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Free Hearing Test , Tinnitus treatment & Demonstration: Serving York/Adams, Hanover Counties, East Berlin Pennsylvania
The neurosciences of hearing loss are focused on the brain, cognition, and the comorbidities of untreated hearing loss. As a leader providing excellence in Audiology for nearly two decades, my role continues to evolve and expand in helping those who live in my community to discover a medical treatment for age-related hearing loss. I am devoted to restoring each individual’s clarity, restoring personal independence, improving cognitive function and mental health, and addressing the cognitive aspects of hearing loss that can increase the risk of developing dementia.
Setting the stage for excellence begins with testing every aspect of your hearing with diagnostic equipment, termed Audiometry, and understanding your specific hearing-related issues. Traditionally, Audiometry results determine hearing loss using headphones or insert earphones, but one critical measurement is left out: the anatomy and pressure in an ear canal occluded by a hearing aid. To solve this issue, Signia is now able to move the patient beyond the traditional Audiogram to a better patient-centered fit, tailor-made to suit your ear anatomy and hearing loss.
Upon delivery and fitting of new hearing instruments, Signia’s InSituGram verification software allows pure tone audiometry to be performed using the hearing instrument in order to supplement and verify traditional audiometry. InSituGram audiometry is performed in the same way as normal audiometry, but instead of using headphones or insert earphones, the tones are presented through the hearing instrument. The InSitu-audiogram will usually be very similar to the results from traditional audiometry, but it takes into account the individual acoustics of the patient’s ear canal, as well as any venting effects. This delivers an improved fitting, reducing the need for finetuning and accelerating hearing potential for better communication in difficult situations.
It’s my pleasure to speak with you concerning an early hearing loss detection and treatment plan, so that you and your family can get expert advice about treatment needs, options, and timing before making this important investment. Contact me now for a FREE consultation and demonstration on Signia 7Nx,5Nx,3Nx products, please call (717) 848-2288 or email email@example.com.
Age-related hearing loss is a progressive and degenerative disorder, resulting from the loss of receptor cells in the ear. Consequently, there is a significant reduction of the quantity and quality of the neural connections from the ear to the brain. This slow onset disorder can have a significant impact on several key brain areas, including memory, hearing, speech, and language portions of the cognitive function. Many people ignore hearing loss because it’s a slow and subtle process as we age. There are risk factors associated with hearing loss that include social isolation (reduced social and physical activity), Cerebral Atrophy (brain shrinkage), and brain overload (working your brain too hard to hear, a risk factor for developing dementia).
Just as with any other progressive and active disease process, hearing loss must be detected early if maximum results are to be expected. Everyone should have a hearing checkup at the first sign of hearing loss. Because, if you catch it in the early stage and correct it with the proper hearing devices, you will be doing your part in maximizing your hearing ability today, tomorrow, and for many years to come.
To book an appointment for a FREE hearing evaluation in the convenience and comfort of your home, please call my hearing service today at 717-848-2288.
The Consultation at the Initial Appointment
The initial consultation takes place in the convenience and comfort of your home. The hearing evaluation can be overwhelming for some people and for their families – and can sometimes stretch to sixty minutes or more. Treating hearing loss is a process of science, engineering, technology, and clinical medicine. It is also considered an “art” to treat hearing loss; skills are developed with years of experience! In order to develop the right treatment for each patient, first, there must be the proper diagnostic procedures using calibrated equipment called an audiometer that tests every aspect of your hearing, known as an audiogram. From there, it’s important to distinguish the different types of hearing loss, the degree of hearing loss ranked from mild to profound, and if a medical referral is recommended.
One of the most important tests I will perform is designed to assess your cognitive hearing, i.e., how well you understand words in quiet and with background noise. This line of testing helps me understand how well you hear, and how well you process words and conversation. For example: many people with a mild to moderate hearing age-related loss will typically score 60% to 70% – thus, they miss 30% to 40% of what is said on a daily basis.
The next test is a repeat, almost exactly as described, but performed at a volume and clarity setting ideal for the specific patient’s hearing loss. This second round of word testing is referred to as the patient’s “Hearing Potential.” Most often, the patient who formally scored between 60% to 70% will now score 90% and even greater. The patient is fully aware that he or she performed significantly better with enhanced clarity.
Though the consequences of waiting too long to treat hearing loss can be dire, in these cases, the outcomes and expectations for treatment can vary. Once all the testing is complete, it’s my responsibility to review all the test results with you and your loved ones. These results are personal and can help a patient to better understand the difficulty he or she is dealing with on a daily basis. Interpreting the results can also be just as important for your family and loved ones to understand the degree of your hearing loss, “Hearing Potential” ability, and to gain a perspective on what you are going through and how much of a strain hearing loss can be.
A recommendation from your hearing evaluation test results will determine your unique medical treatment plan and help to initiate the journey toward improved hearing clarity and cognitive health. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan. Part of your hearing evaluation is to validate individual improved “Hearing Potential.” If you are satisfied with the test results, verifying your hearing improvement, your custom hearing aid products are then ordered. Upon delivery and fitting of your new hearing aids, I will "re-verify" your “Hearing Potential” word recognition auditory results to compare the two evaluations, so you know exactly what to expect for hearing improvement! This procedure brings together predictable verification and greatly increases the likelihood of a successful fit as you experience hearing improvement.
Hearing impairments can occur in all parts of the ear, and dysfunctions of the outer or middle ear can generally be treated with medication or surgery. However, a good 80% of all hearing impairments are caused by dysfunctions of or damage to the inner ear. Today, modern hearing aids can compensate for most inner ear damage. However, no two cases of hearing loss are the same. Most often, people with a hearing impairment are unable to distinguish soft tones and high-pitched sounds and have difficulties hearing certain sounds such as whispers, children’s voices, or birdsong. It is only when hearing starts to deteriorate noticeably that we realize just how important good hearing is in our everyday lives – and how much we miss out on when we no longer hear well. The earlier we are properly fitted with hearing aids, the better, even if you only have a slight hearing loss.
The “Standard Practice”: The usual practice when fitting a hearing aid is to adjust gain and output according to the patient’s audiogram, then the fitting software applies default settings of adaptive algorithms that are optimized to provide an ideal balance between speech understanding and sound quality. As a first fit, this works very well for many patients, but not for all. These adaptive parameters in the fitting software are optimized based on patient-averaged satisfaction ratings according to the hearing test. These average settings are offered in the fitting software as the best starting point for the majority of patients; however, they will not be suitable for all, as few people are precisely “average.” If the patient complains about their own voice being too loud when talking, the hearing care professional often resolves “own voice” complaints by reducing the amplification, with unintended consequences of decreasing speech intelligibility.
Moving you beyond the standard audiogram to a patient-centered, first fit: Traditionally, the audiogram is used to program a hearing aid and then it is fitted, making it the most individualized part of the fitting process that determines your acceptance (or not) of wearing hearing aids. Moving beyond the audiogram, there are many variables of physics that must be understood and controlled to produce a truly exceptional hearing loss solution. In this brief synopsis, I will examine important considerations specific to hearing aid fitting techniques and the latest technologies in restoring proper hearing clarity to the auditory system.
HearFirst Audiology: As a leader of excellence in Audiology, I have transitioned out of the “standard practice” of Audiology of fitting procedures to a more efficient patient-centered fit. This requires several stages, which include identifying factors that describe an individual’s hearing problems and experiences, and additional acoustical parameter of the anatomy of an individual’s ear canal, and then moving beyond the audiogram to investigate the effects of transverse variations of sound pressure in an ear canal occluded by a hearing aid.
InSituGram: Since hearing aids are tailor-made to suit your ear anatomy and hearing loss, Signia’s diagnostic software InSituGram provides real-ear measurement of soundwaves that your hearing aid produces in your ear canal to determine if your hearing aid amplification is correct for your hearing loss. The InSituGram software allows quick and convenient threshold checks, screening each frequency from your audiogram for any transverse variations, while the hearing aid is being worn. This allows for a method of modifying or finetuning one’s audiogram and retuning the aids for the best level of acceptance and optimal audibility in every listening environment you encounter.
Own Voice Processing: First-time wearers with a mild to moderate hearing loss often struggle with a perceived occlusion effect. What is occlusion? Occlusion is not about hearing aid technology; it’s about the sound of your own voice and the bone structure of your skull and other physical characteristics associated with the type of hearing loss and “transverse variation” of sound pressure in the ear canal occluded by a hearing aid. It’s a big problem when many first-time wearers think their own voice sounds unnatural, which can affect their acceptance of new hearing aids. With Signia’s Nx revolutionary technology Own Voice Processing (OVP), this is no longer an issue.
A patented dual chip processor (OVP) Own Voice Processing technology is available in our Signia Nx hearing aid models. With the OVP, the wearer’s voice is scanned as a short additional step, just following the InSituGram fit. During the acoustic scan, the wearer simply talks for a few seconds and a three-dimensional acoustic model of the wearer’s head is created and learns to recognize when the wearer is speaking. After the acoustic scan is performed, a dedicated setting is applied. When the wearer is not speaking, sounds are amplified normally. In other words, the hearing aid detects if the sound originates from the wearer’s mouth or from an external source, and then employs two distinct processing strategies: one for the wearer’s own voice and one for external sounds. OVP preserves voice quality when the wearer is talking, and allows uncompromised audibility for external sound. By separating the processing of the wearer’s own voice from external sounds, it is possible to simultaneously achieve comfort and audibility, maintaining natural sound in everyday life … but wait, there’s something more to the final patient-centered fitting procedure. Hearing loss is often accompanied by tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in one or both ears), but I can alleviate this issue since I provide tinnitus relief therapy. To learn more, please review this link: https://pro.signiausa.com/signia-hearing-product-portfolio/signia-nx/signia-nx-platform/
Tinnitus Relief Therapy: The pitch and volume of tinnitus can be determined by a special diagnostic test, and a hearing test can reveal whether hearing loss is also involved. Treatment with hearing aids is often the first step to relief from tinnitus. Finding the optimum tinnitus strategy for you is my goal. I’ll help you select the ideal hearing aid and find the perfect tinnitus therapy, as well as give you tips and tricks that will help you to make life with tinnitus more relaxing.
Three strategies will lead you to optimum results: static noise tinnitus therapy, ocean wave tinnitus therapy, and individually tuned therapy signals, which divert attention away from the tinnitus, thereby reducing its impact. As a result, you can relax and concentrate on what you want to hear. For potential permanent relief, Signia hearing aids are the only ones with built-in Notch
Therapy (Neural-Regeneration), which is proven to reduce the annoyance of tonal tinnitus and may even make it disappear completely.
To learn more, please review this link: https://www.signiausa.com/tinnitus/
Auditory Rehabilitation eARena: When you lose your hearing, it restricts your natural listening experience. Improve your hearing with Free Auditory Rehabilitation training services for cognitive development for better listening and developing basic auditory skills for better communication in difficult situations. Available on your smartphone (MyHearing App) or DVD for the lifetime of your hearing aids. Learn how to listen better with your new hearing aids while training at your own convenience. The level of difficulty of the exercises is automatically adjusted based on your unique skill level. To learn more, please see this link: https://www.audiologyonline.com/ask-the-experts/auditory-training-software-programs-for-192
Auditory Rehabilitation Exercise Types:
• Loudness scaling
• Perception of everyday sounds
• Basic auditory skills
• Word recognition
• Timbre discrimination
• Speech in noise
• Cognitive skills
• Tip of the day
After the Patient-Centered first fit is completed, I will "re-verify" your “Hearing Potential” word recognition auditory results from our initial consultation to compare the two evaluations, so you know exactly what to expect for hearing improvement! This procedure brings together predictable verification and greatly increases the likelihood of a successful fit and acceptance, as you experience hearing improvement.
If you (or someone you know and care for) fit my description of having trouble with hearing, please help yourself (or your family / friends) to begin treatment of hearing loss as soon as possible. You are always welcome to contact me for a FREE Audiological Hearing Evaluation, so we can determine what shape, size, and features can help you hear your best and keep you engaged in conversation. It’s my pleasure to speak with you! Please call me, Jason Orlak, at (717) 848-2288.
No matter which hearing company you choose, ultimately, you are making a small investment in both your time and finances. I want to highlight that HearFirst will stand behind its Hearing Loss Treatment Plan. In addition to a 30-day trial 100% Money-Back Guarantee, if you have unforeseen problems after trying your hearing aid, you can switch to another product – a different style of aid or level of technology. Also, we offer the following with the start of a new hearing aid: a 30-day trial with financing up to 60-month payment plans, free lifetime follow-up visits and cleaning services, guaranteed clarity prescription-programming, a 5-year warranty, and Auditory Rehabilitation training software for improving your listening skills.
Hearing Loss Treatment
Some people with hearing loss receive the benefits of hearing aids almost immediately; however, for some, it can take time before the benefits of new hearing aids become apparent. (This also applies to someone who has already worn hearing aids and tries something new, with different frequency responses.) Research shows that it is sometimes impossible to judge right away, because of delaying treatment for hearing loss and lack of stimulation to the brain in late treatment stages. The good news is that the brain is flexible! If a person has a stroke, another part of the brain can take over what the damaged part was doing. This also applies to your hearing loss. The corresponding part of your brain, which has no input from your ears, gets rewired to do other things. Research shows that the brain makes little use of new information for 5 to 6 weeks, then gradually starts to use it from 6 to 12 weeks for your word recognition to steadily climb.
So, if hearing aids are worn consistently, this process will unfold as it should. However, if hearing aids are not worn consistently, the brain rewiring does not happen in the same way. As a result, the new hearing aid’s sounds are not recognized and processed as they should be, and the new hearing aid will sound unnatural. The best approach to wearing hearing aids is constantly just a wait-and-see approach, rather than having the hearing professional adjust program frequencies for various complaints right away.
Stages of Untreated Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is typically a slow, gradual onset disorder that silently affects you. If you take time to reflect truly and deeply on your communication breakdown, I believe you will begin to recognize some of the initial symptoms of hearing loss. Do you have trouble understanding when 2 or 3 people are talking at the same time? Does background noise interfere with your understanding of the conversation? It is also difficult for many patients to rationalize the need for medical treatment of hearing loss because in some ideal listening environments, communication is not much of a challenge. But the truth is, a mild hearing loss is a major problem!
There is growing evidence that when an ear is deprived of sufficient sound stimulation, the ability of the auditory system to process speech presented to the ear gradually declines (accordingly to the September 1993 journal of the American Academy of Audiology). Leading into the advanced stages of hearing loss, the auditory cortex of the brain loses its ability to decode signals that are received clearly. This is known as Auditory Distortion and occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea) and its hair cells. Whether from cognitive causes, hereditary, noise exposure, ototoxic medications, the aging process, or some other form of inner ear damage, the person with sensorineural (or nerve deafness) type of loss typically experiences some degree of auditory distortion.
Auditory Distortion leads to degradation of sound quality and/or sound clarity, including speech sounds. Most of the time auditory distortion begins almost unnoticed. For example: “F” sounds as in “Frank” are heard as a “S” as in “Sank.” Permanent auditory distortion cannot be corrected by the use of hearing aids or any other known therapy, but regular use of hearing aids can often stabilize the progression of the distortion. The key to reducing the risk of permanent and irreversible auditory distortion is early treatment. Just as any other progressive and active disease process, hearing loss must be detected and treated early if maximum results are to be expected.
Additional Risks of Untreated Hearing Loss
Additionally, the risk of putting off hearing loss treatment can possibly lead to tinnitus (the ringing in one or both ear(s)). When you wait too long or haven’t received the correct prescription or treatment plan for your unique hearing loss, the ringing can become permanent. Where does the ringing coming from? Tinnitus is perceived in the ears; however, it is found within the brain located in the auditory cortex. Anything that causes us to lose our hearing can have the effect to disrupt the auditory cortex where the nerve in this area can start to fire spontaneously. This is called neural synchronization; when the ear no longer talks to the auditory nerve center, then the nerve center short-circuits in an unregulated activity, and over time, this becomes permanent! Untreated tinnitus allows it to invade our consciousness. This then influences levels of stress, tiredness, depression, distraction, anxiousness, and anxiety.
Treatment options are now available through a new neural science called Acoustic Coordinated Reset Neuromodulation Therapy. Acoustic neuromodulation is a noninvasive acoustic stimulation therapy for primary tonal tinnitus. This is done with a complex mathematical sound notch therapy technology integrated in all of Signia’s Nx series hearing instruments: 3Nx, 5Nx, and 7Nx. The hearing instruments can be uniquely tailored to your specific needs, in most cases, stimulating neural regeneration, eliminating tinnitus permanently.
Communication Hearing Loss and Dementia
Hearing loss is a progressive disorder where the connection from the ear to the brain degenerates with an impact to several key areas, including the memory, hearing, speech, and language portion of cognitive function. There are three risk factors associated with hearing loss and dementia: social isolation, brain overload, and cerebral atrophy (the association of shrinking of the brain).
Hearing loss is a memory-robbing disease. A lot of people ignore hearing loss, because it’s a gradual process as we age. Hearing loss is not normal, and neither is the excessive strain that it can put on your brain. Just observe someone with hearing loss and watch the amount of effort that is required to follow a conversation and then fill in the missing pieces. This increased cognitive load is considered a risk factor for developing dementia. In those individuals who treat hearing loss, the brain does not work as hard, reducing the cognitive load and having as much as a 20% increase in memory recall when following a conversation, even in noisy environments.
If you treat hearing loss, can you prevent or reduce the risk of developing dementia? Since 2011, multiple long-term studies have provided strong evidence that treating hearing loss may eliminate the increased risk of developing dementia.
How should you reduce the risk of dementia? It’s simple: request an appointment for an initial consultation to see if you are a good candidate for a hearing loss treatment plan.
It would be my pleasure to speak with you! Please call me, Jason Orlak, at (717)848-2288.
How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost?
Today’s hearing loss treatment plans are far more than a simple “amplifying” device behind the ear. The neural science behind modern treatments is focused on the brain, cognition, and the combination of untreated hearing loss. Hearing loss treatment is aimed at restoring lost clarity, providing noise-canceling filters for noisy background situations, and soft-speech enhancers that emphasize the speech of those soft speakers in your life.
The ideal patient has to accept the cost-benefit ratio when it comes to treating hearing loss; it’s nearly impossible to put a dollar value on improved health. The average hearing aid consumer will purchase at least 5 sets of hearing aids in a lifetime, costing on average $25K. It is important to understand that manufacturers don’t set retail prices (hearing aid dispensers do).
Hearing aid dispensers generally quote one price for the whole package of services. This includes not only the manufacturer’s cost, such as materials, research, and development, but also the expense incurred by the provider: rent, salaries, training, licenses, liability insurance, diagnostic machines, marketing, and ongoing patient support. The manufacturer’s cost on hearing aids typically accounts for one-third of the total price, and professional fees and services make up the remaining two-thirds.
Choosing the right company to manage your hearing is an important decision. Choosing the right person is an even bigger decision. Don’t leave your hearing loss to chance … seek HearFirst Audiology for a tailor-made to fit hearing loss treatment plan with diagnostic and “potential hearing” verification for a more natural sound clarity and hearing improvement.
My in-home service is a cost-saving opportunity not only for me (helping me to manage and alleviate retailer overhead cost, such as operating costs, rent, salaries, and marketing), but also for you (since I pass along the savings to you!). In fact, I will save you 35% to 50% off the cost of hearing aids from what local or national competitors charge, and I guarantee “Hearing Potential” scores!
HearFirst Audiology is one cost-lowering option to consider without retailer costs. Please contact me at (717) 848-2288 to set up an appointment to discuss your particular situation. I look forward to hearing from you and helping you!