Read our articles on hearing loss, balance, vestibular treatment and more.

Latest Articles

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.” ( access the summary of this study and it’s findings, visit the publication here:

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 (

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 ( 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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In the News: Phoenix Police Officers Train to Communicate with Hard of Hearing People

For the very first time, the Phoenix Police Department and the Arizona Commission for Deaf and the Hard of Hearing have teamed up to improve relations between police officers and the deaf and hearing impaired community. The training opportunity gave officers the chance to get specialized training on how to handle tactile situations with a person who has a hearing impairment.On top of education for officers, volunteers from the deaf and hard of hearing community were also given the opportunity to learn. Volunteers were able to participate in role-play of common situations from the perspective of the officers. Emmett Hassen, a hearing impaired participant stated, "there's been some anxiety because I didn't really understand what they did on a daily basis, but after the training that we had today, it really does help understand that more so it relieves some of that” ( the day, the general consensus seemed to be positive for both the deaf volunteers as well as the police officers. For example, Sargent David Montoya felt the training made him more aware of things he could do as an officer to improve communication with someone who has a hearing impairment. "It helps us understand if they're having these challenges” he says, “if they're struggling to communicate, we're part of that communication. Communication is a two-way street. There are things we can do on our end like … a deaf person may have that card in their visor that has information, being aware of alternative ways of communication as opposed to just talking.”Ultimately, the training was positive for all involved and improved relationships were forged between the deaf and hard of hearing community and the Phoenix police department.

Is This Really Necessary?

For most of us, getting pulled over is unnerving and stressful. For people living with a hearing impairment, these feelings are amplified. While most interactions between police officers and members of the hearing-impaired community end peacefully, there have been situations where a little miscommunication has had deadly results.In 2016, a 29-year-old man was shot and killed by a police officer in North Carolina. Daniel Harris was unarmed, and only feet from his front door at the time of the shooting. According to the officer involved, Daniel had been speeding and when the officer attempted to pull him over, Daniel continued driving instead. It is unclear whether Harris knew he was being pulled over, as he would have been unable to hear the sirens. Upon arriving home, Harris exited his vehicle and an exchange occurred between him and the officer, which ended in Harris being shot and killed on the scene. Witnesses to the tragic event say it appeared that Harris was attempting to communicate via sign language. According to most reports, Daniel Harris was unarmed and had just landed an exciting new job. (, Daniel Harris’ story is not unique. Just a few months ago another deaf man was fatally shot by police, this time in Oklahoma. In September 2017, officers in Oklahoma City were responding to a hit-and-run incident that led them to an address where they encountered 35-year-old Magdiel Sanchez. Sanchez was holding a two-foot metal pipe with a leather strap around his wrist. Officers report ordering Sanchez to drop the weapon, but he did not comply. Neighbors who were witness to the shooting report yelling to the police officers that Sanchez was deaf and unable to hear them. Unfortunately, their cries went unheard and two officers fired fatal shots at the same time. It was also reported that Sanchez also had developmental disabilities and was unable to talk. Medical personnel pronounced Sanchez dead on the scene. Sanchez’s father owned the car involved in the hit and run and Magdiel was not in the vehicle at the time of the incident ( terrible stories are difficult to comprehend and shed a fair amount of light on the need for more training for police officers when they come into contact with a person who has a hearing impairment. More police departments should follow Phoenix’s lead and implement training procedures to help prevent tragic accidents like the two stories mentioned above.

Visit Us at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids

Treating hearing loss is an important part of staying safe in your surroundings. If you believe you are experiencing changes in your hearing, contact us at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids to schedule a consultation.

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Dealing with Noise Pollution in Your Neighborhood

Our world is getting louder, without a doubt, and amidst all that noise, our hearing is at risk. Unfortunately, we often become acclimated to noise pollution without recognizing the hazard it poses to our ongoing hearing health.Noise pollution affects our hearing in the long and short term. Immediately we may notice a decreased ability to focus and concentrate around noise. Noise levels can also impact our ability to sleep and get the proper amount of rest. In the short run, excess noise exposure in our environment can cause permanent hearing damage if left unchecked. Over time, permanent hearing damage accrues into significant hearing loss meaning that noise pollution today shapes our hearing in the future.

Know Your Hazardous Noise

Listen to your surroundings. Do you hear loud traffic or construction? Maybe your neighbor is using their lawn mower or there is an appliance running in your home. All of these things operate around the threshold of hazardous noise.OSHA has set standards for dangerous noise levels on jobsites, but they are important levels for everyone who wants to protect their hearing to know and understand. At a workplace, noise levels cannot exceed 85 decibels without the provision of hearing protection. In the mid-1970s the EPA released a rough guideline for noise pollution, warning people to protect their ears if they were regularly surrounded by 75 dB of noise or greater. The 75-dB threshold is capable of causing hearing damage with continual 24-hour exposure.At 85 dB, sound permanently damages your hearing after 8 hours of exposure. As decibel levels increase, the safe sound exposure time drops dramatically. Noise at 95 decibels limits your safe exposure to 4 hours, while at 105 dB sound does permanent damage in an hour or less. Sounds that register at 120dB and above are not safe at any exposure and may cause physical pain to the ear.

Testing Sound Levels

How do you know if the environment around you is too loud? Your first indication is your own ears. If it is hard to hold a conversation at normal voice levels and difficult to concentrate on tasks, there may be a noise problem involved. Often sound that is 75 dB or greater will seem irritating to our ear and make us take notice. However, more and more people are accepting these overly loud conditions as part of everyday life, unaware that it may be causing lasting damage.Smart technology puts quick and accurate decibel reading quite literally in the palm of your hand. Multiple free smart phone apps have the ability to measure incoming noise and let you know if your sound exposure is at a hazardous level. If you think your surroundings may be too loud, spend some time measuring sound in your area with a decibel reader. Constant noise above 75 dB is a cause for concern, as is ongoing daytime noise, like construction sounds, that register at over 85 dB.

Protect Yourself When It Is Too Loud

What do you do when you know your life is too loud? Noise pollution can be frustrating, so it is important to find solutions that are personal and more community-driven. For your own health, you’ll need to find ways to protect your hearing around noise. Use quality ear protection like ear muffs or ear plugs to dampen the sound level you are exposed to. At home, you can use sound dampening curtains and flooring to weaken noise coming in from outside your home.In your community, be active about raising noise pollution awareness. If your neighborhood doesn’t have enacted quiet hours, petition your local government to better regulate excessive noise. Education is part of the equation as well. Talk to your friends and neighbors about the hazards of environmental noise to build coalitions. Discussing the issue with local school districts can help bring noise awareness into the classroom and teach children how to take care of their hearing.

Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids

People always have questions about their hearing and at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, we’ve got answers. When it comes to connecting you with great hearing options, complete hearing exams, balance solutions and hearing aid technology our fantastic team helps you stay on top of your hearing wellness.

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Difficulties with Communication Could Signal Hearing Loss

At Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, our team is committed to improving your life and how you enjoy it. Communication is essential to all relationships, from personal to professional and communication issues could be signaling hearing loss.

Day-to-day issues

Are you struggling to hear conversations? Can you hear your phone ring – in your pocket or purse? How about in the next room? Can you hear someone talking to you from the next room? Do you have to keep changing the tones and chimes on your phone because you are missing notifications? Are you turning up the TV and the radio in your car?If you answered “yes” – then it does seem communication issues are affecting your life.

“I’ll just deal with it”

Sure, you can keep turning up the TV and the radio, but what about the arguments when family members turn them down because they are too loud? Gradual hearing loss creeps into your every-day life and starts impacting a full range of things before you even realize it.First you may just miss parts of a word because different vocal tones change the pitch of a word – think about speech patterns and how vowels and consonants put different emphasis or a tonal quality on certain words. So, you start trying to guess what a word is when you miss part of it. That can certainly lead to issues both on a personal and professional level.

It gets a little worse

You start losing whole chunks of a sentence. You can’t hear the birds outside anymore or the wind through the trees. Could you hear the buzzer on the washer or the dryer when it turns off? How about the oven timer or the carbon monoxide alarm upstairs if you are downstairs?You find you can’t follow a conversation at a restaurant, around the water cooler at the office or during a conference you are attending. You have issues with accented or stuttered speech. While you may not personally know or work with anyone that fits that criteria – what about cashiers at stores, servers at restaurants, new people you meet through personal or professional relationships?

The strain is exhausting

Trying to fill in the gaps of a conversation you may be having because you can’t hear all of it is exhausting. You are straining to hear, straining to process, straining to answer appropriately. There’s tension headaches, grinding teeth – missed opportunities – it’s taking its toll physically before you know it.At home a pleasant conversation may be becoming a thing of the past. There’s yelling on both sides, you have to keep stopping a conversation and asking to have something repeated, you are interrupting over and over again, you can’t get the punchline of a joke. Family members would rather go to another room than sit with the television turned up – the volume is up on your phone and your electronic devices and you still are straining to understand because words at a certain pitch or tone escape you. You may get a little paranoid and start thinking people are deliberately leaving you out of things because you can’t hear them.If communication at work is essential and you are having communication issues the anxiety about your job is likely seriously stressing you out. Because you aren’t hearing everything, your boss may start thinking your inattention to what is going on around you means you don’t care about your job as much as you used to.

Communication is essential

Speaking, listening, enjoying – living – it all takes communication and hearing loss just messes with all those things! The average adult waits between five and seven years to get hearing loss addressed. Think of what you may miss in that time and what sort of impact that will have on your personal and professional life. There are hearing devices and hearing assistance instruments that can improve your hearing right now. Hearing aids are miracles of amplification and that are so much subtler than they used to be.Why wait? The caring team at Arizona Balance and Hearing can address your concerns, provide you with a comprehensive hearing test, and put you on the road to effective communication right now!

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The Link Between Hearing Loss & Happiness

Did you know that hearing loss can come between you and happiness? Leaving your hearing loss untreated can have some serious unintended consequences. It can negatively affecting your mental health and impede your quality of life. It can all be traced back to how large a role communication plays in our lives. Not being able to communicate adequately can lead to a wide range of problems, not the least of which are depression, anxiety and social isolation.

Hearing Loss and Anxiety

Untreated hearing loss can limit us and shape our behavior. When it comes to hearing loss and anxiety, the connection between the two is strong. Hearing loss often manifests in a way that you can detect sound, but have trouble comprehending meaning from it. This is especially true in complicated sound environments like a noisy train station or a busy restaurant. People with hearing loss often find it hard to separate relevant speech and sound from background noise in such environments. Consequently, it detracts from the ability to relax in a situation.Having untreated hearing loss can sever people from their favorite activities. Instead of savoring enjoyable situations like dinner with friends or seeing a live concert, hearing loss can turn make the experience confusing and frustrating. In stressful situations, comprehension problems caused by hearing loss can provoke stress and anxiety. Hearing loss restricts our understanding of our surroundings and anxiety can take advantage of our instincts and discomfort. The negative reinforcement of anxiety can sap the pleasure and ease from everyday activities, turning pastimes we once enjoyed into uncomfortable ordeals.

Hearing Loss and Isolation

Social isolation is a serious problem that can be brought on or exacerbated by untreated hearing loss. Just as hearing issues can provoke anxiety by changing how we relate to the world, it can also easily shut us out of our social connections. While hearing loss is making our social experiences in the world more stressful, it simultaneously drives us away from the people and connections we know and depend on.Often hearing loss strains the ability to partake in a conversation. Talking and connecting with others becomes more difficult and less enjoyable when you have to compensate for untreated hearing impairment. This can make a person less willing to engage with their friends, coworkers, family and other social networks, withdrawing from situations where hearing loss makes them uncomfortable. At first, this may seem like a once-in-a-while occurrence, skipping a get together with friends or avoiding phone calls because your hearing makes conversation less pleasurable. This can form a pattern that sets the stage for isolation, gradually weakening your social connections.

Hearing Loss and Depression

Living with untreated hearing loss greatly increases your risk of depression. When your ability to hear is compromised, your ability to communicate suffers. Oftentimes people with hearing loss report feeling like they are not understood by others, in addition to difficulties understanding what others are saying to them. The added effects of anxiety and isolation can also compound into deep unhappiness and depression.Depression saps our drive and energy, it holds us back from our goals, crushes self-esteem and can be life-threatening. Depression can destroy hard-earned success and happiness and makes the body vulnerable to other health issues. By increasing our risk of disconnection from others, leaving hearing loss untreated makes us more vulnerable to depression.

Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids

The news is not all bad however. Although untreated hearing loss makes you more susceptible to anxiety, depression and social isolation, there is hope. While much hearing loss is permanent, most hearing loss can be treated effectively with hearing aids and assistive devices. Treating hearing loss can keep us connected to the world, helping minimize the negative effects of hearing loss. Taking care of your auditory wellbeing is an important step towards taking care of your happiness and mental health.Be sure to maintain your hearing health with an annual check-up with our hearing specialists at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids. Support your hearing throughout the year – if you notice issues or problems hearing sound or understanding speech, come see us for hearing help. Additionally, if you are already using hearing aids, Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids is hear to help you maintain your hearing, connect with your happiness and get the most out of life!

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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