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 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,, 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?


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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The Hearing Aid’s Pursuit of Invisibility – The Atlantic


A recent article published on The Atlantic discusses the changes in design of Hearing Aids in the last century as well as the goal of making it as invisible as possible.

With the first hearing aids coming out in 1898, the invention resembled a bulky and eye-catching device with a pair of earphones. The gadget was based on the principle of a telephone, and was a game-changer for those with hearing loss. Quite a few people expressed their concern about the uncomfortable size of the device, as well as how visible it was to others. So after the first invention, history of hearing aids followed the path of “miniaturization”. The goal was to make them as small and hidden as possible. The next solution for making the hearing aids invisible was masking it in accessories: head bands, hats, ear phones and even walking canes. Some companies even published pamphlets for ladies on how to style their devices fashionably.


Luckily after almost a century of progress and innovation, it became possible to find hearing aids that are practically invisible. They can be matched by size, location and even skin tone and hair color. Our selection of hearing aids comes in a variety of options suitable for everybody’s needs and wishes.  You can learn more about the technology and styles we offer, as well as learn more about our Connect program. Our Evergreen Hearing team would be happy to answer any questions you have regarding hearing loss and hearing aids. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at any of our offices.

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5 Non-Techy Gift Ideas to Promote Kids’ Language & Learning

Non tech Gifts for Kids
It seems that a lot of children these days prefer TV, tablets and phones to the old-school toys and board games. It is true that there are technological resources that promote development of language, but we must also not forget about the play-and-learn component from our own childhoods. This holiday season, we have some ideas for non-tech (and still fun!) gifts to encourage your children’s language and learning.

1. Traditional Toys

Depending on your kiddo’s age, getting him or her a fun, colorful toy is the perfect option. According to the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, toys that talk or make sounds discourage vocalization on the child’s part. So blocks, dolls, puzzles and trains/cars that get you and your child talking are the best bet!

2. Books

No gift list can exist without a good books. Whether it’s a book with texture for infants to touch, colorful pictures for toddlers to describe or fun poems to read, anything goes for language and development.

3. Board Games

While we all have competitive “Monopoly” players, board games are very good conversation setters. Games for every age encourage more family time, connections and fun.

4. Costumes and Props for Dress Up Play

Spark your child’s imagination with a wand, a dress or a top hat (there are other options, of course). Take photos, film videos and do what your child’s creative heart desires.

5. Art tools

Help your child build literacy skills by drawing and crafting.

Get more ideas here: blog

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Winter Wonderland at ESHC!


This winter we are happy to invite you to our Winter Wonderland Days at Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic. Our SLP’s are excited to play games, color and make crafts with patients during their speech therapy sessions. Just schedule your regular appointments and come prepared for a lot of fun!

– Evergreen Speech Team

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Evening Appointments – Kirkland Office

Clock counting down bokeh background

Unable to make appointments during the day? Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic in Kirkland is extending its operating hours to give you flexibility for your occupied schedule. Whether you are a full-time professional, busy parent or simply don’t have the time to come throughout the day, our doors are open for you.

Our evening appointments include:

  • Hearing Aid Maintenance and Cleaning
  • 6-month Check ups
  • Chart Review
  • Hearing Aid Pick Ups
  • Drop in appointments for repairs

Our Kirkland Office is now open for hearing appointments at these times:

  • Mondays and Tuesdays: until 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: until 5 p.m.

Please call our Kirkland office at (425) 899-5050 to make your evening appointment.

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Animal-Assisted Speech Therapy at ESHC

Animal Assisted Speech Therapy

Maybe you’ve gotten to see Ritter, a six-year-old chocolate lab, wagging his tail as he walks down the hallway or greets patients in the waiting area and wondered, “Why is there at dog at ESHC and what does he do?” Ritter is ESHC’s Resident Therapy Dog who works with his handler and speech-language pathologist, Jennifer Dierenfeld, to assist patients in Speech/Language Therapy. (more…)

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