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Audiology/Hearing Specialists

MetroHealth audiologists are skilled at testing all populations, including those with special needs.

Physician referral required if surgery is needed. To schedule an appointment, call 216-778-5791.

Audiology/Hearing Specialists

MetroHealth audiologists are skilled at testing all populations, including those with special needs.

Physician referral required if surgery is needed. To schedule an appointment, call 216-778-5791.

Audiology

Hearing loss can affect any age or population. Unidentified hearing loss in adults can significantly affect quality of life at work, home and in social situations. Speech and language development will be impaired in children with significant hearing loss that is not identified before age 3. Even though these issues are serious, it's not always the person with hearing loss who notices the problem. Friends and family will often notice it first.

Understanding Hearing Loss

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 17 percent (36 million) of American adults report some degree of hearing loss. About 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born deaf or hard of hearing.

Signs of hearing loss include:

  • Difficulty in understanding speech, especially in situations with background noise or when a person is not looking at the speaker. A person may be able to "hear" but not "understand."
  • Behavior problems or trouble using speech to communicate, if the person with hearing loss is a child.
  • Difficulty participating in conversations, especially in groups.
  • Avoidance of difficult listening environments, which can impact quality of life.
  • Difficulty locating the source of a sound.
  • Louder than normal volume on televisions or telephones.
  • A sense that people are mumbling.

There are three main types of hearing loss that can impact adults and children:

  • Sensorineural hearing loss. This form of hearing loss is usually permanent and can occur at any time during a person's life. Aging, certain medical conditions, vascular disease, exposure to loud noise, head trauma or a virus can be some reasons for sensorineural hearing loss.
  • Conductive hearing loss. This form of hearing loss affects how sounds are transmitted through the outer or middle ear. It can be caused by wax in the ear canal, fluid in the middle ear or deformation of the bones in the middle ear. Many times this can be medically treated.
  • Mixed hearing loss. Mixed hearing loss occurs when there is a conductive as well as a sensorineural component to hearing loss. Sometimes only part of this type of hearing loss can be treated.

Working With a MetroHealth Audiologist

An audiologist is a professional who evaluates and treats individuals with hearing loss and/or vestibular (balance) problems. Audiologists use a variety of special tests to identify if there is a hearing or balance problem that may be related to parts of the ear. Audiologists use this information to identify the type, degree and location of the problem in the auditory (hearing) or vestibular (balance) system. Audiologists are specially trained in the rehabilitative (or habilitative) aspects of hearing loss and use a therapeutic approach through hearing devices.

MetroHealth audiologists have earned master's or doctorate degrees from accredited university graduate programs. They are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and are licensed by the state of Ohio. Many MetroHealth audiologists are fellows of the American Academy of Audiology. All MetroHealth audiologists participate in resident education and supervise doctoral students from university programs. The MetroHealth Audiology Department is a division of the Department of Otolaryngology. It provides full-service diagnostic and rehabilitative services, including a complete hearing aid dispensary with state-of-the-art digital processing technology.

Hearing Evaluations at MetroHealth

There are many ways to evaluate a person's hearing. MetroHealth audiologists are skilled at testing all populations, including those with special needs. Contact your physician or pediatrician with your hearing concerns and ask for a referral to the Department of Audiology.

Your doctor may send you to an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat physician) or audiologist (hearing and balance professional) for special hearing tests and evaluations. You may have a problem that is easily treated, or you may need hearing aids.

What to Expect

Audiologists use a graph called an audiogram to demonstrate how well a person can detect sounds. Audiograms help predict how hearing sensitivity affects activities of daily living.

Two important aspects of hearing are detecting sounds and understanding speech. Audiologists determine the softest volume level of a sound that can be detected by the individual. These sounds are similar to music and are in the same pitch range as speech. Spoken words are a combination of these sounds, and if a person cannot hear all the sounds at normal hearing levels, they have hearing loss at all or part of the speech range. Speech will often sound muffled or unclear to a person with hearing loss. We'll explain what those results mean, and we will answer any questions you may have. You may have a hearing loss that can be treated by a physician. If not, we will review options that are available to you, including hearing aids.

Addressing Your Hearing Loss

If we determine that you may benefit from hearing aids, we will let you know about options that are right for you. Often we will refer you to an ear, nose and throat physician (if you haven’t already seen one) before you start your hearing aid journey. 

Once you decide to pursue hearing aids, a separate appointment is scheduled to discuss your options. Today’s hearing aids are called digital processors, which means they have a computer chip that can tell the hearing aid what to do based on your hearing loss and your daily listening activities. Audiologists at MetroHealth dispense hearing aids in a rehabilitative manner, so you are never alone in the process. Some insurance companies offer a benefit to help with the cost.

Once the hearing aids are selected, you'll have 30 days to evaluate the devices to ensure they fit and the sound is comfortable. Return visits are included in the process. Appointments help us keep track of your progress with your hearing aids to make sure you are completely satisfied and are using the hearing aids as part of your daily routine. You'll need to care for your devices, and we'll show you how to clean them properly.

Most hearing aids come with a standard one- or two-year warranty against loss, damage or repair. Most manufacturers provide extended warranty protection that can be purchased at an additional cost.

 

Our Doctors/Medical Providers

Jane M. Mackall, MA CCC-A, FAAA

Jane M. Mackall, MA CCC-A, FAAA

Audiology

No patient rating available.   Why?
Madeline A. Merkord, AuD.CCC-A

Madeline A. Merkord, AuD.CCC-A

Audiology

No patient rating available.   Why?
Alexa C. Rybak, AuD.CCC-A

Alexa C. Rybak, AuD.CCC-A

Audiology

No patient rating available.   Why?
Michael P. Starkey, AuD.CCC-A

Michael P. Starkey, AuD.CCC-A

Audiology

No patient rating available.   Why?

Locations

Brainard Place Medical Center
29001 Cedar Road, Suite 518
Lyndhurst , Ohio 44124

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216-778-7800

2500 MetroHealth Drive
Cleveland , Ohio 44109

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216-957-9700

7800 Pearl Road
Middleburg Heights , OH 44130

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216-524-7377

12301 Snow Road
Parma , Ohio 44130

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