Tuned In: Hearing Clinic Offers Smart Phone Technology

Tuned In: Hearing Clinic Offers Smart Phone Technology

One of every eight people in the nation experience some type of hearing loss. Jeni Wares, Au.D., CCC-A, Audiologist

Now technology allows those experiencing hearing issues to literally tune into what a speaker is saying or stream favorite songs to their hearing devices.

The audiology staff at the William and Leni Carls Hearing Clinic at Munson Medical Center offers area residents and businesses the latest diagnostic hearing procedures and technology in hearing devices.

“It’s really a fun job,” said Jeni Wares, Au.D., CCC-A, one of four audiologists caring for patients at the center. “I like that it is technology driven and personal. You get to follow people through the years. You get to watch kids grow up and see what their paths are going to be.”

The technology now allows for some hearing devices to be controlled by applications on smart phones. When in crowds, users can adjust their small, in-ear hearing aids to better focus on a certain speaker, or link to a microphone during a speech, or stream music directly to their device.

Wares, who grew up in Marquette and graduated from Western Michigan University, chose to work in Traverse City to be closer to family. She enjoys working with patients of all ages and witnessing their satisfaction when technology improves their hearing and quality of life.

Audiologists at the clinic treat hearing loss, offer vestibular testing for balance issues, and test auditory brainstem response on infants.

“We try to fit hearing aids on newborns as early as possible if they have hearing loss,” she said. “We also fit bone-anchored devices that Ear, Nose, and Throat physicians implant for adults who have hearing loss due to a middle ear issue. We fit and program those devices.”

Hearing center coordinator Tyler Scott said the team uses a mobile hearing clinic to travel across northern Michigan offering hearing screening for students as well as for industrial hearing screenings to meet OSHA requirements.

Hearing devices “Our educational audiologist services involves 29 schools throughout 18 districts. In some cases we take the truck as far as Hart and Indian River to help the children in need,” he said. “We service 75 kids alone just in the Traverse Bay Area ISD. The mobile hearing clinic allows us to treat patients with the same level of care that we would here in the office.” 

The hearing clinic does a total of 10,000 hearing evaluations a year. Members of the clinic team also twice yearly visit the Traverse City senior center to do free hearing screenings and offer hearing aids repairs. “It is a great opportunity to connect and give back to our community,” Scott said.

In addition to Wares and Scott, other members of the provider team include Julie Page, Au.D., CCC-A ; Nick Parmer, Au.D., CCC-A; Deb Hale, M.A., CCC-A; and Cody Curry, B.S., audiology resident. 

For more information about the clinic go to munsonhealthcare.org/mmchearingclinic, or call 231-935-6455.