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Author: admin | 26.06.2014 | Category: Ringing Of The Ears Treatment

March 18, 2016 by Alysha Janzen Leave a Comment You are booking a vacation to get away from life’s every day stresses, not add to them. If you have hearing loss and have discovered a way to make travelling easier, please let us know!
Unitron US has announced the appointment of audiologist Steven Eagon, MS, CCC-A, as the director of in-clinic success, a new role the company says underlines its commitment to supporting hearing healthcare professionals in their efforts to provide an exceptional in-clinic patient experience.
Prior to assuming his new position at Unitron, Eagon was director of learning and development for Sonova Group, and before that was vice president of professional services for Sonova Group’s Connect Hearing. Eagon will help Unitron customers to enhance their patients’ in-clinic experience by creating targeted content across a variety of online applications, including social media.
In the same announcement Mayer explained that Unitron believes in creating and delivering the necessary tools and resources to support hearing healthcare professionals so that they can offer the best patient experience in the industry. People with tinnitus often characterize their tinnitus as “ringing in the ears” or a “buzzing sound.” The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) describes it as a subjective noise that only the patient can hear. About 50 million people in the United States experience tinnitus to some degree and, in severe cases, seek medical attention. HR: Why should hearing care professionals who traditionally focus on hearing impairment get involved in tinnitus?
Clint Keifer, AuD: As audiologists, we possess an in-depth understanding of the anatomical, physiological, and psychoacoustical aspects of the auditory system.
Wendy Switalski, AuD: In conversations I’ve had as an audiologist and as a consultant to audiologists, it is clear that these conditions coexist for so many of our patients. Clement Sanchez, AuD: Tinnitus can be a problem for those who are hearing impaired and have a hearing loss.
Sanchez: Hearing aids can be very effective if they can reduce the symptoms related to the tinnitus. A clinician can play a vital role in helping the patient deal with the sounds of everyday living, instead of avoiding sounds all together. Switalski: Professionals interested in expanding their services have so many resources available.
Practices may begin by simply offering tinnitus assessment, patient questionnaires, or surveys. Keifer: Ideally, practices would be “full-service,” but in practical terms, it is difficult for any one practice to offer every possible solution. Sanchez: Assessing tinnitus can be challenging, so clinicians who decide to add a full-service tinnitus treatment plan have a few details to consider.
Aside from my traditional practice, I used to schedule consultation with tinnitus patients 1 day a week and this worked well. HR: I’ve heard that tinnitus patients can consume huge amounts of practice time and many dispensing professionals are not adequately staffed for that. Sanchez: Yes, tinnitus patients will need time to express their fears, frustrations, and the discomfort they are experiencing because the sounds they hear are unclear and can be difficult to describe. I would describe the tinnitus consultation as “a mix of charisma and empathy,” where clinicians can focus on gathering the information that can benefit the treatment. The MADSEN Astera2 features a dedicated tinnitus assessment module designed to help clinicians address increased claims for tinnitus and hearing loss disability. The new tinnitus test module we have developed as part of fundamental audiometry in MADSEN Astera2 supports the professional through a series of integrated questionnaires. Keifer: Tinnitus treatment protocols should not be rigid, but rather they should adapt to the individual. The treatment may also involve retraining strategies, amplification, masking, sound therapy device application, support group attendance, and so forth. Sanchez: In addition, it will entail an in-depth hearing assessment, such as audiometry with UCL, immittance, otoacoustic emissions (OAE), and auditory brainstem response (ABR). The full tinnitus psychoacoustic test battery is designed to improve patient counseling and test precision. Visualization of the tinnitus on the audiogram is a great experience for a patient who has looked for help for years and may have felt misunderstood at times.


The electronic questionnaires—Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI), Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) and Tinnitus and Hearing Survey (THS)—can be saved in NOAH and are designed to eliminate the need for paper records. The next step is explaining that, for example, a 7 dB tinnitus is quite a small issue that can be managed. Once again, dialogue with other professionals is important and should be considered from the very beginning. HR: What types of equipment should you consider for your practice when starting up a tinnitus treatment program? Switalski: Having access to the proper audiometer features is important for performing a tinnitus assessment.
Otometrics has developed a dedicated tinnitus management tool for audiologists, which is integrated with our clinical audiometer, the MADSEN Astera2.
All major hearing aid brands are available at our clinic, conveniently located for residents of Corvallis, Albany, Philomath, Monmouth, Independence, Dallas, Lebanon, Juction City, Jefferson, Brownsville and Sweethome, Oregon. Furthermore, we are not bound by quota agreements, so you can be sure the aid we recommend is the best one for your personal situation, not one that we are obligated to sell because of a manufacturer contract.
According to Unitron’s announcement, Eagon brings invaluable clinical and non-clinical experience to this new role. Eagon also served as vice president of sales and audiology for HearingPlanet, and for more than 10 years practiced as a clinical audiologist in hospitals, ENT settings, and private practice dispensing offices, according to Unitron.
He will also provide industry leadership in business, marketing, sales, and other relevant areas so that hearing healthcare professionals may create a competitive advantage through in-clinic relationship building. For that reason, the company is putting a lot of resources and expertise behind its commitment to customers, including Eagon’s new role, which was effective March 25, 2015. In some cases of objective tinnitus, physicians can identify the symptom with the use of a stethoscope placed on the neck or directly in the ear canal. There is currently no known cure for tinnitus; however, there are advanced devices and treatments today that can help alleviate tinnitus symptoms.
Drs Sanchez, Switalski, and Keifer share their thoughts on the benefits of tinnitus assessment, and provide advice to audiologists and hearing care professionals who are interested in adding tinnitus assessment to their practice. As hearing care professionals, we are skilled in diagnostic, counseling, and rehabilitative approaches to managing auditory disorders. And for some of them, treating the tinnitus is necessary to address the concerns that led them to seek hearing care in the first place. They may have difficulty sleeping, be unable to concentrate, and experience irritability and high stress levels. A hearing aid can amplify soft sounds, which can have a “masking” effect and helps to decrease the contrast between the environmental sounds and the tinnitus. This is an important step to address the patient’s fears and provide supportive tools when the tinnitus is too intense.
Today, tinnitus management tools also include sound enrichment devices, sound generation pillows, as well as sound generators like MP3 and relaxing music. Are there different levels at which practices can participate, or should every hearing care practice seek to have a full-service tinnitus treatment plan? They can also provide informational counseling and supplement their fittings with hearing instruments that include features and options for tinnitus relief.
My recommendation would be to offer as many options as possible within the means of the practice and the practitioner.
Collaboration with other professionals like ENTs, psychologists, and general practitioners is helpful.
Prior to the consultation, patients can fill out questionnaires in the waiting room to avoid external influences during the test. While proper diagnostic testing and quantification measures should be performed for hearing and tinnitus aspects, the treatment options will vary greatly based on the individual and should focus on addressing identifiable needs. Tinnitus can be viewed as a spectrum disorder where trying a combination of approaches may be necessary. Highlighted in magnifying glass on lower left is the electronic questionnaires for the TFI, THI, and Tinnitus and Hearing Survey (THS), which saves in NOAH and eliminates the need for paper records.


Clinicians should ensure they are working with a subjective tinnitus and characterization via the existing questionnaires, like the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI), and Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire (THQ). Testing efficiency and immediate availability of measurement results allow more time for consultation. Test results will provide the professional with information concerning the effect of an external sound on the tinnitus.
A high-resolution audiometer in frequency (1 Hz) and intensity (1 dB) is required to perform a characterization of the tinnitus.
Today’s clinicians and audiologists can now more effectively evaluate the tinnitus and its impact on the lives of their patients. Leavitt was a state-of the-art, REAL-ear Hearing Aid programing and analyzing device for his Corvallis office. Leavitt’s colleagues and patients and is based upon community service, patient care and research contributions. With this clinical foundation, few other health professionals are as well suited to help those with tinnitus. For example, the US Center for Health Statistics estimates that tinnitus was reported by 25% of those who are hearing impaired and have hearing loss. The hearing care professional needs to consider these issues if they want to succeed in managing the hearing loss on top of the tinnitus. However, it’s important to check the effect of the external sound on the tinnitus before introducing the benefits of wearing a hearing aid to the patient.
Additionally, training from hearing instrument manufacturers and collaborating with colleagues can be valuable.
Then be sure to include information that the patient may benefit from—like additional options or resources not offered at your practice. It is important to consider that treating patients with tinnitus requires the ability to listen and a high degree of patience.
When testing patients with tinnitus, clinicians should consider scheduling a dedicated time just for consultation because it will take longer than usual and the patient is expecting a solution. For this, I would recommend using an analog visual scale of relief to set the objective from the very beginning. When the patient becomes more comfortable describing their situation, the clinician should then begin to drive the conversation.
Then the follow-up treatment can be done online, where the answers provided previously can help clinicians evaluate the impact of this strategy.
This may include education, information, or recommendations for further medical evaluation or treatment by other professionals.
Psychoacoustical tests are also important and can include pitch and loudness matching and minimum masking level (MML).
If there is a positive impact, like an attenuation of the perception, a strategy like the TRT (Tinnitus Retraining Therapy) can be considered.
Good tinnitus resources are needed in every community to bring new exposure and business to your office. The Tinnitus Clinic at Oregon Health and Science University found that 90% of their patients who have tinnitus also have some degree of hearing loss.
If the patient can accept a sound generating strategy, many hearing instrument manufacturers deliver interesting solutions today—with or without an amplifier for the hearing loss. Leavitt’s honorarium for this award was donated to the Disabled American Veterans Fund.
For example, a clinician may have to wait for the patient to fall asleep using a sound generator pillow.




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