Category Archives: In the News


The human ear is an advanced and very sensitive organ of the human body. The ear’s function is to transmit and transduce sound to the brain through the parts of the ear: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Here are some interesting facts about your ears and how we hear. Read Full Article

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An Audiologist is a highly-trained and educated health professional who evaluates, diagnoses, treats, and manages hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders in patients seeking help. Through the application of their education and experience, Audiologists are able to help persons who experience these symptoms. Professional audiologists hold a Doctoral or Master’s Degree.

Often the solution to hearing problems involves the selection, fitting, and dispensing of devices, usually hearing aids, that help patients communicate better in a world where sound and speech often go often go hand-in-hand with understanding.

A complete audiological evaluation in a soundproof booth is necessary to assess one’s current ability to hear and process sound. A critical part of the evaluation is an otoscopic exam, where the Audiologist looks into the ears to examine them for the presence of ear wax, fluid, or infection. The next step is the performance of a thorough hearing examination. Not only are we evaluating how the patient’s ability to detect both soft and loud sounds, but we are evaluating just how clearly one may or may not hear, both in quiet and in noisy environments. This helps to assess the true ability to engage in essential communication.

The Audiologist will then take the time to speak with you about the hearing evaluation results and their professional recommendations along with what your expectations and goals may be with respect to the results and benefits that may be obtained with amplification. The decision for selecting the proper system will be based on many variables such as your hearing results, lifestyle and budget. The ultimate goal is to find the solution that will be the most beneficial for you. There is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” hearing aid.  Each patient has their own unique needs and with the support and expertise of an Audiologist, we will identify those needs and get you hearing, and communicating, as best as possible.

Although many of you may have possibly heard of other avenues for obtaining hearing aids—the internet, family member, friend, or drug store—our sense of hearing is very complicated and requires personalized care to end up with a successful hearing health care plan. It is critical to have a professional audiologist perform a thorough audiological evaluation and ensure that the hearing aids you have are appropriate for your hearing loss.

Our professional team of Audiologists and Audiology Assistants will help you to learn how to properly care for your hearing aids and maintain them by seeing you every six months. This ensures that your hearing aids remain in tip-top shape!

At Audiological Consultants of Atlanta, we take a very personalized and comprehensive approach to serving your hearing healthcare needs. We perform detailed examinations, use objective measures to make sure your hearing aids are set appropriately and comfortably, and enjoy working with our patients to ensure each of them is enjoying all the things important in their lives!

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The Top 10 Reasons to Get a Hearing Test

May is Better Speech and Hearing month and we encourage you to be proactive about your hearing health. Read Full Article

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Communication Strategies

Do you know of someone who wears hearing aids and yet you still find that it is difficult to communicate with them? Read Full Article

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Top 10 Myths about Tinnitus by Lisa Packer, staff writer, Healthy Hearing

If you are one of the millions of people in the world that has tinnitus, you know it can impact everything from your work to your family and social life. That constant ringing in the ears can also lead to stress and depression.

Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual sound is present. For many, tinnitus is characterized by ringing in the ears, but it can also manifest itself in different sounds such as whistling, buzzing or hissing. 

Knowing tinnitus facts is a great way to get on a path towards relief. 

According to the American Tinnitus Association, tinnitus sufferers in the United States number in the millions, with the CDC estimating that almost 15 percent of people have tinnitus to some degree. And with so many people suffering from tinnitus, it is more important than ever to be able to distinguish fact from fiction. Knowing the truth about tinnitus can give you the best chance to effectively approach the condition and reduce the symptoms in order to improve your quality of life. 

Myth: Tinnitus is an incurable disease 

This is not completely true. Tinnitus is not a disease in itself, but is sometimes the result of any number of underlying medical conditions. Loud noise, neurological damage, vascular disease, or even traumatic brain injury are just some examples of health issues that can contribute to tinnitus. Tinnitus can also develop as a reaction to certain medications. And while it is true that there is no “cure,” there are treatments available that will lessen the symptoms and make tinnitus easier to live with. 

Myth: I can just change my diet and my tinnitus will go away 

While some feel that certain additives and foods such as alcohol, sodium and caffeine can aggravate tinnitus, they are not usually the root cause. It is always important to overall health to eat a balanced diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, but tinnitus needs to be addressed separately. Tinnitus management strategies can include dietary and lifestyle changes, but these alone won’t “cure” tinnitus. 

Myth: There is nothing I can do about tinnitus 

There is something you can do! Research into tinnitus is ongoing, and treatments are constantly evolving and improving. Whether your tinnitus is mild, moderate or severe, an audiologist can offer solutions and treatments to help lessen the symptoms and make your condition more manageable. In addition, other healthcare professionals may be able to diagnose and address the health issues that might be causing the tinnitus in the first place. 

Myth: Only those with hearing loss get tinnitus 

Yes, those with hearing loss can also get tinnitus, and they are often related. But it is also possible to get tinnitus without having hearing loss. If you are exposed to very loud noise, such as a rock concert or an explosion, you might experience temporary ringing in the ears. And certain other medical conditions or use of medications can cause tinnitus as well. Even if you don’t think you have hearing loss, it is still worth getting checked out by an audiologist. 

Myth: Everyone with tinnitus eventually goes deaf 

Tinnitus and hearing loss can coexist but are separate conditions. Just because you have tinnitus doesn’t mean you have hearing loss, and even if you have hearing loss, it doesn’t mean you are going deaf. Hearing aids are a great solution hearing loss and can often manage tinnitus symptoms at the same time. 

Myth: Tinnitus is always a ringing in the ears 

The truth is that tinnitus sounds are not the same for everyone. Ringing is most common, but so is buzzing, whooshing or humming. Tinnitus sounds can even vary per individual from day to day. 

Myth: Hearing aids won’t help with tinnitus. 

The truth is that is that new developments in hearing aid technology can address both hearing loss and symptoms of tinnitus by increasing the sounds of external noise, thereby masking the internal sounds of tinnitus. 

Myth: There are pills you can take to make tinnitus go away 

Unfortunately there is no “magic pill” that you can take to cure tinnitus. But there are ways to manage tinnitus that can lessen the symptoms and make them manageable. Advances have been made in sound therapy with great success, for example. Other ways to manage the symptoms include hearing aids, meditation, stress management techniques and changes in diet and exercise. 

Myth: Tinnitus is only from listening to loud music or using earbuds 

While listening to dangerously loud music, or any excessive noise for that matter, can result in tinnitus, there can be many different causes. People of different ages, races, health statuses and socioeconomic backgrounds get tinnitus, and quite often there is no obvious reason. In other words, just because you don’t listen to loud music or use earbuds doesn’t mean you are immune. 

Myth: Tinnitus is all in your head 

Just because others can’t “see” your tinnitus, and there are no test results that will show the presence of it, doesn’t mean it isn’t all too real. Millions of people worldwide suffer from tinnitus, and it can vary from mild to debilitating. Don’t suffer in silence. There are experts that can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. 


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Many times, a patient will ask “what’s the best hearing aid?” Although a good question, it becomes challenging based on all the variables that must be considered to answer the question appropriately. The “right” hearing aid for you depends on several factors, including the type and severity of hearing loss, cosmetic preferences, lifestyle, frequented environments, vision, manual dexterity, and the list continues.  Even when two people have similar hearing test results, the benefits and outcomes will vary. What one person thinks is the best hearing aid may not be impressive to another.  Our ears bring in the sound but the way our brain processes information is different from one person to another. These considerations for finding “the best”, makes the answer challenging and comparing with your friends very difficult. Buying a hearing aid is a very different buying experience compared to other consumer products.  It’s not like buying an appliance or a car where you can compare brands. The product is only one sliver of the process. Selecting the best, most competent and knowledgeable audiologist becomes critical. Combing both will give you the best outcome. As recipients of the Consumer’s Choice Award for outstanding customer service for two consecutive years, we at Audiological Consultants of Atlanta, take a great pride in our mission statement to “promote and provide the highest quality of audiological and hearing aid services and products in the communities we serve.” We work with most hearing aid manufacturers and it is our job to work with you to find the BEST hearing aid solution for you.  We take our job seriously. It’s not unusual to hear from our new patients who have previously received services elsewhere, “I’ve never had such a thorough test before”.  Additionally, our audiologists not only perform extensive testing but also provide important counseling with each patient along with verification of the benefit of any hearing device. Our front office staff is complimented on our outstanding customer service because we realize that we only get one chance to make a great first impression. Our audiology assistants work side by side with each audiologist in an important role to provide comprehensive care to our patients. We will find the BEST hearing aids for you!  

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Hearing Loss Prevention and Headphones

Noise induced hearing loss can occur from either a one- time exposure to a burst of extremely loud noise or a repeated exposure to loud noise over time. One can conserve hearing by wearing hearing protection around loud sounds and limiting noise exposure. Audio players have been the subject of hearing loss research since the popularity of iPods and MP3 players increased in recent years. While loud environmental sounds may not be easily escapable, personal listening habits are optional. There are steps consumers can take to diminish the risk audio players have on hearing loss. Volume, time listening, and ear phone style can all be optimized to find the best combination for hearing conservation.

A basic rule of thumb when listening to music or sound with an audio device is the quieter the sound, the longer you can listen to it safely. If the sound is very quiet you can listen to it for a long time without damage. On the other hand, even common sounds can cause damage over a long period of time.  A normal conversation occurs at about 60 decibels. The daily recommended safe volume level of any sound is below 85 dB for a maximum duration of eight hours. Sounds around 90 decibels and above can cause permanent damage to the hair cells in the inner ear leading to hearing loss.

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the Center for Disease Control created a chart to illustrate accepted standards for recommended permissible exposure time for continuous time weighted average noise. For every 3 dBAs over 85dBA, the permissible exposure time before possible damage can occur is cut in half. For instance 8 hour of permissible exposure time to 85db, 4 hours at 88dB, 100dB for 15 minutes, and 115dB for just 30 seconds. Every audio player is not created equal and volume level does not always directly correlate to decibels. Most stock earphone can reach a level over 100 decibels, loud enough to begin causing permanent damage after just 15 minutes a day. Applications or Apps are available that monitor decibels to help keep listening levels in the safe range.

Another step consumers can take to prevent noise induced hearing loss is to choose noise-reducing head phones. Noise canceling or isolator headphones cancel out background noise so the listener does not turn up volume to damaging levels in order to hear the audio. Listening to head phones in a quiet environment rather than in a loud environment is also recommended. In a study of one hundred doctoral students conducted by Audiologists Brian Fligor and Terri Ives, only 6% of students turned their music up to dangerous levels in quiet environments versus 80% of students turning their audio players up to dangerous levels in noisy environments.

You can get customized headphones by seeing an Audiologist. An Audiologist can make impressions of your ear and have your favorite headphones inserted in the molds.


“Earbuds vs. Headphones: Which Will Cause Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?” Medical Daily. December 21, 2015. Susan Scutti

“Does earphone type affect risk for recreational noise-induced hearing loss?” Brian J. Fligor, Sc.D., CCC-A and Terri Ives, Sc.D, October 19, 2006

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Reduced hearing acuity is frustrating for people with hearing loss as well as for those around them. In fact, a 2009 study showed that relationships are failing because of unmanaged hearing loss. The survey of 1,500 hearing-impaired people over 55 revealed that almost half (44 percent of people) said that relationships with their partner, friends or family have suffered because they can’t hear properly.

Hearing loss isn’t just an ear issue; it’s a quality of life and health issue. Untreated hearing loss can have serious consequences. A decrease in hearing sensitivity is associated with diminished cognitive function, poorer mental health, and social withdrawal. Read Full Article

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Dawn Green, ACA Director of Administrative Services, wins the November 2016 “You Rock” Award

2016-dawn-rocksDawn Green receives this award for her outstanding service and commitment to ACA.  She has worked diligently and selflessly until completion, in helping ACA complete many of our projects for our November year end.

Thank You, Dawn!

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Link to memory, cognitive function elevates urgency of treating hearing loss

A growing body of research links untreated hearing loss to impaired memory and diminished cognitive function, raising the significance of hearing health to overall cognitive health

According to Brandeis University Professor of Neuroscience, Dr. Arthur Wingfield, who has been studying cognitive aging and the relationship between memory and hearing acuity for many years, effortful listening due to unaddressed hearing loss is associated with increased stress and poorer performance on memory tests.

His research shows that even when people with unaddressed hearing loss perceive the words that are being spoken, their ability to remember the information suffers—likely because of the draw on their cognitive resources that might otherwise be used to store what has been heard in memory. This is especially true for the comprehension of quick, informationally complex speech that is part of everyday life.

“Even if you have just a mild hearing loss that is not being treated, cognitive load increases significantly,” Wingfield said. “You have to put in so much effort just to perceive and understand what is being said that you divert resources away from storing what you have heard into your memory.”

Wingfield—along with Jonathan Peelle from the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University in St. Louis—recently published a paper in the July 2016 issue of Trends in Neurosciences exploring the neural consequences of untreated age-related hearing loss. In the paper, they explain that although compensation of hearing loss by other areas of the brain “can frequently result in successful comprehension, it is not without consequence for further operations, such as remembering what we have heard.”

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