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Monthly Archives

April 2018

The Stories of Syria: Art & Hearing Loss

By | Resources

In April 2017, Entheos sent a group of audiologists and volunteers to Jordan to help those in need of hearing healthcare. Equipped with donated hearing aids, expertise, and enthusiasm, the group served men, women, and children who had experienced traumatic hearing loss from their war-torn country. Some of our own audiologists were there to help.

While they were helping those with hearing loss, Maggie Conroy, the director of programs at Entheos and an art therapist, found a stack of paintings hidden under a table.

“They were gorgeous paintings,” she says. “And they were done on the back of tent canvas.”

Maggie knows that art, especially for those who have experienced trauma, can help communicate feelings and emotions that might otherwise remain internalized. When children came to the healthcare clinic in Jordan, she provided art as therapy.

“We’re giving them an opportunity to play with these supplies while getting medical treatments,” Maggie explains. “Doing hearing aid impressions can be scary. Art serves as a reward and a safe place.”

This short-term therapy allows the children to be children, which is so essential at a time when war, grief, and pure survival have been paramount. While a child waits to be seen by an audiologist, Maggie and other volunteers spend their time keeping the children at ease. She remembers one boy in particular whose drawings made the group laugh.

“He drew all these kids with gigantic ears!” she remembers. “He was letting his mother know he wanted a little brother.”

The young boy experienced hearing loss and was treated by an audiologist. Through art and hearing healthcare, the team was able to help the boy communicate in ways he was never able to before.

Our own Dr. Patricia Reiff, who also went on the trip to Jordan, remembers a man she fit with hearing aids. While waiting, he spent his time creating art with the children. Although he had arrived discouraged and unable to communicate, he left with a thumbs up and smile on his face.

“The artwork helped him express himself, and his hearing aid helped him communicate,” Dr. Reiff says.

The art created by these Syrian children and adults has left a lasting impact on the group, who visited nearly a year ago. The drawings and the paintings tell their story. From losing their hearing because of a bomb going off in their village to watching their families die right before their eyes, these people have seen and experienced unimaginable things. Art has allowed them to say what words cannot do justice.

For almost two decades, Associates in Hearing has held a yearly seminar that allows us to communicate and share with our patients important information about hearing loss, hearing aids, and all things audiology. As partners with Entheos, we have a heart for seeing those without access to hearing healthcare receive the care they need so they can live a fulfilling, impactful life.

On Tuesday, May 15, from 1-4 PM, we will be hosting an art show featuring paintings by Syrian children. You’ll be able to learn about these young artists, the stories of their paintings, and even buy prints. Every dollar benefits the children and their families. Our doctors of audiology will be there too, ready to answer any of your questions and get to know you better.

We want to invite you to join us in our efforts to change the world.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Attend the art show, and bring a friend: We care about the world, and you can join us in making a difference simply by showing up.

2. Spread the word!: Treating hearing healthcare in places where it’s uncommon is not easy. Through donations and support, we can change lives everywhere, and that’s possible when people know about it.

3. Buy a print or make a donation: Every dollar raised goes to a good cause. Whether it’s directly to the Syrian children and their families or helping fund our mission trips across the world, your money helps people receive the care they need.

4. Donate your old hearing aids: Old devices may not be useful for you, but through Entheos, we can refurbish old devices so people with hearing loss can be properly treated. Bring them with you to the show or drop them off at our office anytime!

RSVP by Monday, May 7th

  • Call: 215-855-4217
  • Or fill out the form below

Space is limited so RSVP today!

What is an Audiologist?

By | Resources

You’ve finally decided that enough is enough.

Your kids are tired of hearing you complain about not being able to hear them when they call you. Your spouse wants you to enjoy spending time at social gatherings, but you never want to join because it’s hard to hear the conversation. You want to live the life you always thought you would be living, until hearing loss stood in the way.

But, what are you supposed to do about it? There’s a hearing aid dispenser close to your house. That seems like a straightforward approach. You know about your local audiologist, but what’s the difference? A hearing aid is a hearing aid, right?

An audiologist is your best place to start when it comes to your hearing loss, and we’re not just saying that because that’s who we are. If you want the best for your hearing, you should see a certified Doctor of Audiology.

Let’s answer your questions:

1. What is an audiologist?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an audiologist as someone who treats individuals with impaired hearing. What’s so important about your hearing and why do doctors specialize in this field?

Our hearing serves many different purposes. It allows us to communicate with other people, giving us opportunities to create friendships and relationships. It serves as a way to protect us; if we hear a fire alarm going off, we know that there’s a fire somewhere close. Our hearing helps us learn, grow, enjoy, and experience life.

Without our hearing, we struggle in more areas than one. We withdraw from people. We can’t enjoy comforting music or be alerted by an alarm. We struggle to learn and experience the life we have.

An audiologist specializes in treating your hearing loss. Not only can they fit you with hearing aids, they know all about the ear and the three small bones within it. (They’re the smallest in the human body!) Not only can they treat you, they can treat infants, kids, and the elderly.

2. What does an audiologist do?

Because an audiologist has received a license to practice clinical audiology, they can conduct evaluations and tests to treat hearing loss.

A hearing evaluation will test the health of your eardrum, the bones in the ear, how well your brain processes information, and speech discrimination. This type of evaluation can only be performed by an audiologist.

A hearing screening, on the other hand, simply tests how well you’re hearing without figuring out the cause of your hearing loss. It’s a great way to begin treatment, but it doesn’t give definitive answers or show the best course of treatment.

An audiologist can also fit you with individualized hearing aids, making sure you are able to hear comfortably and clearly.

3. Why does audiology matter?

These days, seeing someone with a set of hearing devices is normal. We’ve come a long way since the 1940s, when audiology finally became a professional field. Decades ago we were limited to hearing aids that were ridiculous in size and didn’t work very well. Now, we have hearing aids that can be virtually invisible.

Audiology has always been about how well you can hear and how it affects your communication with others. Now, audiology includes everything that has to do with the ears and even your brain. Recent studies have shown the links between hearing loss and brain health.

It’s amazing just how intricately the human body works.

Audiology matters. Practicing audiology matters. Your hearing health matters because it’s connected to every part of your well-being.

Our audiologists at Associates in Hearing don’t just want to get you a set of hearing aids and send you out the door. We care about you and how well you live your life.

Seeing an audiologist will dissolve your worries about your hearing loss. We can perform the tests needed to get to the bottom of your hearing loss and create a treatment plan that’s suited just for you. We can fit you with hearing aids that fit your needs, not to fit our quota.

See an audiologist today. Better yet? Give us a call. We’d love to serve you and show you just how much we care.

3 Ways to Enjoy Your Next Baseball Game

By | Resources

Baseball. It’s always been America’s favorite past time. Can you imagine trying to enjoy a game when you can hardly hear it? It might be bearable, but certainly not the experience you’re looking for. The food, singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, cheering on your favorite players, trying to catch a foul ball. It’s all about the experience, isn’t it? It’s much easier to experience baseball as a whole when you can hear it, too.

Baseball season is among us, and we want you to enjoy every bit of it. Here are three ways to make sure your next baseball game is all the fun you’re hoping for:

  1. Bring some earplugs.

You might be surprised with how loud a baseball game can get. With the loudspeakers and the crowd, the sound could be more damaging than you might expect.

Any sound louder than 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. That baseball game? It could easily exceed that! A normal conversation is around 60 decibels, so if you’re having a hard time hearing the person next to you, it’s probably too loud.

Earplugs are a great tool used to protect your hearing. They can even be specially molded to fit your ears so they can efficiently and effectively filter noise. Keep a pair in your car or purse, and you’ll always have the hearing protection you need.

  1. Bring someone with you.

Baseball is not just a game. It’s a whole experience. Sharing it with someone else is part of the fun!

But, hearing loss can make it harder to enjoy things. You might struggle to keep up with what’s going on around you. You could miss an important play or even feel like you can’t enjoy the entertainment because you can’t hear it.

So, bring someone with you! If you miss something, don’t be afraid to ask what’s going on. If you aren’t sure if you heard something right, ask whoever you’re with to repeat it. Another set of ears could be just what you need to make it worthwhile.

  1. Plan ahead.

Let’s say you get to the game late. Your tickets are general admission, so you’re trying to find a good spot that will allow you to see and hear the game the way you want to. But all that’s left are seats next to the giant speakers, or seats too far from all the important action.

Before the day of the big game, plan ahead! Purchase tickets for the seats you want or get there early if you can’t reserve the spot you would like. Pay attention to your surroundings. You know what will keep you from hearing the game, so plan to steer clear of overpowering loudspeakers or seats that are too far away to hear any of the action.

Planning ahead could save you the frustration of being unable to hear the game and have fun.

Next time you’re planning your trip to a baseball game, use these helpful tips to make sure you can experience baseball how it was meant to! You deserve to enjoy the game even if you have hearing loss.

Associates in Hearing is giving away a pair of tickets to the Phillies vs. Braves game on April 29. We want you to win! Here are three ways you can enter:

  1. Enter at associatesinhearing.com/MLB.
  2. Call us at (215) 855-4217 and mention the contest.
  3. Visit our office and fill out a card.

We’re accepting entries until April 20. Don’t miss out sign up today! Enter for your chance to win today. Winner will be announced April 23.

12 Questions with Dr. Aubrey Marley

By | Resources

Meet Dr. Aubrey Marley

As audiologists, we don’t just care about your hearing. We care about how well you live your life! The people we love, our passions, and the things that bring us joy are what matter most, and a life with treated hearing loss makes all the difference.

Meet Dr. Aubrey Marley. As a Doctor of Audiology, she has been a valuable asset to our team since May of 2016. She brings a passion for seeing hearing loss treated, something we value most at Associates in Hearing.

Next time you’re in the office for an appointment, introduce yourself to Dr. Marley! We asked her 12 questions so you can get to know her:

  1. What is one of your favorite memories from your childhood?

Any of our big family Christmas parties are great memories for me. Every year, we have tons of food and sing 12 Days of Christmas.

  1. If you could have dinner with any person, alive or dead, who would it be?

My maternal grandparents, who passed away before I was born. During the Great Depression, they immigrated to America from Ireland. I would love to hear their stories firsthand and learn what it was like to settle into an unfamiliar country.

  1. What is your favorite food or meal to eat?

Cadbury Mini Eggs

  1. Describe yourself in three words.

Honest, patient, and determined.

  1. Have you ever done something that not many people have done? If so, what?

I was an Irish Dancer from elementary school up until high school. I tried to pick it back up by joining an Irish dancing club in college, but I realized my efforts were better spent focusing on my speech language and hearing degree.

  1. Where did you go to college?

Temple University

  1. What made you decide to become a doctor of audiology?

My older brother has hearing loss, and when I was young, I would tag along with him to his audiology appointments at Associates in Hearing. I always knew I wanted to help people, and after attending some of his appointments, I thought audiology would be the perfect fit. I never expected to end up at the very place that introduced me to audiology, but here I am!

  1. What is your favorite part about working at Associates in Hearing?

I’m working in the same community that I grew up in, so I often feel I have a lot in common with my patients and can really relate to them.

  1.  What do you enjoy most about being an audiologist?

I love helping patients communicate better with their friends and families and watching them become more social because they can hear again. I also love seeing my patients light up when they realize they are hearing things they haven’t heard in years.

  1.  Why is hearing important?

I believe staying engaged and communicating with our friends and family is so important when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining relationships. Without hearing, it can be difficult to participate in conversation and can often lead to social isolation.

  1. Outside of audiology, what are you passionate about?

Reading. I always have a book with me to read during my lunch breaks.

  1.  When you’re 75 and able to look back on your life, what do you hope to have accomplished?

When I graduated high school I told myself I just wanted to make sure I helped others in some way. I hope to stay true to that goal and somehow make a positive difference in the lives around me.

If you’d like to start your journey to better hearing, give us a call today and set up an appointment with Dr. Marley. She would love you help you achieve the hearing you’ve always wanted.