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Hearing Matters Podcast

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"Hearing Matters" is a hearing healthcare podcast featuring audiologist, Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A and his son, Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS. The show discusses hearing technology, best practices, and a growing national epidemic: Hearing Loss.
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About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S., HIS, and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. In this episode, Blaise Delfino discusses the importance of hearing protection for those who are in bands and/ or those who got to live concerts with Dr. Douglas Beck, vice president of academic sciences at Oticon.Dr. Beck explains that he plays several instruments. He was first runner-up for the part of Ringo Starr in the musical Beatlemania on Broadway. He played in a band that made several albums. In the past, most band members had no idea that they were causing hearing loss simply by wearing in-ear monitors.OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has set guidelines for hearing loss. It says listening to 90 decibels of sound for eight hours causes hearing loss. It goes up from there. Listening to 95 db for four hours, 100 db for two hours, 110 db for 30 minutes and 115 db for15 minutes cause hearing loss. People who leave a concert with ringing in their ears have caused temporary hearing loss that could become permanent. Dr. Beck encourages practicing and playing musicians to wear musician earplugs. While they are expensive, they take out the highest and lowest frequencies, allowing the wearer to converse. They also protect the wearer from hearing loss. Over-the-counter ear plugs are better than nothing, but custom-made earplugs are the best.In-ear monitors are worn by singers in a band so he/she can hear his/her own voice over the other musicians. Custom in-ear monitors are made to prevent hearing loss from loud noise. The person first gets an audiometric evaluation, a custom mold is made and a measure of the noise level the wearer will experience is taken. Dr. Beck says it’s very important to use in-ear monitors safely so they do the job. Whatever costs are incurred, it is worth saving your hearing. 
About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S., HIS, and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. In this episode, Blaise Delfino discusses Cognition, Audition and Amplification with Dr. Douglas L. Beck, Vice President of Academic Sciences at Oticon.Dr. Beck explains that the connection among cognition, audition and amplification is the human brain. The three are intertwined and cannot be separated. There are 26 million Americans who have no hearing loss but still cannot understand speech in noise. This can be caused by a traumatic brain injury, dyslexia, and many other conditions. An audiologist can determine if the problem is central auditory processing. Dr. Beck explains the term “cross-modal recruitment.” It occurs when one area of the brain is not stimulated, and another area of the brain takes it over. In a study done by Drs. Sharma and Glick, titled “Frontiers of Neuroscience,” the area of the brain that processes sound was not stimulated, and the part of the brain that processes sight took it over. Drs. Sharma and Glick found that by fitting patients who have hearing loss with hearing instruments reversed the cross-modal recruitment that had taken place in their brains. Hearing screenings are not something that Dr. Beck advocates. He believes that they are usually not done in sound-proof booths, the instructions are not well presented, and headphones are generally not used. He is in favor of Universal Newborn Screenings, however, which tests the hearing of all babies born in hospitals and birthing centers. He is also in favor of cognitive screenings in older adults who are having difficulty with speech in noise. He says once people reach a certain age there are many conditions that can cause hearing loss. Among them are neurovascular conditions that reduce blood flow to the brain.Dr. Gregory Delfino adds that he has seen many patients over the past 20 years who have central auditory processing problems and have significantly improved with low-level amplification. Buying hearing instruments online or over the counter is not something Dr. Beck advises. He says a person may be experiencing hearing loss for any number of reasons, from a hair up against the ear drum or the bones in the ear malfunctioning to a brain tumor. The rule in medicine he says is first diagnose then treat. Without a diagnosis by a trained hearing healthcare professional, a person could do more harm than good by buying over-the-counter hearing aids. He adds that a person can get well-made hearing aids provided by a professional for as little as $1,000 per pair.      Have questions? Let's hear em'! Email: Blaise@audiologyservicesllcpa.com Phone: 610.694.0141
About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S., HIS, and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. The Benefits of Deep Neural Networks in Hearing AidsIn this episode, Blaise Delfino discusses the deep neural network in the new Oticon More hearing aid with Dr. Douglas L. Beck, vice president of academic sciences at Oticon. Dr. Beck explains that in Oticon’s newest hearing aid, the Oticon More, there is a deep neural network, or DNN, which enables a wearer to have an even better hearing experience than before.  He explains that artificial intelligence (AI) is as simple as a thermostat in the refrigerator. It senses when it needs to adjust the temperature and then does so. DNN is a much more sophisticated form of AI. It learns in the same way the human brain does. It’s used in a variety of everyday tasks, for example buying something on Amazon. Once you buy a certain item, Amazon will let you know when similar items become available. The general idea of a DNN is that it learns through repetitive action from a collection of samples. In a hearing aid, the DNN is trained with millions of real-life sound scenes – a restaurant, train station or busy street. The DNN learns to identify and balance each sound within it, so the wearer can access the sounds most important to you.The Oticon More was trained with 12 million complex real-life sound, which it then learned to analyze, organize, and balance. This hearing device can utilize the DNN’s intelligent capabilities when balancing and prioritizing the sounds that are important to the wearer.The benefit of the DNN is that the wearer’s brain has access to the full sound scene, so he/she can hear the person next to him/her, as well as other environmental sounds, all balanced and amplified in a true-to-life way.This is because a DNN provides the brain with more meaningful sound information, which makes sound much clearer and speech easier to follow. In fact, research shows that Oticon More delivers 30 percent more sound to the brain and increase speech understanding by 15 percent. 
About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA.About Dr. Phillip ZazoveOn this week’s episode, Blaise Delfino talks to Dr. Phillip Zazove, the George A. Dean Chair and Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan. Dr. Zazove is Deaf.Dr. Zazove explains that he was not diagnosed with profound hearing loss until he was four years old. At that time children who were deaf were put in state schools for the deaf. His parent however believed that he could compete in a regular school setting, so he was in mainstreamed. He was the first deaf child to be mainstreamed in the northern Chicago suburbs. His parents were great advocates for him. When he was a child, there were no cell phones or other technology to help deaf children. Hearing aids were big and bulky. He refused to wear hearing aids because he didn’t want to be different. Today’s children have greater advantages than kids even 25 years ago. Dr. Zazove says he got his passion and grit from his parents, who were both doctors. He adds that getting to know other people with disabilities also drove him to want to help others, especially those with disabilities.Advocating for yourself as a deaf person is especially important. If a deaf or hard of hearing person doesn’t tell his doctors, for example, that he can’t hear, he may not get the best care. The doctor needs to know so he/she can be sure the patient understands what’s going on. He adds that people need not be embarrassed that they have a hearing loss and should think about wearing hearing aids the same as wearing glasses. Dr. Zazove did studies that show a doctor will treat a hearing patient differently when it comes to recommending having colonoscopy, mammogram, cancer screening, etc. Another study demonstrated that a deaf or hard of hearing patient is more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days than a hearing person. He says processes and procedures need to be set in place, so doctors know to ask patients if they have hearing loss.Dr. Zazove applied to about 30 medical schools and was only accepted to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He was the third deaf person to go through medical college.He believes there are four things that can help an individual who is Deaf the most: 1. Parent advocacy when the child is going through school. 2. Learning a language by age three, whether it’s sign language, English, Russian, etc. 3. Make whatever accommodations are needed, whether it’s sitting at the front of the class, getting hearing aids or a cochlear implant or having an interpreter. 4. Join support groups.Dr. Zazove runs a foundation for Deaf high school  students who wish to go to college. It is known as the Louise Tumarkin Zazove Medical Foundation and is in its 17th year. It generally pays for a deaf or hard of hearing student’s full tuition for four years. 
About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S., HIS, and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. The Newest TechnologyIn this episode Blaise Delfino discusses the newest hearing technology with Scott Bunnell, senior global product manager of Sonic Innovation. Scott says the newest hearing aid is called the Radiant. It uses a new technology platform known as Extend. This latest processing chip has more power and more memory than Sonic's previous chip. It also has a new way of processing sound, new compression technology and noise management and reduction. It uses 24 bands, whereas the old platform used only 16.Joint Compression SystemScott says the new technology uses a combined compression system that has both fast and slow capability. The slow compression handles the narrow band noises, such as vacuum cleaners and blenders, and keeps them at bay. The fast compression emphasizes every part of speech and puts the emphasis where it is needed.  Increased ConnectivityThe new Radiant hearing aid is also now able to be connected to an Android phone. In the past it was only able to connect to an iPhone. Audiologists can also do remote fittings and fine adjustments. This is especially important for those who are physically unable to come to the office and those who are out of town. The Radiant also has a new open/closed dome that keeps its shape better in the ear canal and is more comfortable because of changes in venting.Great for MusiciansScott, who is a musician himself, explains that hearing aids were first made for people to be able to hear speech. Listening to music was not something companies considered. He says the wave lengths of speech are predictable as are the frequency ranges. Music however has a wider range of frequencies and an extended range. Because of that the new Radiant has a smart music program that enables wearers to really enjoy music. Final AdviceAfter giving a brief history of his musical life as a singer and guitar player, Scott offered the following advice. “If you have hearing loss, don’t wait to do something,” he says. “The longer you wait the worse the hearing loss becomes. Untreated hearing loss is the number one risk factor for acquiring dementia. Don’t listen to the horror stories about hearing aids. They are nothing like they used to be. They’re great.”  
About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA.Becoming an AudiologistOn this episode Blaise Delfino discusses the emergence of hearing technology with Scott Bunnell of Sonic Innovation. Scott explains that he was in a dead-ed job when he decided to go back to school to become an audiologist. He got a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in audiology. He practiced as a clinician in a hospital for 6 years. He was laid off when the hospital closed its audiology unit.Moving into Industry While looking for another job, he got a call from Sonic Innovations, asking him if he wanted to become a tech support audiologist. He enjoyed learning things that were not part of his job in the hospital. HE was put on a marketing team and is now a senior product manager. Sonic in its Early YearsScott explains that Sonic began with three brilliant scientist-engineers. Dr. Thomas Stockham, who was a pioneer of digital recording and a master of digitizing and processing sound. Dr. Douglass Chabries designed Navy sonar systems and developed algorithms that simulated how the human ear and brain process sound.  Both had lifelong interests in how sound is produced and how the human brain processes it. They were later joined by Dr. Carver Meade, who is considered the father of microelectronics. He reduced a bench-top prototype to a single tiny chip. Using digital technology and the latest microchip manufacturing techniques, they created the first Sonic product in 1998. It was a completely digital hearing aid that fit inside the human ear. The company first tried to manufacture the hearing aids in Utah, but found it was easier to do so in Minnesota. Today R and D is located in Salt Lake City and manufacturing is done in Minnesota.Sonic’s 4S FoundationOver the years, Sonic has consistently improved and refined each generation of hearing devices. They developed algorithms that separate speech from noise and bring it to the foreground. They learned how to reduce background noise in many diverse environments. Scott says Sonic products and accessories are true to the company’s 4S Foundation: Sound That’s Natural, Speech Understanding in Noise, Simplicity in Everything We Do, and Style That Stands Out Sonic is a Leader in Noise ManagementMost patients struggle with speech in noise. Sonic hearing aids use two microphones in one. One picks up the sound from the person who the wearer is talking to, and the other picks up other noises and mutes them. These microphones do this every time the wearer moves his/her head. Compression is Important.Scott explains that compression in a hearing instrument is its ability to cut off the peaks of a sound wave that are too high (loud). He uses the example of a sailboat going under a bridge. If the sail is too high, its sails need to be compressed so it can fit. By using just, the right amount of compression, Sonic instruments amplify the soft sounds but keep the loud sounds from being too loud. The Cochlea is the TemplateSonic continually studies how the cochlea functions in the human ear to develop new chips. They are experts at developing products that act and sound like the cochlea. 
About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CC, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. C-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services. The Effects of Hearing Loss on Literacy Development In this episode Blaise Delfino discusses how hearing loss affects a child’s ability to learn to speak with Lindy Powell, a teacher of the deaf and a reading specialist. The ability to hear is imperative to learning to speak and read. There are five areas in reading development. They are phonological/phonemic awareness, phonetics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Phonological/phonemic awareness enables a child to hear the syllables through listening. They apply those listening skills to developing a vocabulary. When they are fluent, they use the same skill set to speak with the correct inflection and at the correct rate of speed. Eventually the learn to comprehend what they are reading. Each step builds on the next. Missing Certain SoundsIf a child has a high-frequency hearing loss, he/she may not hear important consonant sounds, like f, s, or t, for example. Because these sounds don’t get to the brain, the child may think the word Frank is really Ank. Also if the s on the end of a word is missing, the entire meaning of the word may change. An example is if a child asks for more than one thing. A child with hearing loss does not get the input they need for phonetic development.What Can Parents Do?There is a lot of research that shows children should have access to sound as early as possible. Some mothers even talk/read to their babies in utero. Sound helps develop speaking and listening skills and social skills. Strong vocabulary skills set children up for success. If a child is not developing speaking skills, intervention as early as possible is recommended.Reading actual books at least 20 minutes a day with your child is also a way to enhance language skills. Reading online is not as effective. It’s recommended that children’s screen time should be limited, even if he/she is reading. There are simple steps to providing early listening.1.     Make reading a priority. Make sure your child sees and hears you read things like the mail, magazines, and cookbooks. Also let them see you writing things, like notes for the store or daily reminders.2.     If you can’t find 20 minutes a day, which is often the case, be sure the time you spend reading/talking with your child is quality time. Set it aside and use it without interruption.3.     Don’t compare your child’s reading/listening skills to other kids, especially if he/she is not as advanced as kids the same age. Celebrate the progress the child makes.4.     Lean on the professionals. They are there to help you. Ask questions and follow their advice, and most importantly, try to limit your anxiety and your child’s. For more information on improving listening/reading skills go to “listenlittles” on Instagram. 
About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son, Blaise Delfino, M.S., HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. Philanthropy in the Hearing Healthcare CommunityIn this episode Blaise Delfino discusses philanthropic giving with Dr. Amit Gosalia, of the West Valley Hearing Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Gosalia defines philanthropy as the desire to help others. He says that the foundation for wanting to help those in need is built in childhood. His father, who was a cardiologist, had Amit volunteer in the hospital during his summers.He encourages everyone to go beyond their four walls and either volunteer or donate to worthy causes. He points out, however, that doing so to build up a business is not a good idea and is usually counterproductive.The More You Give, the More You Receive Blaise points out that there is no such thing as giving without a reward. That reward is the wonderful feeling you get by helping others. Dr. Gosalia adds that if you give because you’re looking for something tangible in return, it is manipulation. He says people should give humbly and with the understanding that you are not doing it for praise but to make a difference in the world.Who is giving in the Hearing Healthcare Community?Dr. Gosalia says many big companies that manufacture hearing aids give through their foundations, including Oticon and Starkey. These companies donate hearing aids to countries around the world and across the U.S. They also do missions in foreign countries. Many celebrities join these missions to help promote prevention of hearing loss and the benefits of wearing hearing aids. At the local level Lion’s Clubs across the country donate hearing aids to those in need. What can Individual Practitioners Do?Audiologist can volunteer to give free screenings in their offices or in the community. They can also donate hearing aids and batteries to those who cannot afford them. He gives the example of a team of healthcare practitioners who teamed up to do a health fair in Arizona. People could have free hearing, dental, eye, and blood pressure screenings. A screening takes about five minutes. If five audiologists worked together for a day, they could help hundreds of people.Blaise says that Audiology Services has done many outreach programs in the community, including free screenings. During COVID-19, Audiology Services donated packages of different types of hearing aid batteries to the senior homes in the Lehigh Valley. The staff at Audiology Services always looked forward to those days. Where to go to if you Need a Hearing Aid and Can’t Afford One?If you or someone you know needs a hearing test or hearing aids and can’t afford them, tell them to visit a reputable audiologist. Don’t rely on Google, as you may not get someone who is ethical. The FutureAudiology Services and Dr. Gosalia are hoping to team up with audiologists across the country to have a national day of giving in the hearing healthcare profession.  
In this episode, Blaise Delfino  speaks with Dr. Amit Gosalia about what to expect from amplification, more commonly known as hearing aids.The StatisticsDr. Gosalia explains that hearing loss is known as the invisible disease. The person experiencing it can’t feel or see it. Usually, family and friends notice and let the person know. Hearing loss is not uncommon. According to the NIH and the WHO, 15 percent of all Americans over 18, not only the elderly, suffer from some form of hearing loss. It can be caused by exposure to noise, genetics, or the environment, among other things. He adds that every year the Veteran’s Administration publishes a report on the disabilities suffered by veterans. Each year hearing loss is either number 2 or 3. Most people would guess that post-traumatic stress disorder would be at the top of the list for veterans returning from war. However, number one is almost always tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Lost WagesEach year there is a $1 billion loss in wages because of hearing loss. Dr. Gosalia explains that it is the result of misinterpretation and misinformation by people who can’t hear well. A recent market track survey demonstrated that among the thousands with hearing loss in the workplace, for every 10 decibels of hearing loss there is a reduction in salary. He explains that because a person’s brain has to go into overdrive to distinguish between the letter “t” and the letter “p,” for example, his/her cognitive energy is taken away from the ability to do other things. This is particularly difficult in meetings and when working with a team. The Types of Hearing LossThere are four types of hearing loss. To understand the different types, Dr. Gosalia gives a basic anatomy lesson on the ear. The outer ear, which is on the outside of the head, funnels sound into the ear canal. At the end of the ear canal is the ear drum. Connected to that are three small bones commonly known as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. Those bones are connected to the cochlea, which looks like a snail shell. Inside the cochlear are millions of hair cells that pick up the sound and send it to the auditory nerve. It is then sent to the brain for interpretation. The most common type of hearing loss is sensorineural. This is when a significant number of hair cells in the cochlea die off. They cannot be regenerated; however, a hearing aid provides extra energy to stimulate the remaining hair cells. This is considered hearing loss in the middle ear.The second type of hearing loss is call conductive. This happens when the ear canal is clogged with debris and wax, or when there is a hole in the ear drum, and it cannot vibrate correctly. Often children suffer from fluid in the middle ear. This is treated by inserting tubes into the child’s eustachiantube. The third type of hearing loss is called mixed. This is a combination of conductive and neurosensory loss. The last type and least common is known as central hearing loss, which takes place in the brain.  Fear of Hearing Aids Dr. Gosalia says people experiencing hearing loss wait an average of seven years to get help. They’re afraid of the cost, or fear that they’ll hear too much background noise. Others have heard stories of people who have had, say, five hearing aids in six years and none of them worked. About 99 percent of patients who see an audiologist who uses best practices do very well with hearing aids. They must be aware, however, that hearing instruments can’t restore normal hearing. They will definitely hear much better, however, and have an improved quality of life. There are hundreds of brands of hearing aids, and they are all work well. But each person is different and has different needs. Audiologists fit people with the hearing aids that work best for them.  
The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CC, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. C-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services.What exactly is Audiology?  Dr. Gosalia explains that audiology is science of hearing and balance. He explains that ii is relatively a new field that started after WWII when many of the veterans came home from war with varying degrees of hearing loss. That is about the time that people who wanted to enter the field had to study and meet certain academic requirements.What are the Requirements to Become an Audiologist?Dr. Gosalia explains that before 2012, a person who wished to become an audiologist had to complete a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. Beginning in 2012, a person had to complete a bachelor’s degree and then apply to an audiology program.Most audiology programs are four years, however, there are accelerated programs that are three years.Students learn the theory of audiology in the college classroom and the practical side of the field on site with a practicing audiologist. An audiologist who completes the program is an Au.D.Are the Requirements to get a License the Same in Every State?  The requirements differ from state to state, with some being very rigid and some being rather loose. And like the medical professional, there are a number oof subspecialties. Some audiologists focus on pediatric patients, some on balance issues, and some on tinnitus for example.Audiologists are working with government regulators on what is known as an interstate compact. This will allow audiologists who are licensed in one state to treat patients in other states. Receiving the Best CareMany people don’t realize that hearing aids are medical devices. Dr. Gosalia points out that a person would not want to buy a pacemaker over the counter. While pacemakers are surgically implanted and hearing aids are not, there are still many things that can go wrong if hearing aids are not dispensed properly.  Another reason to visit an audiologist is that there may be underlying medical problems causing the hearing loss. Examples are middle ear effusion and acoustic neuromas. In these cases, medically intervention is necessary, and an audiologist will send the patient to a physician.Most audiologists have what is known as a patient-centric practice. That means that the audiologist focuses solely on the patient when he/she is working. If a patient needs an hour or 15 minutes, the audiologist gives whatever time is needed while employing best practices. Dr. Gosalia says, “Patients don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” The Problem with OTC Hearing AidsDr. Gosalia explains that there are many problems with buying over the counter hearing aids. Because the person buying the hearing aid does not see an audiologist, they are not necessarily getting the hearing aid that is right for his/her hearing loss. He explains that a person doesn’t call their doctor and simply say, “I’m sick.” The doctor needs to see the patient and talk to him/her about the symptoms. The same is true for hearing aids.Buying hearing aids over the counter or online has resulted in a high level of dissatisfaction. In addition, a lot of people think that the hearing aids they bought have helped their hearing as much as possible, when that may not be true. Since people hear with their brains and not their ears. 
About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CC, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. C-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services.The Experiences of an Audiology Services PatientIn this episode Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino discuss the journey to better hearing with a patient, mentor and friend, Gerald Ephault. Blaise asks Mr. Ephault, who has been wearing hearing instruments for more than 10 years, to describe when he knew he need hearing aids. Mr. Ephault explains that he finally came to the realization that he wasn’t hearing what he should. He was having difficulty hearing what people were saying and the sounds of the environment. Eating in Restaurants was Difficult.Mr. Ephault says that it was especially hard to go out to eat. Pre-COVID, people sat close together, making it hard for him to decipher what his dining partners were saying. Also, the background noises interfered with any conversation he wanted to have. He described going out to eat as “extremely uncomfortable.”He and his wife of 40-plus years, Darlene, made a pact that Gerald would look her directly in the eye and concentrate on what she was saying to him, and after that he was accountable for what she said. He adds that most men will say “yes” to their wives even though they really haven’t heard or comprehended what she said.Hesitating to get Help      Mr. Ephault waited for a long time to finally get help for his hearing loss. He was in the military, he worked in a extremely noisy printing /binding facility and is a hunter. All of those environments damage hearing, but years ago it was simply accepted that you would lose some of your hearing as a member of the military and in manufacturing. No one thought to use hearing protection. He knew he was suffering from hearing loss but wasn’t sure exactly what to do.Accommodating for Hearing Loss Mr. Ephault explains what he would do when he was in important meetings/situations that required him to hear. In a business meeting for example, he would try to sit next to the main speaker. If he couldn’t, he would take notes and then fill in the blanks when he got back to his office. When he became a college professor, he realized how tremendously important it was to be able to hear. Some students spoke softer than others, each articulated differently, and several had accents. He did not want to diminish the students’ classroom experience. That was when he decided to go to Audiology Services for help.Life with Hearing InstrumentsWhen Blaise and Dr. Delfino fit Mr. Ephault with hearing aids, his first response was “I can hear!” He says it was like a revelation in his brain. He had hearing aids from another audiologist, but they weren’t helping much at all. When Blaise inserted the instruments, Mr. Ephault felt that life was now “normal.”  Life is not only easier, it’s more fun.    The Importance of Real Ear MeasurementDr. Delfino explains the reason Mr. Ephault’s Audiology Services instruments were so much better is because of Real Ear Measurement or REM. Dr. Delfino says as practitioners, he and Blaise want to represent hearing for the patient in the most natural and normal way possible. To do that, the instruments are precisely tuned to each person’s individual hearing loss and needs. That creates an environment that is true, or “real."
About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CC, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. C-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services.Redux, the Latest Technology for DryingIn this episode, Blaise Delfino speaks with Matt Hay, director of marketing and sales for Redux, the company that makes the newest system for drying hearing instruments. Matt lives in Indiana, where Redux is located, and travelled to Nazareth for this episode.Matt explains that Redux is a professional in-office hearing instrument dryer for hearing aids and implants. Hearing aid dryers have been around for a long time and they basically just use hot air and a fan. Matt Relates his Journey to Better Hearing  When Matt was in college, he began to notice that he had trouble hearing in one ear. He tried to ignore it. But with time, his hearing continued to get worse. He went to an audiologist, who recommended he get an MRI. It showed that Matt, now 19 years old, had bilateral acoustic neuromas, or tumors on the hearing nerve. He was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis 2, or NF2. Matt went through the grieving process about losing his hearing. He first was in denial, but after getting reinforcement from others that his hearing loss was profound, he got hearing aids. He was thrilled to be able to hear. He remembers hearing the bird chirping and his feet hitting the sidewalk. But eventually he needed an auditory brain stem implant, or ABI. Because his nerves were damaged by the tumors, hearing aids or a cochlear implant could not help. Doctors surgically implant electrodes into his brain stem. The surgery is extraordinarily complex and often causes adverse side effects, however Matt was fortunate to have very few.Learning to Hear Again Matt had devised ways to cope with hearing loss before getting the implant, so he able to adapt with the support of his family and friends. He used music as therapy. He asked himself, “What songs do I want to hear in my head for the rest of my life, in case I never hear again?” He created a play list of songs that he listened to over and over. After the implant, Matt says everything sounded like a gravel truck. He listened to music because he knew how each song was supposed to sound. He made progress, and after the first year, he became better at differentiating sounds. He has had the implant now for 16 years and believes music helped him to be able to differentiate speech. He is now totally deaf, but has 95 percent speech recognition, thanks to the implant, his music therapy and the support of wife, parents, immediate/extended family and his colleagues.A New CareerAfter working for the same company for 20 years, Matt was feeling that he wanted a change. He was involved with hearing healthcare as a volunteer, raising money and awareness for nonprofits. However, he genuinely wanted a job that would enable him to feel that he was helping people each day. During a ski weekend, his implant fell into the snow and no longer worked. Once back home, Matt’s wife mentioned to a neighbor about what happened, and the neighbor told her about Redux. Matt took his implant there, and they put it in what was then a phone dryer. It turns out the company was looking for someone who could oversee a Redux that would dry hearing instruments. Matt signed on, and the rest is history. 
About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CC, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. C-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services. Moving Forward with Hearing TechnologyIn this episode Dr. Gregory Delfino and Blaise Delfino speak with Nazareth native David Smith, a longtime family friend. David explains that the tipping point for him to move forward with hearing technology came when he was 55 years old. He realized he was asking his coworkers, family members and peers to continually repeat themselves. He knew others were becoming very frustrated with him. His wife would often help him when ordering in a restaurant, when he didn’t hear the waitress. If he was in a noisy coffee shop alone, for example, he’d become nervous about having to order and not hearing questions/comments from the waiter. His children thought he was ignoring them when, in fact, he simply couldn’t hear them. At work he would say “yes” to his boss’s request, even though he didn’t know what was being asked of him. When COVID-19 came along, he could no longer read lips because everyone was wearing masks.  He tried hearing aids but after one week took them out. He told Blaise he was just not ready. He was primarily worried about his image. At 55 he believed he “shouldn’t be in this situation.” He felt there was a stigma attached to wearing hearing aids.The Denial ProcessDr. Gregory Delfino explains that many people feel like Dave. There is a complete denial process that some people go through. They have a preconceived notion that hearing instruments are large and bulky and wearing them means they’re old. They struggle with the inability to hear and live with this silent disability. Practitioners often wonder how they can help these people.Moving ForwardAfter a visit to Audiology Services Dave finally realized exactly how poor his hearing was. He moved forward with hearing technology, knowing that his improved quality of life was more important than his image. Once he began to wear the hearing instruments again, he couldn’t say enough positive things. He has a new level of confidence and enjoys life so much more.Lost IncomeThere is a total of $1.2 billion in lost income every year due to untreated hearing loss. Dr. Delfino explains that often in the workplace an employee will be disciplined for a poor attitude when he/she simply can’t hear. Their pride stops them from telling their bosses and coworkers they have haring loss and from having a hearing screening. Co-morbidities with Hearing LossBlaise explains that our sense of hearing is the gateway to our bodies. People with untreated hearing loss are at a greater risk of experiencing cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, anxiety, and depression. He recommends that anyone who thinks he/she may have hearing loss seek out a hearing healthcare professional.Dr. Delfino adds that teaming up with a well-trained professional is essential, since that person can walk the patient through every step of the process to better hearing. Having trust in your provider is also important because he/she will help you make important decisions at the start of your hearing journey and as time goes on.A Willing Reference    Dave Smith says that he is always available as a reference to people who are on the fence about getting hearing instruments. He knows just how important it is to&
About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. The Lehigh Valley’s First Ear Mold LabIn this episode Blaise Delfino interviews Bob Holbroook and Ed Graham of ProtoCAM Additive Manufacturing in Allentown, Pa. Both Ed and Bob have extensive experience in the additive manufacturing field. (Additive manufacturing is more commonly known as 3-D printing.) Ed has been with ProtoCAM since 1996 after graduating from college as a polymer engineer. Bob owned his own injection molding company and began working at ProtoCAM After selling his business. ProtoCAM was Bob’s prototype, so his background combined with Ed’s engineering skills made for the perfect match. Together with CEO of ProtoCAM, Ron Belknap, the three have a total 75 years of experience. An Idea Meets Manufacturing Blaise met Ed and Bob at a conference where Blaise was giving a talk on Fader Plugs, the world’s first adjustable, mechanical ear plug, which he invented and patented. The ProtoCAM employees immediately wanted to get involved. They offered to help Blaise with the manufacturing of Fader Plugs. Prototyping BeginsBoth were excited to get involved in the project, however, Bob was hesitant about making the fine parts inside the Fader Plugs and their biocompatibility. However, they were able to overcome the anticipated problems and move forward.The filter was the start of ProtoCAM’s relationship with Fader Plugs. After several design iterations, Bob and Ed realized this was something that had never been developed before. Neither of them knew much about audiology in general, so it was a huge learning experience for everyone. After three iterations of the filter, it was recommended that the filter size be decreased. They did manage to decrease it by 67 percent; however, it did not function correctly. Turn-Around TimeThis technology will enable a turn-around time of only a couple of days. This is important because those that need Fader Plugs are construction workers, musicians, people with hyperacusis, or anyone around continual noxious noise. It is important to get people into Fader Plugs as soon as possible so they can preserve their hearing. New Lab is IntroducedAs a result of the partnership between Fader Plugs and ProtoCAM, the first ear mold lab ever in the Lehigh Valley has been introduced. This is groundbreaking. It is also something that ProtoCAM CEO Ron Belknap has always wanted to do: manufacture a product from start to finish. A Contribution to Society ProtoCAM is excited to be helping others maintain their hearing health. They are also very dedicated to their customers, in this case Fader Plugs, and want to manufacture only the best, highest quality goods. Also knowing that the entire product was invented and manufactured in the Lehigh Valley is thrilling.          
About the Hearing Matters Podcast The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. A Message for Hearing Healthcare PractitionersIn this episode, Blaise Delfino discusses Audiology Services’ response and return strategy to COVID-19. He explains how he kept his team empowered and how he helped keep patients motivated and socially active during the pandemic. His message is directed to his colleagues in the field of hearing healthcare, who are fighting the good fight to continue to raise awareness of hearing healthcare, while consistently implementing best practices during the pandemic. Responding to the PandemicCommunicating with patients on a consistent basis is essential. When the practice was closed, Audiology Services used an email list to let patients know they could drop off hearing aids for service in the vestibule or pick up supplies there. They were updated regularly on the closure of the practice. As a leader of an organization, it is essential to keep team members and patients safe and motivated during this unprecedented time. Returning to the Office When the practice reopened, it was critical to ensure both patients and team members felt safe. To do that, Audiology Services only scheduled five to six patients a day, in order to allow extra time to disinfect between patients. While we were already disinfecting, we took added precautions in light of COVID-19. When a patient came into the office, even for a clean and check, he/she was taken back to Blaise’s private office. This gave the patient a chance to converse. Most of the patients had been in seclusion and/or had limited socialization during the lockdown. By treating them like part of the family, they reconnected with the team and interacted again with people.  Keeping the Team Empowered   To help keep the team motivated, Audiology Services holds a morning huddle every day. By going over the list of patients for that day and looking a few days ahead, the team knows what to expect and exactly what his/her role will be. This helps everyone stay in synch.Audiology Services continually celebrates the team as a whole and individuals with tokens of appreciation. This is a huge motivator. For example, thanking the team with a pizza party on a Friday afternoon, or presenting a small gift to an individual keeps people uplifted and positive. Also reminding the team members of the impact each of them has on the patients and the practice overall keeps them motivated.    Encouraging Colleagues to Continue the FightIn spite of the many threats to the hearing healthcare industry as it is right now, we all need to soldier on. As hearing healthcare professionals, we are incredibly fortunate to be able to introduce people to a new world of hearing. Continue to love the process of meeting and counseling new patients, helping them navigate speech in noise and enhancing their lives. Even when the going gets tough, your team and your patients will lift you up. Thank you for what you do.  
The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss, tinnitus, and Central Auditory Processing Disorder at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.On this episode you will learn: How a background in audio engineering positively influences Dr. Taddei's patient outcomes The importance of real ear measurement (REM) The difference between basic level hearing technology and premium level hearing technology Dr. Taddie's "Why" On this episode we interview Dr. Steven Taddei.  Since childhood, he has been fascinated with sound and music. His interest grew into passion leading him to open a small recording studio and pursue a degree in audio production. Hungry for more understanding of acoustics and our perception of it, he obtained a doctorate in audiology. During his time in academia, he took every opportunity to learn from those around him. Some highlights include assisting in the construction of professional recording studios, conducting hearing sciences research in wind tunnels, and traveling abroad providing hearing services for orphans and low-income families. Since graduating with his doctorate in 2018, he has continued to explore his passions. He has been working as an audiologist at a non-profit. Simultaneously, he has been teaching audio production and hearing sciences at several universities. Further, he is the co-founder of an audio product start-up which just received patent approval. Regardless of his explorations in sound, he has remained inspired, eager to learn more, and grateful. As an audio engineer, he facilitates an artists’ vision and helps bring it to the world. As an audiologist, her works with the hard of hearing population exploring all options to improve quality of life. As an audio professor, he hopes to inspire students to find their passion and pursue it. We Heard You Have Some Questions? Let's Hear Em'!E-mail: Blaise@faderplugs.com 
The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss, tinnitus, and Central Auditory Processing Disorder at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.On this episode we interview Gary Rosenblum, President of Oticon.  Gary Rosenblum has been President of Oticon, Inc. since October of 2016.  Gary is responsible for driving forward Oticon’s leadership in innovation, product quality and customer support. He brings a rich understanding of how customers and consumers are adapting to a changing healthcare environment.  Prior to Oticon, Gary ran several medical device and consumer healthcare businesses for Fortune 500 companies including Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Labs, and Pfizer.  Gary earned his MBA from Cornell University and his BA in Psychology and History from Washington University in St. Louis.On this episode you will learn: How Gary started his entrepreneurial journey in college Leading a team during and throughout a global pandemic Response strategies implemented by Oticon during the COVID-19 pandemic The Oticon More launch The importance of visiting a hearing healthcare provider Gary's musical journey About Oticon: Oticon’s mission began more than 100 years ago. In 1904, Oticon founder Hans Demant wanted to help his hearing-impaired wife live a better life, introducing her to one of the world's first electronic hearing aids.From this foundation of care, Oticon grew with a passion to help people who need hearing support. We work constantly towards our vision of a world where innovative hearing technology provides meaningful, life-changing benefits for people with hearing loss.Oticon More ~ The World's First Hearing Aid with Deep Neural Networks (DNN):The DNN in Oticon More is trained with 12 million sounds from real-life to recognize virtually all types of sounds to support your brainOticon More works more like how your brain works because it learned through experienceAs a result, you get better speech understanding with less effort and the ability to remember more, even in noisy environmentsDelivers 30% more sound to the brain Increases speech understanding by 15%Reduces listening effort so that you remember more of what is being saidSchedule a LIVE listening demonstration of the Oticon More at Audiology Services, today! We Heard You Have Some Questions? Let's Hear Em'! Email: Blaise@audiologyservicesllcpa.com
The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss, tinnitus, and Central Auditory Processing Disorder at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.On this episode we interview Peter Fick, owner of Fick Hearing Aid Center.  Peter has been treating hearing loss for over 35 years! Fick Hearing Aid Center strives to treat each patient as if they were their own family member to ensure they receive the best possible hearing care. They focus on continually serving those struggling with hearing loss with the best value in hearing aid technology in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. As an established business in the communities they serve they try to enrich the lives of area residents with better hearing.On this episode you will learn: How Peter Fick got involved in the hearing healthcare industry What it's like working at a family owned and operated private hearing healthcare practice The importance of leaving work at the office Why you should speak highly of the industry you're in to your family members, especially if you have childrenThe importance of a patient centered model Why you should visit a licensed hearing healthcare professional About Fick Hearing Aid Center: Our practice prides itself on taking care of each patient as if they were our own family member to receive the best possible hearing outcome. We focus on continually serving the hearing needs of the nearby communities with dedicated hearing care. In this process, our practice demonstrates disciplines and values to ensure fair and personalized hearing care for each patient.Fick Hearing Aid Center's Guarantee: 1. Comprehensive Hearing  Evaluation2. Recommend Only What Needs Recommending3. Clear Understanding of the Hearing Journey and Results4. Seeing and Hearing the Benefit (i.e. real ear measurement) 5. Treatment is More Than Just an Office VisitAbout the Hearing Matters Podcast: The Hearing Matters Podcast is hosted by Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and his father/audiologist, Dr. Gregory Delfino, AuD, CCC-A. Together, Blaise and Dr. Delfino treat patients with hearing loss, tinnitus, and Central Auditory Processing Disorder at Audiology Services located in Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. We Heard You Have Some Questions? Let's Hear Em'! Email: Blaise@audiologyservicesllcpa.com
The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CCC-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss, tinnitus, and Central Auditory Processing Disorder at Audiology Services, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. On this episode we interview Dr. Liz White of Harbor City Hearing Solutions! Harbor City Hearing Solutions is committed to providing the best in patient care and the best in hearing devices. Dr. White continually attends conferences and workshops to ensure she is current on research and best practices in the field of audiology. Audiology is a changing field, therefore, we need to continue to learn and grow as professionals to continue to provide the patient with the highest standard of hearing care. Bettering your hearing healthcare is an investment and together we can work together to improve your quality of life! During this episode you will learn:What inspired Dr. White to enter the field of AudiologyWhat sparks Dr. White’s happiness Why Dr. White decided to open her own private audiology practice What sets Harbor City Hearing Solutions apart from other hearing healthcare practices About Audiology Services:At Audiology Services, we believe in total hearing healthcare for all patients through comprehensive assessment techniques. They include aural rehabilitation, as well as measurements of outcome success. When a communication deficit is identified, an appropriate amplification solution that fits the patient’s lifestyle and budget is offered. A family owned and operated facility, we are dedicated to the principle of providing exceptional care to all those in need of our assistance. We emphasize the concept that healthy hearing leads to a healthy life.
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