Newly Designed Communication Workshop

The Audiologists and Speech Pathologists at ESHC have joined forces to provide a NEW look at enhanced communication. This new workshop was designed to provide our patients the opportunity to share ideas, have concerns heard, and learn efficient ways to minimize the negative impacts of hearing loss; in a forum that is fun, entertaining, and respectful of your busy schedules.

Did you know that individuals with untreated hearing loss are 2-5x more likely to suffer memory loss and dementia than patients with normal hearing or treated hearing loss?1 At ESHC, we are committed to stopping the effects of hearing loss in its tracks. At our workshop, you will work with a small group of like minded individuals to explore more efficient ways to manage your day to day communication challenges. The groups are facilitated by our Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists, ensuring that the information you receive is current, relevant and accurate. These workshops, along with other aspects of our hearing rehabilitation program like as Auditory Training and careful verification/validation measures, we are moving our program beyond technology to ensure that our patients have the best possible outcomes.

Buying a hearing aid will make sounds louder. Treating a hearing loss requires the professional attention of a team committed to your long term health and well being. Thank you for allowing us to be YOUR team!

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New Custom Bluetooth Headphones

What began as a Kick starter in 2013, became the world’s first “Hearable”, The Bragi. The Bragi has now partnered with hearing aid manufacturer Starkey to release the first ever custom in-ear computer. “The Bragi Dash Pro tailored by Starkey is the most intelligent device of its kind,” said Bragi Founder & CEO Nikolaj Hviid. “These magical devices have seamless Bluetooth pairing and connectivity, a longer-lasting battery life, and groundbreaking achievements – like real- time language translation powered by iTranslate, a 4D menu allowing users to go hands-free and integration with IBM Watson’s famed AI.” The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey will take this one step further, enabling athletes, musicians, content creators, technophiles, and other precision-based fields to see real benefits from having the ultimate fit and a truly personalized, customized audio device made just for them.

What can users do with The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey?

  • Listen to music, podcasts and more via seamless streaming Bluetooth audio
  • Store 1,000 songs/podcasts on 4GB internal storage.
  • Carry just The Dash Pro and leave the phone at home
  • Make or receive phone calls in noise with enhanced Versant™ advanced voice technology from Knowles
  • Leave the USB cord behind – up to five hours of battery life with 30 hours of standby
  • Carry on conversations in other languages. The DashPro tailored by Starkey is compatible with iTranslate.
  • Go hands-free – Virtual 4-D menu to access features with just head gestures and audio commands.
  • Enjoy a run, swim, or bike ride with auto activity tracking – no button to push.
  • Visualize your workouts from within the Bragi app
  • Get wet! The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey is waterproof (to three feet of fresh water).
  • Hear what you want to hear. Audio transparency lets you block outside sound, or let it all in.

         Call today, set up your custom impression and fitting appointment, and join this new revo

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ESHC Happenings for Better Hearing and Speech month

Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) was founded in 1927, by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Since then, it has been observed by hundreds of organizations and millions of people all over the country and the world. While some groups put emphasis on either hearing or speech disorders, Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic approaches BHSM through the lens of collaboration. As a practice with hearing and speech services under one roof, we address all communication disorders through interconnected and comprehensive therapy programs in each department. We are proud to have a team so dedicated to bringing the best care to our patients and community!

This year the ESHC staff have hosted and attended a multitude of events ranging from Hearing Health Forums to the Kirkland Mother’s Day Half Marathon and 5K. We kicked off Better Hearing and Speech Month with a celebration of Voice Day in late April in collaboration with Dr. Wm. Gregory Young, otolaryngologist. Together we welcomed singers and performers at our Kirkland clinic to discuss voice hygiene and practice healthy voice exercises.

The UW Hearing Health Forum took place on April 26th and involved Audiology students from the University of Washington. While the future audiologists had an opportunity to present what they have learned, our patients enjoyed presentations on brain hearing, listening effort, and hearing in social settings.

UW students with our ESHC Staff

As a community-conscious clinic, we assembled more than 2000 earplug kits to promote hearing protection for our patients and friends.

Ear-plug staffing

Cooking at Tent City

Additionally, we taught a Speech Reading courses at the Emerald Heights Retirement Center in Redmond. One of our biggest community events this year was cooking and serving dinner to residents of Camp Unity at St. Jude’s Church in Redmond. The ESHC staff was humbled and thankful for everyone who participated and brought donations to this Tent City organization. Our staff also participated in a series of Boot Camp sessions with a wellness trainer, preparing for the Kirkland Mother’s Day 5K run. During this event the clinic staff spread the word on hearing health and educated the community about Better Hearing and Speech Month.

ESHC staff at the 5K run

Following tradition, Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic hosted a special hearing event, from May 16-18. During this event the ESHC audiologists introduced rechargeable hearing aids to everyone who is curious about hearing technology. This event further pushed ESHC to provide the best patient care possible, with the clinic audiologists helping patients of all ages to find solutions to their communication needs. Other events included a stuttering support group for families, and a special lecture for our employees on living with dyslexia by John Curley.

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Where Performance and Ecology Intersect

Since the advent of rechargeable batteries back in the
1990’s, patients have been asking when hearing aids
would become rechargeable. For the past several years, low technology systems have been available with limited success. Today, all that has changed! (more…)

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Are you protecting your hearing?

Hearing is a sense that many of us take for granted. Throughout our lives, we subject our ears to loud sounds–music, power tools, lawn mowers, air travel–without using ear protection. Regrettably, this can cause hearing loss. Additionally, the natural aging process generally results in hearing loss. Even certain illnesses and medications can adversely affect our hearing. Unfortunately, hearing loss that occurs from such causes is permanent.

The good news is, even if you already have a little hearing loss, it’s never too late to preserve your hearing for the years ahead. (more…)

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How To Improve Your Relationships

Every successful relationship whether it is with our spouses, siblings or friends, is built upon good communication. That takes effort and full participation of all those involved including the speaker and the listener. Often, we have a hard time communicating with our partners just because we don’t adjust our speaking and listening habits to the environment. Our everyday conversations can be easily manipulated and improved using the following communication tips:

(Click on each image to read the tips!)

 

If you have questions about communication, come in for a chat with our Communication Coach! Call 425.882.4347 to schedule your appointment today.

by: Jennifer Dierenfeld M.A., CCC-SLP

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UW Student Hearing Health Forum

Come celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month with us. Doctoral Students from the University of Washington will be on hand to share about better communication, including mini-talks on:

• Brain Hearing
• How We Hear
• Listening Effort
• Social Gatherings
• Understanding the Audiogram

Please join us on Wednesday, April 26th at 6:30 p.m. in our Redmond Office!

Spaces are limited, RSVP to info@everhear.com 425-882-4347

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Intern Meetings: An Inside Scoop

Written by: Kat Bakhmetyeva

At ESHC, interns are a vital part of our practice. College students join us from all over the country to gain hands-on experience in Audiology, Speech, and Marketing. They learn, work and attend regular educational sessions with our specialists.  Last week our interns had the opportunity to explore the latest hearing aid technology, with the help and guidance of Tristan, a hearing aid company representative. The following is a recap of the experience from our Marketing student:


“Our intern meetings take place every Friday, in the ESHC Kirkland office. Currently, the clinic is hosting four full-time interns and welcomes all new employees to attend as well. Every week is different, but today was extra special: we explored and learned about the latest advances in hearing instruments. As a Marketing student, I love to get an inside scoop on the industry I promote every day and apply our clinic’s collaborative approach to learn about each division.

As usual, in the beginning of our meeting, we shared our ups and downs of the week. Audiology and Speech interns talked about interesting cases, I introduced some upcoming events, and the new employees recapped on their latest progress. This time of the meeting is the perfect time to encourage my colleagues in their work and receive some support during the “stretch” days.

As we sat around the table, Tristan began her demonstration of the newest models of hearing aids. There is a huge variety of designs, colors, and looks, yet they all have one thing in common: when worn, they are barely visible. Some colors match the wearer’s skin tone, others – the custom made ones – are practically invisible when inserted into the ear. The design of each instrument is delicate and light, so the wearer wouldn’t even feel it around his or her ear.

It was exciting to realize just how far along hearing technology has come when we learned about how fast the sound gets transmitted in the newer models. Some three years ago, you.would.hear.your.conversations.like.this, with long pauses and elongated words. In contrast, now the delivery speed is comparable to what we are normally used to when speaking. The models we were looking at in particular also come with a handy smartphone app to regulate volume, switch to and from various programs, listen to music and even connect to the TV.

Finally, we got to see the full benefits of the newest hearing aid models through a Virtual Reality experience. I was the first lucky intern to try it out, as my colleagues took photos and giggled at my reaction. I was shown two segments of a dinner party, with a number of simultaneous conversations happening around. As I looked around this virtual world in the first episode, I saw a beautiful chandelier hanging above the table, a fancy dessert on my plate and several people chatting across from me. What struck me right away was the conversations appeared abruptly, with the volume switching from silent to loud as I moved my gaze around the virtual room. As Tristan explained, this is how the older, directional hearing aids work: you are only able to hear your partner if you are looking at him or her directly.

The contrast to this segment came in a few seconds. Suddenly the room was filled with chatter and noise. I realized that I didn’t have to turn my entire body to hear what the speaker on my right had to say, so I continued to eat my virtual dinner and listen to him at the same time. Another conversation began to sound interesting, as the couple in front of me decided to work out their issues. I could really feel the difference from the last “directional” segment when I heard someone call me over from another end of the table, and I didn’t even see him.

While virtual reality is a whole other topic, I am happy to have experienced it in the context of Audiology. This meeting and demonstration of hearing technology gave me a good understanding of what our patients experience. It also provided the incentive for more collaborative work to interns and employees from various disciplines.

We are grateful to be part of these weekly intern meetings, where we can not only discuss our progress, but also continue learning and stretching our knowledge. As I continue to grow as a professional, I will view my internship at ESHC as a prime example of how all internships should take place.”

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5 Tips for Using Hearing Aids at Work

Meeting of shareholders

For people with hearing loss it is often difficult to understand speech in background noise and from a distance. Our audiologists as well as Dr. Emily L. Martison Au.D., Ph.D. have a few suggestions for optimizing your hearing ability at work.

1. Have backup batteries nearby.

Although a simple step, it can easily be missed in the daily hassle. It is important to keep a set of clean batteries on hand to avoid the scramble during a meeting or conference.

2. Sit close to the speakers and where you can see

Listening works not only with the ears, but also based on nonverbal cues such as body language and eye contact. During a meeting, choose a seat where you can not only hear everybody, but also see. Additionally, you can avoid sources of background noise and distractions by sitting far away from fans, music and windows.

3. Refer to printed materials

If available, it’s okay to print out visual materials beforehand and review them before an important presentation. This can not only help fill in the gaps, but also lessen the stress and anxiety brought on by hearing loss.

4. Inform your coworkers

A simple reminder to your coworkers can make a big difference in interpersonal and team communication in the workplace. Some simple things you can ask for are to speak up, slow down, and rephrase what they said instead of repeating it.

 5. Take advantage of hearing aid accessories.

Ask our audiologists about the accessories that go along with each set of hearing aids. Additional technology that comes with a hearing aid can include microphones and telephones with captions, which enables near perfect communication any time.

More tips: Hearing Health Magazine, Winter 2017


 

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Audiologist vs. ENT Physician

Audiologist Vs. ENT

If you are experiencing discomfort in your ear, nose and throat or feel that your hearing has worsened lately, it is important to know which doctor to turn to: Ear nose and throat (ENT) physicians or Audiologist.  The world of healthcare can be confusing, but getting the right treatment on time can make a great difference. So what is the difference between Audiologists and ENT physicians?


Audiologist

Short description: “The hearing and balance professional”
Goal: To improve quality of life by restoring the patient’s ability to hear and communicate.
Education: Doctoral degree in Audiology, Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.)

Summary:  Audiologists focus on the science of hearing. They often look at how hearing loss affects our quality of life and seek to improve it in non-intrusive ways, such as hearing instruments, counselling, and communication coaching.  Audiologists also look at other issues like auditory processing disorders, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and balance.  In addition to that, our Audiologists collaborate with our Speech Language Pathologists to provide evidence-based practice and optimal patient care.  This is a benefit that makes Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic unique.

When to go to an audiologist:

  • If you are experiencing a loss in hearing ability and noticing a greater difficulty in distinguishing speech
  • If you have noticed long-term gradual loss of hearing
  • If you and your physician do not suspect any medical causes of hearing loss (e.g. ear infections, physical trauma to the ear, ear wax impaction etc.)

ENT Physician

Short description: “The ear nose and throat doctor”
Goal:  Diagnose and treat medical problems of the ear, nose and throat (e.g. ear infections, otosclerosis, sinus problems, etc)
Education: Medical Degree in Otolaryngology (M.D.)

Summary: ENT physicians are also called otolaryngologists.  They are medical doctors/surgeons who perform a variety of procedures that include ear tube surgeries, surgical removal of tonsils, treatment of swimmer’s ear, sinusitis and more.  ENT physicians also surgically treat more profound types of hearing loss that are induced by infections, trauma or benign tumors.

 When to go to an ENT physician:

  • If you experience a sudden decrease of hearing
  • If you need earwax removal
  • If you experience aural symptoms, such as ear pain, vertigo, tinnitus,  or fullness in the ear
  • If your physician believes your hearing loss requires a medical evaluation by an ENT
  • You have additional symptoms in the ear, nose, throat, and neck areas (e.g. dizziness, sinus problems, recent onset of tinnitus, or masses in the neck/head)

Where to start

If you are unsure of which doctor to pay a visit to, start with an audiogram (hearing test).  Often times, an audiogram or other diagnostic testing is required to help the ENT determine how you are hearing and in what way to guide your treatment.  ESHC offers a variety of tests which allows audiologists to identify specific problem areas.  These tests include comprehensive audiograms for patients of all ages, tinnitus evaluations, (central) auditory processing ((C) APD) evaluations, electrophysiologic testing, and balance assessments.   After you receive your audiogram, our audiologist will explain the result and offer a treatment unique to you or, if needed, a referral to another professional (e.g. ENT) should this be necessary.

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