Hearing Care Associates

A division of Fritsch Otology

ABOUT US

As Hearing Care Associates, a division of Fritsch Otology, our goal is to enhance the quality of life through better hearing. Listening and hearing are two of the most important aspects of human communication that enable us to understand each other and the world around us. Our audiologists strive to provide quality hearing care for our patients by offering the most current hearing aid technology and superior service. We are dedicated to providing the best professional care based on the unique needs of each of our patients.

PATIENT EXPERIENCES

  • “Judy individualized my appointment and paired me with the hearing aid that would improve my quality of life the most. I drive three hours one way for Judy’s care and expertise and am always impressed with her knowledge and compassion. Thanks to Judy I now get to enjoy my two kids’ sweet laughs and have restored the confidence I had lost. I could go on and on.”

    Sarah Will
  • “First of all, I thank God for blessings of being under the exquisite care of Dr. Fritsch,  Judy Correll, and associates. I was beginning to question any hope for the quality of my life to be any better. Without “hope”, the human spirit silently suffers. The very first appointment with Dr. Fritsch and Judy gave me the “Voice of Hope”. Their dedication, compassion, and understanding opened the door for that voice. For my profound hearing loss, they knew exactly what I needed and plans were set in motion. The quality of my life was dramatically changed for the better. I am truly grateful beyond words. Each and everyone of you have been my gift of the “Voice of Hope”. Thank you so very much!”

    Betty Vaughn
  • “Since getting my new hearing aids from Fritch Otology my professional and personal life have been greatly enhanced. Deafness is difficult to analyze. One of the on-staff clinical audiologists, Brenda Schrager, was very kind, patient, and determined. I now have the most advanced digital technology and the best hearing possible, not to mention leaving my vanity intact!”

    Jay Markwell

TYPES AND CAUSES OF HEARING LOSS

A conductive hearing loss is caused by a problem with the outer ear canal and/or the structures of the middle ear. Sound is unable to effectively reach the inner ear. Some of the causes of conductive hearing loss are: a buildup of wax (cerumen) in the ear canal, a lack of ear canal formation (atresia), a hole (perforation) in the eardrum, fluid in the middle ear space, a growth in the middle ear space, or a problem with one of the three middle ear bones. Most conductive hearing losses can be medically or surgically treated and may not necessarily be permanent. If, for some reason, the hearing loss cannot be corrected, hearing instruments most often provide significant hearing benefit.
The majority of hearing problems result from damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. The inner ear contains tiny hair cells that convert sound vibrations into electrical signals that are received by the auditory nerve. These tiny hair cells can bend or even break due to: exposure to very loud noises or prolonged exposure to loud, continuous noise levels, genetic disposition, virus infections of the inner ear, certain medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, head injury, and with age. People with sensorineural hearing loss often experience difficulty with the clarity and understanding of speech particularly in the presence of background noise. Certain high pitch sounds such as birdsongs and childrens’ voices disappear. This type of hearing loss is permanent and is greatly helped with the use of hearing instruments. More than 90% of all hearing aid users have sensorineural hearing loss.
This type of hearing loss is caused by a combination of problems stemming from both the middle ear and the nerve of hearing in the inner ear. For example, an individual can have both a noise-induced hearing loss as well as a perforated eardrum (tympanic membrane). This combination of a sensorineural and a conductive component is a mixed hearing loss.

THE HEARING EVALUATION

When first visiting your hearing health care professional, your hearing will be tested. The hearing test will result in a graph representing your hearing levels. This graph is called an audiogram. While seated in a sound treated room and wearing earphones, you will listen to quiet sounds and indicate when you hear them by either ra ising your hand or pressing a button. You will be asked to repeat words. The sounds you hear will vary in pitch (frequency) from a deep bass to a high treble, measured from 250Hz to 8000Hz. These sounds will also vary in loudness (decibel) levels, from soft to very loud, measured from -1OdB to 120dB. The volume of each sound is adjusted at each pitch until the softest level is detected (threshold). Your audiologist will discuss the results of your hearing evaluation and make recommendations about how to improve your hearing. You will learn what type of hearing loss you have, the extent and type of the loss, and if a hearing aid could be helpful.

SERVICES

From evaluations to consultations to fittings to custom-made devices and more, we can help you with all of your hearing care needs.

 

    • Comprehensive hearing evaluations

    Evaluations

    • Professional hearing aid consultation to determine the appropriate hearing device

    Consultations

    • Cleaning and check of hearing aids to maintain optimal performance

    Cleaning

    • Repairs and service of hearing aids from five major manufacturers

    Repairs

    • Custom earmolds for behind-the-ear fittings

    Custom Molds

    • We offer musician plugs

    Musician Plugs

    • Custom ear plugs for noise protection

    Custom Plugs

    • Wireless accessories that stream the sound from cell phones and television directly to hearing aids

    Wireless Accessories

    • We also offer assistive listening devices

    Assistive Listening Devices

    • Hearing aid fitting with a 30-day trial period

    Fitting with Trial Period

HEARING AIDS

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Other Hearing Systems

Persons with a significant level of hearing loss or who have never heard before may benefit from an electronic device called a cochlear implant. It consists of two major components; the sound processor and the receiver-stimulator. Sound waves are passed through the sound processor microphone. These sound waves are converted into detailed digital information which is transferred to the implant just under the skin and with a wire electrode into the inner ear. Electrical signals are sent to the inner ear to the fibers of the nerve of hearing in the cochlea and then to the brain where they are interpreted as sound.
Whereas traditional hearing aids send the amplified sound waves through the middle ear to the inner ear; bone conduction hearing devices send the sound vibrations directly to the inner ear through the skull bone. An implant is surgically placed into the bone behind the ear. Once the surgical site heals and the bone bonds with the implant, a sound processor is attached externally via an abutment or magnet. This device is recommended for a select group of users.

FAQ

An Audiologist is a professional that will have either their Master’s or Doctoral degree from an accredited university and specializes in the evaluation and non-medical treatment of individuals with hearing loss. Audiologists can provide a full range of services from diagnostic hearing tests to providing different types of rehabilitation such as hearing aids.
Some of the symptoms of hearing loss include: struggling to hear and /or understand speech in normal conversations; frequently asking people to repeat themselves; increasing the volume on the television and radio to “hear” it better; and avoiding social activities because you are embarrassed that you cannot hear well enough to interact appropriately with others.
First, have your hearing evaluated by a trained professional. This will help determine the nature and degree of your hearing loss and help to rule out any conditions that might require medical attention. Temporary hearing loss can be the results of excessive ear wax occluding the ear canal or middle ear infections such as Otitis Media. Most permanent hearing losses can be successfully treated with hearing aids.
Your Audiologist will administer a comprehensive audiological evaluation and take a detailed case history. Although degree and configuration of the hearing loss is a major factor in determining what type of hearing aid is most suitable for an individual; a person’s ear size, lifestyle and personal preferences are also considered factors.
While each person’s experience varies, hearing aids allow an individual to hear sounds they may have not heard for many years. Re-learning takes place in the Central Auditory system, and the brain will need time to adjust to the new level of sounds. You will have a trial period that allows you time to adjust and to determine your benefits.
The cost of hearing aids varies depending on the type of hearing aid and the level of technology. Your audiologist will help you determine the device that best meets your hearing needs at a cost that is affordable. Hearing aids are generally not covered by most insurance companies but you will need to check your individual policy to determine if you have any benefits.
In most cases, you will need to make a separate appointment to be fitted with your hearing aids. This will ensure that your are scheduled for an appropriate amount of time for the audiologist to properly instruct you on the use and care of the hearing aids.
Modem wireless technology is available in most digital hearing aids. New, easy-to-use accessories can be utilized to stream the sound of a TV or cell phone directly to your hearing aids. Microphones worn remotely can also send voices directly to your hearing aids for better understanding in noisy environments.

Hearing impaired individuals can also suffer from a very unsettling condition known as tinnitus (ringing in the ears.) State-of-the-art hearing aids are now capable of combining hearing instrument technology with innovative tinnitus management systems.

Hearing impaired individuals who are exposed to extremely humid and/or dusty environments now experience less hearing aid malfunction due to those factors. Most modern digital hearing aid technology is highly water resistant and waterproof models are available.