Hearing But Not Understanding? Special Keynote

On Friday, May 18th at 1:30PM at the EvergreenHealth, Auditorium we are hosting Dr. Jeanane Ferre Ph.D. CCC-A, a nationally recognized expert on central auditory processing disorders (CAPD), with over 35 years experience providing evaluation and treatment of CAPDs to children and adults. 

WHO: Dr. Jeanane Ferre Ph.D. CCC-A is a nationally recognized expert and pioneering researcher in Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD) in children and adults. 

WHAT: A special lecture event on evaluation and treatment of CAPD in children and adults. Individuals with CAPD have no difficulty hearing but often have difficulty understanding. Often these difficulties include listening to, comprehending, and/or remembering the information heard. Individuals with (C)APD may also experience difficulties interpreting the subtle meaning of what has been said, such as sarcasm, irony, and humor.

WHEN: Friday May 18th at 1:30PM

WHERE: EvergreenHealth Auditorium, Kirkland, WA

WHY: The Month of May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic is excited to offer community outreach and educational events in the month of May. 

Let us know your interest in attending at rsvp@everhear.com

This talk is free to the public and highly recommended for parents, local physicians, educators, and healthcare providers. 

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Bio: Dr. Ferre established her practice in 1988, becoming one of the first audiologists in the nation to open a practice devoted exclusively to the evaluation and treatment of auditory processing disorders and has provided these services at her Oak Park office for over 20 years.

In addition to her clinical practice, she is an adjunct faculty member of Northwestern and Rush Universities, teaching graduate classes in assessment and management of CAPD and serving as an off-campus practicum supervisor to improve students’ clinical skills in the area of CAP assessment and intervention. Dr. Ferre regularly attends special education eligibility meetings and assists with development of IEPs and 504 accommodation plans. She has provided consultation on auditory processing to school districts and education departments in Illinois, Wisconsin, California, Georgia, Hawaii and the District of Columbia. Dr. Ferre is on the advisory board of Audiology Online (www.audiologyonline.com) and is a regular editorial reviewer of papers related to central auditory processing for several professional journals. She has contributed to “best practice” documents for central auditory processing assessment and intervention for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Her pioneering research in this area led to the development of the Bellis-Ferre model, currently one of the most widely used models for interpreting central auditory processing test results. She is the co-author of a widely used test for screening processing disorders among school-age children.

She has published extensively in professional journals and written chapters for collegiate texts and has given over 300 presentations on CAPD to school districts, related professionals, speech-language-hearing conferences, and parent support groups at the local, state, national and international levels.

Dr. Ferre’s work has earned numerous awards. She is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, a Fellow of the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and a Distinguished Alumnus of Illinois State University. In addition, she has received the Clinical Achievement Award and Honors of the Association from the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

 

New links found between untreated hearing loss and dementia

Studies over the years have looked at the possible link between age-related hearing loss and cognitive decline. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery found age-related hearing loss to be significantly associated with a decline in “all main cognitive domains with increased risk for cognitive impairment and incident dementia”. By treating hearing loss, you can play a role in mitigating one of the risk factors associated with dementia. 

Audiology Patient Choice Act: Improving Access to Hearing Healthcare

Legislation was introduced yesterday to improve access to hearing health care services. The Audiology Patient Choice Act, is a “bipartisan bill to ensure that seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare have access to a full range of hearing and balance health care services provided by a licensed audiologist.” US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) introduced The Audiology Patient Choice Act as a bill that will “make a life-changing difference for millions of Americans who experience hearing loss and can’t access the care they need because of archaic regulations.” This is a “common sense step to bring down costs for our seniors” said Senator Warren. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) extolled the bill as proof “Congress can come together across the aisle to find solutions to improve our health care system.”

Medicare currently covers a range of hearing health services however, it does not recognize audiologists as providers of most hearing services. This new legislation allows audiologists to provide all services already covered by Medicare that are within an audiologist’s scope of practice and ensures that Medicare’s treatment of audiologists is consistent with the classification of other health care providers such as dentists, podiatrists, chiropractors, and optometrists. Read the full article at Hearinghealthmatters.org.

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. Continue reading

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


 

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.

The Hearing Aid’s Pursuit of Invisibility – The Atlantic


hearing-aids-2

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.

hearinginstrument-lineup

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.

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.

Fact Friday: Almost 25% of Americans Have Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Facts

According to a study conducted by Adele M. Goman and Frank R. Lin of John Hopkins University, a shocking 38.3 (23% of population) million of Americans aged 12 years and older are struggling with hearing loss.

According to this study, nearly 25 million people have mild hearing loss, 10.7 – moderate and almost 2 million – severe to profound hearing loss. “Older individuals displayed a higher prevalence of hearing loss and more severe levels of loss. Across most ages, the prevalence was higher among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Whites than among non-Hispanic Blacks and was higher among men than women.” – Goman and Lin

Read More: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303299

Music Helps Babies’ Brain Development

As parents, we often wonder how much influence music has on our babies’ lives. If your family is not particularly musical, that question may not even come to mind. But according to this University of Washington study, music plays a tremendous role in babies’ speech and brain development.

In this study, 39 babies attended a dozen of 15-minute play sessions, where half of them listened to music and had exposure to musical instruments, while the other half were a control group. Both groups played with the same toys and had the same surroundings, the key difference was in whether the researcher taught the baby to tap out musical beats or not.  After the sessions were complete, researchers used MEG technology (magnetocephalography) to measure the precise location and timing of brain activity. They found that children who listened to music had stronger brain responses. This suggests that listening to music during play sessions has improved the babies’ abilities to control attention and detect patterns in sounds. .

This study is an reminder that music is an important factor in our children’s cognitive development and that learning is not only done through school assignments and tests. As stated in the study, “this research reminds us that the effects of engaging in music go beyond music itself. Music experience has the potential to boost broader cognitive skills that enhance children’s abilities to detect, expect and react quickly to patterns in the world, which is highly relevant in today’s complex world.”