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Why We Only Recommend Premium Hearing Aids

Premium hearing aids consistently deliver superior outcomes, enhancing speech understanding, noise management, and overall quality of life for patients.

At Southwest Balance Dizziness & Ear Institute, we've observed firsthand that advanced hearing aids, particularly those at the premium level, consistently deliver superior outcomes for our patients. With various technology levels available, premium hearing aids stand out for their enhanced features and performance, making them the best hearing aids for managing in noisy environments and ensuring clear communication. Understanding that nearly 28.8 million adults in the U.S. could see their quality of life significantly improved by using a hearing aid, the urgency to address hearing loss with the most effective tools becomes clear. Premium hearing aids, with their unmatched ability to enhance speech understanding even in soft background noise, not only offer a solution but also a pathway to renewed confidence and connection for our patients. 

As experienced audiologists, we have seen the profound difference hearing aids make in the lives of our patients. As an independently-owned audiology practice, we are not beholden to one single manufacturer. We committed to recommending optimal hearing aid solutions tailored to each individual, and it is our mission to guide our patients toward better hearing experiences with premium technology.

Key Features of Premium Hearing Aids

Advanced Noise Management

Premium hearing aids like Phonak Lumity and Starkey's Genesis AI are renowned for their advanced noise reduction capabilities, significantly improving the Signal to Noise Ratio. This enhancement is crucial as it allows for better speech understanding in noisy environments, ensuring that our patients do not miss out on important conversations. These devices use sophisticated algorithms to reduce background noise more effectively, providing a clearer listening experience, which is particularly beneficial in social settings or busy public areas.

Seamless Connectivity and Customization

With premium hearing aids such as Oticon Real and Resound Nexia, the integration of direct smartphone connectivity transforms these devices into more than just hearing aids; they double as wireless headsets for phone calls and audio streaming. This feature not only offers convenience but also empowers users with discreet control over their hearing experience. Additionally, premium models offer extensive customization options; for example, ReSound OMNIA’s 17 bands of adjustment allow audiologists to fine-tune the devices to the specific contours of an individual’s hearing loss, providing a personalized auditory experience that standard hearing aids cannot match.

Superior Technology and Comfort

Designed and built as cutting-edge technology, premium hearing aids offer a range of automatic features that adapt to changing environments without manual intervention, making them highly user-friendly. For example, Phonak Lumity includes user-selectable programs that automatically adjust to optimize hearing in different acoustic scenarios such as quiet settings, noisy rooms, or driving in a car. The higher technology levels in these devices not only enhance sound quality but also improve the overall comfort of the hearing experience. This is evident in features like binaural processing, which helps users discern the direction from which sounds are coming, enhancing spatial awareness and making the listening experience as natural as possible.

The Benefits of Investing in Premium Hearing Aids

Investing in premium hearing aids is a decision that profoundly impacts the quality of life for those experiencing hearing challenges. At Southwest Balance Dizziness & Ear Institute, we've seen that premium hearing aids significantly enhance user satisfaction across various listening environments. The advanced technology in these devices ensures that every user experiences the highest level of hearing ability possible, which is crucial since this is often the primary reason individuals seek hearing assistance.

Research-Backed Satisfaction and Performance

The benefits of investing in premium hearing aids are also supported by extensive research. Studies, like those conducted by the Hearing Aid Research Laboratory, indicate that users of premium hearing aids report higher satisfaction in one-to-one conversations and better speech understanding in noisy settings. Additionally, these users are more likely to wear their hearing aids consistently, often more than eight hours a day, which significantly enhances their daily interactions and overall hearing experience.

According to another study by the Hearing Aid Research Laboratory at the University of Memphis, premium hearing aids have shown superior performance in various critical areas. Users reported a 92.1% satisfaction rate in one-to-one conversations with premium technology, compared to 82% with basic models. Additionally, 50% of premium device users wore their hearing aids for more than eight hours a day, significantly more than the 28% who used basic technology.

The study further revealed that premium hearing aids offer better speech understanding in soft background noise and improved sound acceptability of the wearer's own voice. These aids also provide enhanced comfort with loud sounds and show better outcomes for speech in cars and large groups. At our institute, we integrate these findings into our practice, ensuring that each hearing aid is not only a tool for better hearing but a gateway to a higher quality of life.

Comparing Premium with Standard Hearing Aid Technology

At Southwest Balance Dizziness & Ear Institute, we often encounter questions about the differences between premium and standard hearing aid technologies. It's important to understand that hearing aids, much like computers, vary mainly in their internal software rather than their hardware. All hearing aids, regardless of the manufacturer, use the same basic components such as chips, speakers, and microphones. However, the sophistication of the software and the level of technology significantly influence performance and user experience.

Technology Levels and Features

Hearing aid technology is categorized into several levels: premium, advanced, and standard. While premium hearing aids are equipped with the most advanced features, such as enhanced noise management and seamless connectivity, standard models focus on basic audibility and sound quality. Advanced models strike a balance, offering good sound quality with fewer features than premium devices. The choice between these levels should ideally be based on the user's lifestyle, specific hearing needs, and budget.

Premium Hearing Aids at Southwest Balance Dizziness & Ear Institute

Our approach at Southwest Balance Dizziness & Ear Institute is to personalize each hearing solution based on these proven benefits. We have seen significant satisfaction among our patients using premium hearing aids. Our commitment to these advanced devices stems from rigorous research and direct feedback from our patients.  We ensure that every patient is fitted with a device that enhances their daily communication and overall life satisfaction, making premium hearing aids a cornerstone of our auditory health services. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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How Hearing Loss Impacts Social Interactions & Quality of Life

Understanding the multifaceted nature of hearing loss is crucial for recognizing its profound impact on social interactions and life quality.

Hearing loss is not merely an inconvenience; it's a prevalent issue projected to affect nearly 470 million people worldwide, poised to double by 2050. This condition does not exist in isolation; the socio-auditory environment heavily influences an individual's experience with hearing loss, intertwining the neurobiology of hearing directly with the intricacy of human communication. Your ability to engage in shared attention, crucial for detecting and interpreting sounds, becomes significantly compromised, pointing to how essential hearing is for the seamless extraction of meaning from our daily interactions.

As hearing is fundamental to early language skills and auditory processing, the impairment extends far beyond the inability to hear sounds, affecting communication, relationships, and ultimately, one's quality of life. Incorporating keywords such as hearing, hearing loss, audiology, tinnitus, sound, and hearing aids, this article will explore the impacts on mental health, professional life, and the promising role of technology and rehabilitation in addressing these challenges.

Understanding Hearing Loss

Understanding the multifaceted nature of hearing loss is crucial for recognizing its profound impact on social interactions and life quality. Here's a breakdown of key aspects:

  • Types of Hearing Loss:some text
    • Sensorineural Hearing Loss: The most common type, often resulting from aging, loud noise exposure, injury, disease, certain medications, or inherited conditions. It occurs due to damage in the inner ear or hearing nerve.
    • Conductive Hearing Loss: Caused by obstructions in the outer or middle ear, such as earwax, fluid, infections, or bone abnormalities, that prevent sound waves from reaching the inner ear. This type may be reversible through medical or surgical intervention.
    • Mixed Hearing Loss: A combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss, indicating damage in both the inner ear or hearing nerve and the outer or middle ear pathways.
  • Symptoms and Diagnosis:some text
    • Symptoms include difficulty understanding conversations, needing to increase volume on devices, tinnitus, ear pain or pressure, and balance issues. Diagnosis involves physical exams, CT scans, MRIs, and hearing tests by an audiologist.
  • Consequences and Comorbidities:some text
    • Hearing loss not only isolates individuals but also increases risks for dementia, depression, cognitive impairment, and physical morbidity. Early detection and intervention are key to mitigating these risks and enhancing life quality.

Social Isolation and Mental Health

Hearing loss significantly impacts social interactions and mental health, manifesting in various ways across different stages of life. Here are key insights into how hearing impairment can lead to social isolation and mental health challenges:

  • Increased Risks Across Age Groups:some text
    • Children: Often face behavioral dysregulation and social isolation, especially in settings with hearing peers, leading to psychosocial difficulties.
    • Adults: Experience strain within interpersonal relationships and may withdraw from social settings, contributing to weaker social networks and depressive symptoms.
    • Older Adults: Every decibel drop in hearing perception under the age of 70 increases the odds of severe loneliness by 7%, compounding the risk of depression, dementia, and early death.
  • Gender-Specific Effects:some text
    • Studies indicate that among women, hearing loss is more strongly associated with loneliness and social isolation than among men, highlighting the need for gender-specific interventions and support systems.
  • Mitigating Mental Health Impacts:some text
    • Depression and Anxiety: Strongly linked with untreated hearing loss, these conditions can exacerbate social isolation. However, regular use of hearing aids has been associated with a lower prevalence of depression, with some studies showing reductions in depressive symptoms within three months of hearing aid use.
    • Social Support: Maintaining robust support networks significantly reduces adverse outcomes and enhances overall well-being. Small steps, like having coffee with a friend, can protect against mental health conditions and foster a sense of connectedness.

Effects on Communication and Relationships

Hearing loss not only affects the individual experiencing it but also significantly impacts their communication and relationships, leading to a cascade of social and emotional challenges. Here's a closer look at the effects:

  • Communication Difficulties:some text
    • Impaired auditory processing increases cognitive load, making it challenging to follow conversations, especially in noisy environments. This often leads to frustration and avoidance of social activities.
    • Day-to-day communication breakdowns, particularly among couples, can strain relationships. Simple yet important interactions are lost, contributing to feelings of frustration, resentment, and a decrease in intimacy.
  • Strategies for Improvement:some text
    • Being upfront about hearing loss and employing strategies such as active listening and honesty can foster better communication.
    • Support groups and professional interventions, like hearing aids, offer not just coping strategies but also improve understanding and reduce the emotional burden on both parties.
  • Impact on Relationships:some text
    • Untreated hearing loss can lead to a loss of companionship, decreased social activities, and increased arguments. It's crucial for both partners to engage in open communication, seek treatment, and use communication strategies to mitigate these effects.
    • For families, understanding the role of listening fatigue and background noise is essential in supporting a member with hearing loss.

By addressing these challenges through open dialogue, appropriate medical intervention, and mutual support, individuals with hearing loss and their loved ones can navigate these difficulties together, enhancing their quality of life and preserving the strength of their relationships.

Impact on Professional Life

Hearing loss significantly influences professional life, affecting employment status, workplace performance, and safety. Here’s how:

  • Employment and Income Impact:some text
    • Degree of hearing loss is linked to higher unemployment rates. Those with severe hearing loss face a 15.6% unemployment rate, double that of the typical-hearing population (7.8%).
    • Untreated hearing loss can lead to a decrease in annual income by up to $30,000, with a societal cost of $26 billion in unrealized federal taxes due to underemployment.
    • Hearing aids can mitigate income loss by 90 to 100% for milder cases and 65 to 77% for moderate to severe cases.
  • Workplace Communication and Safety:some text
    • Over 48 million Americans experience some degree of hearing loss, leading to challenges in following directions and communicating with colleagues.
    • NIOSH recommends limiting worker exposure to noise levels above 85 decibels to prevent irreversible hearing loss. Employers are encouraged to provide proper ear protection and reduce noise levels through strategic measures.
  • Employer Accommodations and Support:some text
    • The ADA mandates reasonable accommodations for individuals with hearing loss, including quiet workstations and assistive technology.
    • Employers play a critical role in supporting hearing health by incorporating it into wellness plans, conducting workplace hearing screenings, and educating employees on protecting their hearing.

The Role of Technology and Rehabilitation

In the realm of auditory rehabilitation (AR), technology and personalized approaches have dramatically transformed the landscape, offering new avenues for enhancing hearing and overall life quality. Here's a closer look at the pivotal role of technology and rehabilitation in managing hearing loss:

  • Available Hearing Solutions:some text
    • Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants: Regular use has shown a significant decrease in depression rates, with some individuals experiencing reduced depressive symptoms within just three months.
    • Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs): Including induction loops, FM systems, and infrared systems, these technologies work alongside hearing aids and implants to improve sound quality and clarity.
    • Tele-Audiology: Offers a cost-effective, personalized rehabilitation approach, utilizing real-time data collection and remote programming for hearing aids and cochlear implants, ensuring access to care regardless of location
  • Collaborative Care Approach:some text
    • Professional Support: Audiologists play crucial roles in the AR process, from screening and diagnosis to the management of hearing loss.
    • Social Support: The involvement of one's social environment, including family and friends, is critical in adapting to hearing loss interventions and maximizing rehabilitation outcomes.

By embracing these technological advancements and rehabilitation strategies, individuals with hearing loss can navigate their condition more effectively, leading to improved communication, social interaction, and an enhanced quality of life.

Hearing Consultations with Southwest Balance, Dizziness & Ear Institute

We've explored the multifaceted impact of hearing loss, underscoring its significant ripple effects on social interactions, mental health, relationships, professional life, and overall quality of life. Emphasizing the intertwined nature of auditory health with the essence of human communication and connection, it's clear that hearing loss extends far beyond the mere inability to hear, affecting every spectrum of an individual's life.

Hearing aid technology has emerged as a beacon of hope, offering effective pathways for individuals to navigate these challenges, thereby enhancing their communication capabilities and fostering stronger bonds with their surroundings.

We believe it is vital to continue advocating for greater awareness, early detection, and accessible, comprehensive care solutions, ultimately uplifting the social and emotional well-being of individuals with hearing loss and enriching their engagement with the world around them.

Begin your own journey to improving your hearing and communication in your social life by scheduling a consultation with us today.

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3 Common Conditions Our Audiologists Specialize In

Our team specializes in diagnosing and treating different types of hearing loss, ensuring personalized care for each patient.

Hearing issues encompass more than just the inability to hear. They include conditions such as hearing loss, balance disorders, and tinnitus, which can have a significant impact on one's quality of life. The link between hearing loss and other major health concerns, including dementia, depression, diabetes, and heart disease, highlights the urgency of addressing these issues promptly.

At Southwest Balance, Dizziness & Ear Institute in Phoenix, we specialize in diagnosing and treating these three common hearing issues. Our approach focuses on reducing risks through preventive measures and providing personalized treatment plans to enhance the lives of those affected by hearing and balance disorders.

Hearing Loss

At Southwest Balance, Dizziness & Ear Institute, we understand that hearing loss is a multifaceted issue that can stem from various causes. Our team specializes in diagnosing and treating different types of hearing loss, ensuring personalized care for each patient:

  • Types of Hearing Loss:some text
    • Sensorineural Hearing Loss occurs due to damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve, often caused by aging, loud noise exposure, genetics, or accidents.
    • Conductive Hearing Loss happens when sound waves cannot reach the inner ear, usually because of earwax buildup, fluid in the middle ear, or ear infections.
    • Mixed Hearing Loss combines both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss, requiring a comprehensive approach for effective treatment.
  • Symptoms to Watch For:some text
    • Difficulty understanding conversations, especially in noisy environments.
    • Asking others to repeat themselves frequently.
    • Increasing the volume on devices higher than usual.
    • Experiencing tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, which often accompanies hearing loss.
  • Preventive Measures and Treatments:some text
    • Regular hearing checks, especially for adults over 50, to monitor changes and address issues early.
    • Using ear protection in loud environments and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to prevent hearing loss.
    • Treatment options include earwax removal, surgery for structural issues, hearing aids for inner ear damage, and cochlear implants for severe cases.

Our commitment at the institute is to guide you through understanding your hearing health, providing state-of-the-art care tailored to your specific needs.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus, often perceived as ringing, roaring, or buzzing without an external source, is a condition that affects 10 to 25% of adults and can either improve or worsen over time. Our team at Southwest Balance, Dizziness & Ear Institute is well-versed in the complexities of tinnitus, understanding that it can stem from various causes such as noise exposure, ear injuries, ear conditions, medications, and certain medical conditions.

Symptoms and Diagnosis:

  • Symptoms: Sounds may be heard in one or both ears, varying from soft to loud, low to high pitched, and can be continuous or intermittent 4.
  • Diagnosis: Involves a thorough physical examination, review of medical history, and audiological tests to accurately identify the presence and severity of tinnitus.

Treatment and Prevention:

  • Treatment Options: We offer a range of treatments including addressing underlying causes, sound therapies, behavioral therapy, and medications tailored to each patient's specific needs.
  • Prevention Tips: We emphasize the importance of using hearing protection, reducing volume levels, maintaining cardiovascular health, and limiting intake of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine to help prevent tinnitus.

Our approach is comprehensive, focusing not only on treatment but also on helping our patients adapt to and manage their condition to achieve a better quality of life despite tinnitus.

Balance Disorders

At Southwest Balance, Dizziness & Ear Institute, our expertise extends to the intricate realm of balance disorders. These conditions, often marked by sensations of unsteadiness or dizziness, can significantly impact daily life. Understanding the causes and symptoms is the first step towards effective management and treatment:

  • Causes of Balance Disorders:some text
    • Inner ear infections (Vestibular Neuritis, Labyrinthitis)
    • Dislodged calcium crystal particles causing Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
    • Circulatory problems, head or neck injuries, infections, effects of medication, nervous system diseases, migraine headaches, and stroke
  • Symptoms to Look Out For:some text
    • Dizziness, vertigo, feeling as if you are going to fall
    • Lightheadedness, faintness, blurred vision, confusion, disorientation
    • Nausea, vomiting, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, fear, anxiety, or panic
  • Our Approach to Treatment:some text
    • Advanced Vestibular Treatment (AVT) with a 93% success rate in improving balance dizziness and vertigo
    • Comprehensive diagnostic evaluations using modern technology
    • Personalized treatment plans including balance retraining exercises, Epley maneuver, and lifestyle changes

Our dedicated team is committed to guiding you through the journey to regain balance and confidence in your daily activities.

Southwest Balance, Dizziness & Ear Institute in Phoenix

At Southwest Balance, Dizziness & Ear Institute in Phoenix, AZ, we pride ourselves on offering a comprehensive suite of services tailored to address hearing loss, balance disorders, and tinnitus, leveraging over 75 years of combined experience and cutting-edge technology. Our commitment is to provide personalized, efficient, and quality service, helping you navigate through your journey to better hearing and balance with the utmost care and expertise. Contact us today to book an appointment.

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The Latest Advances In Hearing Aid Technology

As a hearing aid technology specialist, I'd like to take some time and share with you the latest advances in this life-changing field. Recent developments have resulted in more effective devices that can help people with all types of hearing loss. From tiny, discreet models to sophisticated digital systems, there's something for everyone when it comes to modern hearing aids.The first area of advancement has been in size and design. Hearing aid manufacturers are now able to produce small, nearly invisible models that fit comfortably behind the ear or even inside it! This means those who suffer from even mild hearing loss can get relief without having to worry about an unsightly device on their ears.The second development is aimed at making these devices easier and more enjoyable to use. Many new hearing aids come equipped with Bluetooth functionality, allowing users to link up their phones directly so they never miss another call again. Digital signal processing (DSP) also helps eliminate background noise while amplifying sound where needed -making conversations much clearer than ever before!

Types Of Hearing Aid Devices

Did you know that nearly 500 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss? This number is expected to double by 2050. As a specialist in hearing aid technology, I'm here to tell you about the types of devices available today and how they can help improve your quality of life.Hearing aids come in several shapes and sizes. The most common are behind-the-ear (BTE) models, which sit outside the ear canal and are connected via tubing or a thin wire called an earmold. These offer good sound amplification for mild to severe hearing loss. In-the-canal (ITC) styles fit partially inside the ear canal; these tend to be smaller than BTEs but may not amplify as much sound depending on the degree of hearing impairment. Completely-in-canal (CIC) options rest deep within the ear channel and offer more discretion due to their small size, making them suitable for those with milder impairments who want maximum invisibility.Receiver-in-canal (RIC) designs feature tiny receivers that sit just inside the opening of the ear canal, with thin wires running back up into the body of the device placed behind or at the top of your ear. They provide better sound clarity than open fits while still being relatively discreet compared to other kinds of hearing aids.No matter what type you choose, modern digital hearing aids use sophisticated algorithms to adapt their settings automatically based on different listening environments – allowing users to enjoy improved speech understanding without having to make manual adjustments every time their situation changes.

Features Of Modern Hearing Aids

Modern hearing aid technology continues to advance with the introduction of new features. These devices are more than just amplifiers; they come equipped with a host of innovative functions that can be tailored and customized to meet individual needs. In this section, we'll take a look at some of these features and how they benefit those who use them.The first feature is feedback cancellation. This function helps reduce or eliminate whistling noises associated with traditional hearing aids. Many modern devices also have directional microphone systems which allow users to focus on sounds in front of them while reducing background noise from other directions. Additionally, most models now offer wireless capabilities, allowing for connectivity between compatible phones, music players, and televisions. This allows individuals to stream sound directly into their device without having to run wires through clothing or carry multiple pieces of equipment.Finally, many state-of-the-art devices include digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms designed to enhance speech clarity and comprehension as well as provide an overall better listening experience regardless of the environment or situation. By utilizing advanced technologies like DSP, today's hearing aids are able to deliver superior performance compared to older analog models and help people stay connected in ways not possible before.Now that we've explored the features available with modern hearing aids, let's examine the potential benefits one can gain by upgrading their technology.

Benefits Of Upgrading Hearing Aid Technology

Upgrading to the latest hearing aid technology offers a range of benefits for users. It can improve sound quality, helping them hear better in noisy environments and understand speech more clearly. Newer devices also come with additional features that make it easier for wearers to customize their settings. For instance, some models are Bluetooth compatible, allowing them to connect wirelessly with other audio sources like smartphones or tablets. This makes listening to music, movies, or podcasts much simpler than before. Moreover, many modern hearing aids now boast longer battery life and improved durability against water and dust damage.These advancements have led to an improvement in user satisfaction with current hearing aid technology. After all, people want devices that are comfortable and easy to use while delivering excellent sound quality. Updating their old device is often the best solution since they'll be able to take advantage of these new features right away instead of trying out different products until they find one that works for them. Furthermore, newer technologies tend to be smaller so they won't cause any discomfort when worn over long periods of time.Overall, upgrading hearing aid technology provides numerous benefits for both experienced users as well as those who are just starting out on their journey toward improved hearing health. With access to a wide selection of advanced options available today, everyone should be able to find something that suits their individual needs perfectly.

Conclusion

It's clear that the advances in hearing aid technology have been remarkable. As a hearing aid specialist, I'm amazed at how far we've come and excited for what lies ahead.Modern devices now offer an array of features like rechargeable batteries, advanced noise-canceling capabilities and Bluetooth streaming. These advancements provide wearers with improved sound clarity and comfort levels they couldn't have imagined just a few years ago.The benefits of upgrading to modern hearing aids are vast—from enhanced sound quality to greater convenience through wireless connectivity. With these new technologies available to us, I can confidently say that better hearing is within reach for more people than ever before.

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The Benefits of Early Hearing Aid Intervention

Early intervention is the key to success in treating hearing loss. By catching the problem when it's still in its infancy, we can do much more to protect our hearing and potentially regain some of what we've lost. In this blog article, we'll look at the benefits of early hearing aid intervention and how to make sure you're getting the most out of your treatment plan.Early hearing aid intervention can help with both preventing and treating hearing loss. That's because wearing a hearing aid as soon as possible can create a better sound environment for the brain, allowing it to adjust to the sounds of the world around you faster and easier. It helps strengthen the connections between your ears and your brain so that even small sounds can be picked up, leading to more awareness in conversation and improved listening comprehension.Another benefit of early hearing aid intervention is that it can also prevent further damage from occurring once a diagnosis has been made. In many cases, untreated hearing loss can cause peripheral nerve damage in the inner ear, worsening symptoms, or additional complications down the road. Using a hearing aid right away can often avoid this kind of permanent damage.Finally, wearing a hearing aid from an early age makes them feel more like a part of who you are than something you must try and hide away at all times. With time, your family will become used to seeing you with one on, creating more acceptance for those with any sensory impairment. It shifts the mindset away from people feeling ashamed or embarrassed about their condition towards embracing it and seeing how technology can help improve their day-to-day life.Hearing loss can seriously impact the lives of young children - delaying development, speech and language acquisition. But fortunately, early intervention with hearing aids can make all the difference! Discover the positive changes that come with an early hearing aid intervention in this blog post and learn how it can help children develop in their most crucial years.Every parent wants their child to have the best start in life, and for those who have children with hearing impairments, early intervention can make all the difference. This article discusses why it is important to provide hearing aid intervention as soon as possible and how doing so can provide your child with a better quality of life.Hearing loss, although quite common, can be a major source of challenge and difficulty for those who experience it and their family members. Fortunately, with advances in modern technology and hearing aid devices, early intervention can help to alleviate the burden of living with this condition. This article will explore the benefits of Early Hearing Aid Intervention (EHAI), highlighting the positive impacts on quality of life, communication ability, and emotional well-being for people with hearing loss.

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5 Ways a Hearing Aid Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Every day, more and more people are experiencing hearing loss which affects their quality of life. A hearing aid can help with this issue by improving a person’s ability to hear in noisy environments and assist in picking up sounds that would otherwise be too faint to detect.Hearing aids offer technology often not seen in other devices that improves clarity and usability for a better daily experience. This article will explain five ways hearing aids can improve a person’s quality of life.1. CommunicationHearing aids with telecoils or loop systems are designed to help those who wear hearing aids communicate on the phone or even in person. Probe microphones activated by sound are utilized, so they are not always activated, which can lead to feedback issues and hearing loss.This sensor is built into the hearing aid microphone and has a separate direct contact microphone so that only one is active at a time, making it easier for them to pick up the sound without distortion. Related to this, hearing aids with two microphones help those who wear them communicate with those around them. Hearing loss is a huge part of communication issues and can be improved.2. Environmental NoiseHearing aids are perfect in noisy environments, such as theaters, concerts, or parties, where they can assist in hearing conversations and sounds around them. The external microphone will pick up surrounding sounds and turn them into an audible sound that the person wearing the hearing aid can hear. This allows a person to be more engaged in many experiences previously hard to enjoy.3. Quality of LifeHearing loss can impact a person’s quality of life, but hearing aids can improve it. They allow people to pick up sounds and conversations that weren’t as easy. This makes it easier for a person to engage more fully in what is happening around them and helps them return to the activities they enjoy.4. SafetyHearing loss can be dangerous when people cannot hear alert sounds or situations around them. Hearing aids improve hearing and allow people to pick up sounds they would otherwise miss and keep them safe. This can save a life from accidents or help with other issues that can arise when a person doesn’t hear as well as they should.5. EnjoymentHearing loss can prevent a person from enjoying their favorite things, but hearing aids can make it possible for them to enjoy their favorite activities and more. The clarity a hearing aid provides allows a person to pick up more than they can detect naturally. This is especially beneficial when it comes to hearing conversations and music that was muffled before. Their quality of life will improve with the ability to experience all the wonders around them in great detail.Hearing aids were a very uncertain and mysterious thing for people to wear. They were also extremely expensive and difficult to find. But today, with so many different hearing aids available, it is easier for people to find the one that will work best for them. There are many different types of hearing aids available in the market, making them extremely helpful in improving a person’s quality of life.

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Our Audiologist in Phoenix, AZ Is Here for You

At Arizona Balance & Hearing Aids, our mission is to offer high-quality hearing care to our valued patients. Even though we’re all adjusting to a new normal way of doing business, our audiologist in Phoenix, AZ is happy to have remained open and seeing patients during the current crisis.Just like you, we are closely monitoring new developments regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). The health and safety of our patients and employees are of the utmost importance.We are committed to doing everything we can to maintain a safe and comfortable experience when you visit our office.Your Safety & Health Are CoveredBecause your safety and health is our top priority, we’ve been working on ways to provide hearing care with an enhanced focus on your well-being. When we see you in our office again, we want you to know that we’ve taken multiple steps to ensure your health and comfort. At your next visit to our hearing center, you can look forward to the following:

  • Throughout testing and treatments, our staff will maintain a strict routine of sanitizing or washing our hands. We are also maintaining as much distance as possible
  • We will be staggering our schedule to allow for one patient in the front office and one patient in the back
  • We are currently putting in place a remote payment option and we are encouraging people to use the patient portal. If they are unable to do this, all patients will complete their documentation in their testing room
  • The waiting room will remain closed
  • We are offering curbside service for ALL clean and checks, hearing aid repairs, or supplies. Just call us from the parking lot and one of our staff will come out to your vehicle promptly to grab your hearing aids so you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own car
  • We are making video conferencing available to those patients who are able to be evaluated via smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer equipped with a camera for history and testing results. Our goal is to avoid as much face to face contact as possible
  • We will ask patients to arrive on time for their appointments, rather than too early since that will minimize the amount of time they spend in our reception area. Once patients arrive they will be taken directly to their treatment room to complete any paperwork or business transactions
  • We will advise patients to maintain proper social distancing and if they are more comfortable waiting in their car, we will offer to call or text them when we are ready to seat the patient for the appointment
  • We will screen all patients using an infrared forehead thermometer. Any patient with a temperature of 100 degrees or above will be rescheduled unless emergency pain, swelling, or infection is present. These emergency patients will follow the protocol listed below. These patients will also be advised to call their physician’s office

Contact Our Audiologist in Phoenix, AZ Today!We believe these steps will ensure the health of our valued patients and staff, so we can continue helping people enjoy the sounds of life again! Please contact us at 602-265-9001 with any questions or click here to schedule a consultation.The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Arizona Balance & Hearing Aids by clicking here or by calling 602-786-5023.

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How Does Loud Noise Cause Hearing Loss?

Our expert for hearing loss in Phoenix, AZ, emphasizes the importance of protecting your hearing from loud sound so you can avoid the difficulties that accompany noise-induced hearing damage. By opting for earplugs during a loud concert or in a noisy work environment, or by keeping the volume low when wearing headphones, you help to ensure a lifetime of better hearing. Why does noise cause such damage to our ears? Our audiologist explains below.

How Does Sound Travel in Your Ears?

When sound enters your ear, it must journey a distance before your brain receives the signal:

  1. First, the sound travels through your ear canal until it reaches your eardrum.
  2. The eardrum vibrates from the sound, and these vibrations carry further into the three tiny bones in your middle ear.
  3. From there, the bones in your ear transfer the sound vibrations to the fluid in your inner ear, the cochlea.
  4. These vibrations are then picked up by special cells deep in your ear that are called “hair cells.” These cells transfer the vibrations into an electrical signal, which is then sent to your brain.

When sound vibrations are too forceful, these hair cells can become damaged, and will eventually die. In this way, you can progressively lose your hearing as more and more hair cells get damaged over time.

Can Your Hearing Be Restored?

Once a hair cell becomes damaged, it is not able to regenerate, and your body won’t grow new ones. Therefore, you cannot restore your natural hearing once it is damaged. Fortunately, significant advancements have been made in audiology and you may be able to restore your hearing to a certain degree with the help of our experienced audiologist.Today’s hearing aids are a far cry from the ones of the past. Many are small and can sit deeply in your ear so that no one will notice them. Additionally, today’s advanced wireless technology can even link your hearing aid to devices such as your cell phone or television!

Call Our Expert for Hearing Loss in Phoenix, AZ, for Your Hearing Consultation

If you or a loved one are suffering from noise-induced hearing loss, then call our hearing center at 602.265.9000 or click here to request your real-world hearing assessment and treatment consultation. Your Hearing Consultation includes an in-depth consultation with one of our experts, an otoscopic exam, and a comprehensive hearing test. Contact us today - we can't wait to help you enjoy the sounds of life again!The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, with a convenient hearing center located in Phoenix, AZ, by clicking here or by calling 602.265.9000.

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Advanced Hearing Aids

If you have been considering hearing rehabilitation for yourself but dislike the idea of traditional hearing aids, then we have great news for you! Thanks to the incredible advancements in hearing-assistive technology, today’s hearing aids offer many unique ways to enhance your sound experience. Keep reading to learn some of the benefits of our advanced hearing aids in Phoenix, AZ.

Advanced Hearing Aid Benefits

There are many reasons to love today’s hearing aids, including:

  • Made for iPhone Hearing Aids - Compatible brands can now connect directly to your iPhone, delivering conversations, music, and other media to your ears.
  • Open Ear Hearing Aid Technology - Open ear hearing aid technology restores hearing without the common uncomfortable feeling of a device in the ear canal.
  • Wireless Communication - Wireless hearing aid technology allows new hearing aids to communicate with each other, delivering a more natural sound to you and helping you to adjust to your new hearing aids more quickly.
  • Bluetooth - Bluetooth technology allows your hearing aids to connect to your cell phone, so you can answer your phone and automatically hear your caller in both ears.
  • Designer Styles - Several of today’s brands and models of hearing aids now come in a variety of colors so you can match your personal style.
  • Lifetime Guarantee - Our hearing aids come with a lifetime guarantee so you can rest assured that if you ever experience issues with your hearing aid or need an adjustment, you can count on us for help.

Learn More About Advanced Hearing Aids in Phoenix, AZ

At Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, we strive to stay at the forefront of hearing technology and are proud to offer advanced hearing aids in Phoenix. To learn more about our hearing aids, schedule your hearing consultation today!The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, with a convenient hearing center located in Phoenix, AZ, by clicking here or by calling 602.265.9000.

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How Do You Stop the Ringing in Your Ears?

Ringing in your ears is an annoyance at best. When it continues as a chronic problem, it can also disrupt all areas of your life. Whether you suffer from unwanted sound in your ears on rare occasion or as part of an ongoing battle, our tinnitus specialist in North Phoenix is here to discuss ways to keep the ringing at bay.

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the name for unwanted sound in your ears. This sound can be present in a variety of forms such as ringing, whooshing, rushing, or even buzzing. Tinnitus is a surprisingly common condition in people who suffer from hearing loss, with as many as 75% of hearing loss patients experiencing symptoms. If you or a loved one suffer from chronic tinnitus, we recommend visiting our office for a hearing test.

What Causes Tinnitus?

Although the cause of tinnitus is unknown, most experts agree that tinnitus is your brain’s way of compensating for your hearing loss. When you cannot hear well, your brain loses the stimulation that sound normally provides. To make up for this missing stimulation, your brain creates phantom sound in your ears.

How Can You Treat Tinnitus?

Our tinnitus specialist in North Phoenix warns people against places that promise cures for tinnitus with pills or surgery. These types of “miracle cures” simply do not work, and in some cases they can even endanger your health.There is hope, however! The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has approved one method of treating tinnitus, and while this method may not be an overnight cure, it is safe, non-invasive, and scientifically proven to help decrease or even eliminate ringing in the ears. This FDA-approved treatment is called tinnitus therapy, and it involves ongoing, doctor- or specialist-supervised activities to help stimulate your brain.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Tinnitus Specialist in North Phoenix Today!

At Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, we strive to stay at the forefront of safe, advanced treatment options for tinnitus. If you or a loved one suffer from ringing or other unwanted sound in your ears, schedule a hearing assessment with our tinnitus specialist in North Phoenix today.The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, with a convenient hearing center located in Phoenix, AZ, by clicking here or by calling 602.265.9000.

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Hearing, Cognitive Overload & Memory Loss

Your hearing is one of your most valuable assets. It connects you to your friends, family, and the world around you. What you may not realize, however, is the degree to which hearing takes place in your brain, not your ears! In fact, because your brain is different from everyone else’s, you hear differently than other people around you. Our experienced audiologist is here to discuss the fascinating ways that your brain helps you to hear and the connection between hearing, cognitive overload, and memory loss in Phoenix.

What Does Your Brain Have to Do with Hearing?

Think of your ears as microphones that pick up sound. Once those sounds enter your ears, your brain has to decode and figure out what the sounds mean. Without your brain, you wouldn’t be able to process, enjoy, or comprehend anything that you hear.Your brain does something else amazing with the sound received by your ears. To demonstrate this, try reading the following verse…Roses are redViolets are _____Sugar is sweetAnd so are you!Did your brain figure out that the blank in that verse is supposed to say “blue”? It does the same thing when you are listening to someone speak in a noisy room. There are times when your ears don’t catch sound completely. When this happens, your brain works to fill in the gaps to create meaning.

Avoid the Danger of Cognitive Overload

Unfortunately, when you suffer from hearing loss, your brain must go into overdrive to fill in numerous sound gaps all the time. This can leave you feeling tired, and social gatherings can start to feel like work instead of fun. Your memory can suffer, as well, since your brain can only work so hard at so many things at once.

What Is BrainHearing™?

BrainHearing™ is part of the broader NeuroTechnology™ field of audiology (the science of hearing), and as the name suggests, this technology works in harmony with your brain. It automatically adjusts and optimizes sound to match your unique hearing profile and personal sound preferences. The result is a more natural hearing experience that’s customized to your needs.When your hearing aid incorporates BrainHearing™ technology, your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to filter out unwanted background noise to create meaning from sound. The result is greater enjoyment and more energy to listen to your friends and family!

Schedule Your Consultation for Hearing, Cognitive Overload & Memory Loss in Phoenix

Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids can provide you with a real-world hearing assessment and treatment consultation, during which our audiologist will be happy to answer all your questions about BrainHearing™ and other hearing rehabilitation technologies. Call our friendly office at 602.265.9000 to schedule your appointment today!The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, with a convenient hearing center located in Phoenix, AZ, by clicking here or by calling 602.265.9000.

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The Importance of Real-Ear Hearing Aid Measurements

Recent studies on hearing aid use have made an astounding discovery - although hearing aid technology has improved significantly during the last decade, hearing instrument user satisfaction has not increased at the same rate! Experts believe this is because many people aren’t wearing the right hearing aids.If you wear hearing aids or are thinking of pursuing hearing loss rehabilitation, this may be the most important article you read all year! Our experienced audiologist explains hearing aid measurements in North Phoenix below.

What Is Wrong with Today’s Hearing Aids?

Reports published by Hearing Review and the Hearing Journal indicate that 34.25 million people in the United States suffer from some type of hearing loss. Of those people with significant hearing loss, 25% already own hearing instruments, and the majority of these owners experience moderate-to-severe hearing loss.More than one million of these patients are not satisfied with their hearing instruments and confess to not using them. If hearing instrument technology and design have improved, why are people not having an improved experience?Key factors expressed are:

  • Not enough benefit
  • Poor fit
  • Unacceptable discomfort
  • Unsatisfactory performance with background noise
  • How to Improve Your Hearing Aid Experience

Our goal at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids is to help our patients achieve the best benefit possible from their hearing instruments. Studies have shown that if your audiologist adjusts your hearing aid solely based upon the manufacturer’s fitting algorithm, without real-ear testing, it may result in an inaccurate hearing prescription. Studies found that these initial-fit algorithms are often an inadequate amplification prescription, and research in England showed improvement in patient satisfaction when patients were fit with real-ear measurement.

What are Real-Ear Measurements (REM)?

Real-ear measurements provide a method for objectively assessing the accuracy of a hearing aid fitting. The reason for real-ear measurements is that individual ears are different between patients, and occasionally one ear can even differ from the other ear on the same patient! Those differences have a major effect on the benefit a hearing instrument provides to the wearer. The only way to truly account for those individual ear differences is for your audiologist to take a physical measurement of how your hearing aid is amplifying sound in the specific ear canal. Real-ear measurements make this possible, and that is why they are considered the “gold standard” method for achieving a proper hearing aid fit.

Contact Us for Hearing Aid Measurements in North Phoenix Today!

At Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, we use the most advanced equipment on the market to measure Real-Ear Measurements (REM) on our patients who use hearing instruments. Real-ear testing enables measurement of the sound delivered by a specific hearing aid in the ear canal of a specific individual. It is the most accurate procedure for measuring actual results. If you are interested in having an optimal hearing experience, real-ear measurement provides the most accurate information to fit your hearing aid. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation and see how Real-Ear Measurements can help with your hearing loss.The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to audiology, feel free to contact Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, with a convenient hearing center located in Phoenix, AZ, by clicking here or by calling 602.265.9000.

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Tips for Managing Your Tinnitus

Tinnitus is that annoying and persistent ringing; buzzing or clicking you may hear in one or both of your ears. For some, it is a high-pitched ringing that occurs 24/7. For others, tinnitus can sound as loud as a chainsaw and come and go for no apparent reason at all. Others still report a loud banging sound that is consistent with each heartbeat. Whatever type of tinnitus you suffer from the results are often the same.Tinnitus is obnoxious, annoying and often downright maddening or exhausting.While there is not currently a cure for tinnitus, there are, luckily, ways to manage it and keep its frustrating effects at bay. If tinnitus is getting in the way of your quality of life or sleep, following these tips may help you better manage your tinnitus.

  1. Get your hearing checked. We put this one first not because of the job that we do, but because tinnitus is often the first sign of hearing loss. For some people, tinnitus may be your auditory system’s way of “creating” sounds it is missing due to a hearing loss. If you have a hearing loss that can be treated with hearing aids, there are many options that have built in tinnitus relief. These aids are perfect for people who suffer from both of these issues and they have had great results for many patients. If you haven’t had your hearing checked yet, your tinnitus relief may just be a hearing aid away.
  2. Check your medicine cabinet. A staggering 590 medications and drugs have been linked to tinnitus and/or hearing loss. These drugs include both prescription and over-the-counter medications for a multitude of ails from minor aches and pains, to depression or even cancer. If you notice ringing in your ears after taking a certain medicine, reach out to your doctor right away to discuss a possible change of meds. It is also important to tell your doctor all the over-the-counter and prescription medicines and vitamins you currently take, as many times it is a combination of multiple drugs that cause the tinnitus symptoms.
  3. Watch your diet. In general, the healthier one eats, the more likely their tinnitus stays at bay. In particular, it has been found that a Mediterranean diet – high in fish oils, green leafy vegetables, nuts, fruits and seeds, are great for keeping tinnitus under wraps. Try to avoid red meats, processed foods, trans fat and refined sugars the best you can. It has also been found that specific foods such as chocolate, caffeine, cheese or wine may trigger tinnitus and make it worse.
  4. Fake it ‘till you make it. Tinnitus tends to be an issue of noise relativity. It seems to bother us less when we are in a busy restaurant and more when we are trying to fall asleep at night. An easy strategy for taming tinnitus is to use background noise to distract us from it. For example, listening to peaceful music or white noise may help us be better able to drown out our tinnitus when it is the most bothersome.
  5. Consider stress-relief techniques or therapy. Tinnitus can be a bit of a catch 22, whereby it can make us sleepless, irritated or anxious. On the other hand, sleeplessness, irritation and anxiety tend to make tinnitus worse. It is important to employ any strategies that work for you to remain as calm and stress-free as possible. Mindfulness, meditation and breathing techniques work for some people, whereby others opt for more structured cognitive behavior therapy, biofeedback therapy or sound therapy.
  6. Who Gets Tinnitus?
  7. Tinnitus can make a person feel very alone and isolated, especially when surrounded by people who do not understand how annoying it can be. When in the thicket with your tinnitus, it is important to remember that you are not alone. In fact, it is estimated that about 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus, and it is the most commonly reported injury for soldiers returning from combat.
  8. How AZ Balance & Hearing Aids Can Help
  9. If you’re suffering from tinnitus, reach out to our friendly team today. We look forward to working with you in an effort to find you relief from the obnoxious symptoms of your tinnitus. Relief may be a lot closer than you think.
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Untreated Hearing Loss May Make You Accident-Prone

Have you noticed you’ve been a bit more accident prone than normal lately? It might not just be a random onset of clumsiness. Experiencing more accidents may actually indicate an issue with your hearing. In fact, a new study found a direct and convincing correlation between self-reported hearing loss and risk of injury producing accidents. The study was published in the JAMA Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and was based off a 232.2 million participant survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Findings and Specifics of the Study

The study was published last month and used eight years of data, from 2007 to 2015. The researchers intended to study the effect of hearing loss on accidental injury during work, leisure and while driving. Participants were asked to report their hearing as “excellent”, “good”, “a little trouble”, “moderate trouble”, “a lot of trouble”, and “deaf”. Participants were also asked to report accidental injuries they had experienced in the 3 months preceding the survey date. The survey indicated that in all three categories: work, leisure or sport and driving, degree of hearing loss affected the rate of accidents. Compared to participants who reported their hearing as “excellent”, those who reported their hearing as having “a little trouble” were 60% more likely to have experienced an accidental injury, those with moderate hearing were 70% more likely and those with a lot of hearing issues were a whopping 90% more likely to have experienced an accident that resulted in injury.Dr. Neil Bhattacharyya, the lead author of the study recognizes that while the survey does rely solely on self-reported hearing loss rather than an objective measure like a formal hearing assessment, the results are still very striking and conclusive. He says of the results, “Not hearing warning signs when jogging, cycling — that can put you in harm’s way. Hearing loss is not just a social nuisance. It can predispose you to injury.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/27/well/live/hearing-loss-may-make-you-accident-prone.html).To access the summary of this study and it’s findings, visit the publication here: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/article-abstract/2676015?redirect=true.

Why Does This Matter?

Accidental injuries are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. If hearing loss plays in the role of increased risk of sustaining these injuries, then treating hearing loss may help to reduce them. This is not the only study that has linked hearing loss to an increased risk of falls, injuries or safety concerns.In 2017, John Hopkins University published a study entitled, “Hearing Loss and Falls Among Older Adults in the United States”. In this particular study, objective auditory assessments were used to determine a participant’s hearing abilities. These findings were then coupled with vestibular function. Vestibular function measure’s a person’s balance and ability to orientate oneself in spatial environments. This study had astounding results. The researchers discovered that even just a mild degree of hearing loss tripled a participant’s risk of falling. As hearing loss degrees worsened, the participant’s risks went up 140% for every 10 decibels of hearing loss (https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52548-New-research-links-hearing-loss-to-an-increased-risk-of-falls).

Can Hearing Aids Help?

The exact reason hearing impairments are linked to more falls is unknown, but scientists and doctors believe a few factors play a role. Firstly, those with a hearing impairment have a decreased awareness of the environment around them because they cannot hear subtle sounds. Another contributing factor is decreased spatial awareness (or awareness of where one’s body is in space as related to other objects and people). The third known factor is the cognitive overload that happens with hearing loss. If your brain is constantly straining to hear and understand, there can be a lack of cognitive energy for other things such as balance (https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52548-New-research-links-hearing-loss-to-an-increased-risk-of-falls).Hearing aids can definitely help reduce the risk of all of these factors. With hearing aids comes an increased environmental awareness. With hearing aids, the softer and more subtle warning sounds are more likely to be heard and falls more likely to be avoided. It has also been proven that hearing aids decrease the mental strain put on your brain. When your brain is not pouring its cognitive energy into trying to hear and understand, it can also take care of other factors such as awareness of safety issues as well as increased balance.If you have noticed an increase in slips or falls or any of the other early signs of hearing loss, reach out to our friendly team at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids today. We look forward to working with you as your rediscover the magic of hearing.

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Conveniently located near the intersection of 7th Street and Indian School Road.

Southwest Balance, Dizziness & Ear Institute (formerly Arizona Balance & Hearing Aids)

4004 N 7th St.Phoenix, AZ 85014