on your use, connectivity to devices (i.e. Bluetooth connectivity to your phone, tablet, home TV, etc.). When you hear the audible battery warning tone, be sure to change batteries in both units at the same time. For those patients with rechargeable batteries, be sure to properly place the units in the charging station every evening to obtain a full charge.
  3. Monthly Care: It is important that both the domes and the wax filters be changed on a monthly basis (it is possible that for some patients this be done on a more regular basis depending on the amount of cerumen build-up). Domes: The dome on your NeuroTechnology™ speaker plays a critical role in the acoustic performance of your units and is specifically calculated in to the prescriptive acoustic settings. Wax Baskets: These filters have been specifically designed to prevent cerumen from entering the speaker and causing damage to the units. As cerumen builds in the basket, it can intermittently (or permanently) prevent sound stimulation from the units.

NOTE: In the rare case that your NeuroTechnology™ is malfunctioning and not providing ample stimulation please follow these 2 steps before calling the office: 1) change the batteries, and 2) change the wax basket. These are the cause of 98% of all hearing aid emergency appointments and can help save you time and travel! As always, you are welcome to call the office if you are uncomfortable with either of these and would like help.

YOUR TOP RATED & FAVORITE HEARING HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

  • In order to understand conversation I now have hearing aids that profoundly enable me to hear, where before I couldn't. Don't wait, if you can't understand people get a set of hearing aids. you'll be glad you did!

    Evan W.
  • Dr Darrow is a wealth of knowledge in his field. He is patient, considerate and kind. Takes as much time with the patient as is needed. I have recommended him to several of my friends.

    Cheryl W.
  • Excellent overall experience...very high level of technical competence and a clear commitment to patient satisfaction. I highly recommend these people for solutions to hearing issues.

    Bob D.
  • Excellent practitioners, knowledgeable provider who are on top of their field I appreciated their professional manner and speed, and everyone seems like they knew what they were doing. I drive rather far to see them and it is well worth it. I feel well cared for and valued as a person. Highly, highly recommend.

    Nady G.
  • Unbelievable service! Friendly, personal, flexible, thoughtful.....if there were more adjectives, I would use them. I would come back here anytime. The people here are like family. They went above and beyond to get me my hearing aids--after some red tape--and then moved the earth to get me the best hearing aids. They are wonderful!

    Diane P.
  • I am a retired Chief of Police, and have been wearing hearing aids for over 16 years.The new hearing aids I received from this place was a life changing event. For the first time in YEARS I have been able to drive my car and listen to the radio, even with the window open...

    David G.
  • Highly professional and passionate about hearing health care!

    Kerr B.