Winter Weather Notice:
With the winter weather it is best to give our clinics a call before coming in to make sure we are open. In the event of poor weather we may open late or close early to keep our staff safe and off the roads. We will still be available by phone during business hours. We hope everyone stays safe this winter!
St. Patrick’s Day may be just around the corner, but you don’t have to have luck to get your hearing to a better place! Make an appointment with your nearest Concha Audiology clinic and we can show you the difference Marvel technology makes on a hearing loss.
In The News
Our 22nd Annual New Year Challenge is on! Contact your nearest Concha Audiology Better Hearing clinic to try our best technology for the New Year! Better hearing is right around the corner, so don’t wait, give us a call! We have special incentives and affordable payments. Life, Love, Hearing.
New Research on Hearing Loss
New research recently released by multiple outlets such as CBS News, Forbes, Science Daily, Consumer Reports, Market Watch, and many more, are reporting the benefits of hearing aids and being fit as soon as possible. Properly treated hearing loss can lower your risk of things such as falls, depression, cognitive decline, memory issues, anxiety, and provide you with an overall better quality of life. The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reports: “People age 66 and older who got a hearing aid shortly after being diagnosed with hearing loss were less likely to receive a first-time diagnosis of dementia or depression, or be injured by a fall, in the following three years.” The research is in, and the results are overwhelming; treating hearing loss will help you in more ways than just treating hearing loss. Check out our links under the “Learn More” tab to take you directly to the research articles we are handing out to our patients.
The new Audeo Marvel is a BTE as well as RIC style hearing aid. This ultra power hearing aid is able to treat most hearing losses from mild to severe. This hearing aid is available in two different styles, rechargeable and battery operated. Audeo Marvel can be ordered with a telecoil as well. Four technology levels are available, with a wide range of nine different color options. Marvel hearing aids recognize and automatically adapt to precisely match more listening situations than ever before. Phonak Audeo Marvel can connect directly to either iOS or Android smartphones or other Bluetooth® enabled devices. With Phonak TV Connector, a simple plug and play solution allows you to enjoy your favorite TV programs and movies. The PartnerMic is paired directly to Marvel hearing aids and allows the hearing aid wearer to get conversations directly to their hearing aids. Among the greatest advancements we have seen in our history, this hearing aid is a great fit for someone who doesn’t want to mess with much, or someone who wants to dive into all of the features and technology available.
Locals Love Us
Our North Liberty office was voted the top choice for a trusted option in hearing aid service by Locals Love Us! Thank you to everyone who voted! Our Fort Madison, Keokuk and Mount Pleasant offices have consistently been voted the “Favorite Place to Get Hearing Aids” by readers of the Hawk Eye! Thank you to everyone who voted for us and continues to each year! All of our offices are Phonak 5-Star Centers and Inner Circle members.
Have you ever wanted to control your hearing aids with your phone?
There’s an app for that! The Phonak Remote Control app allows users to adjust volume, change hearing aid programs, and more!
Does it cost?
No, the app is free!
What phones is it compatible with?
The app requires Apple iOS 7 or higher, or on Android 4.0 or higher.
Does your phone link up directly to your hearing aids?
Yes, some models may need a streaming device in order to connect, such as the ComPilot II or ComPilot Air II.
Internet Sales, Big box store sales, Portable Van sales, Catalog Sales, Mail order sales of hearing aids:
We have many inquiries about various items patients and prospective patients have seen or discovered about hearing aids. In some cases, they are devices that look like hearing aids but are marketed as hearing enhancers, hearing amplifiers or assistive hearing devices (which are technically hearing aids with a different name to bypass FDA regulations). As Doctors of Audiology and Audiology assistants we have many years of education, training, internships and experience. All our practices are regulated by ethical, professional and governmental standards that we strictly adhere to. Our education includes knowing medical implications, causes and treatment of hearing loss. We also spend many hours studying how circuitry works and the practical implications of utilizing certain technology in hearing aids. We have many years of training in medical settings working hand in hand with other related professionals such as Otolaryngologists, Neurologists, Otologists and other Physician specialties on subjects related to hearing and balance disorders. Our extensive training allows us to know how hearing and balance works. We know how your general health, such as disease, illness, medication, age, psychology, cognitive deficits, musculoskeletal, or interpersonal issues affect your hearing and the technology we use. We know the anatomy of your brain, ears, nervous system, balance system and how it works. We even know that the shape of your ear canal can affect and be affected by the style and technology of a hearing aid. Most patients who are looking for their first hearing aids typically fall victim to disinformation overload. How do you know what is right for your hearing? Our first piece of advice is don’t make your choice based on price. Second piece of advice is don’t buy anything out of the back of a Van, magazine, TV ad or mail order catalog. Third piece of advice is to not believe everything said in an advertisement especially if it makes promises that are unreasonable. For example, it might say you can hear across a crowded room, hear someone talking across the street, understand every word being said, eliminate noise, etc. Fourth piece of advice is to make sure you can get your money back if you decide to buy something from these places.
Step one looking for help:
Get a hearing evaluation by an Audiologist, we are the best at giving you a good evaluation. There will be a fee for doing this but the evaluation will be extensive, accurate and obtained in a calibrated clinical setting. We utilize sound-proof booths, take medical history, will assess other aspects that may affect your candidacy for amplification, and we are professional. We will refer you to appropriate Physician specialties if medical remediation is needed. Hearing evaluations are valid for 3-months.
Step two is if you decide to get hearing aids
Consult with a professional who specializes in fitting hearing aids and has lots of experience. We, of course, would only recommend going to an Audiologist since we know the most about what may be appropriate for you and can give you an honest assessment and good advice. It is okay to do some research and have prepared questions to ask. An honest professional will tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear. A good professional will also help you narrow down your choices by assessing all the factors discussed above, such as health, manual dexterity, vision, age, social activity level, and budget.
Step three is making your purchase after getting medical clearance for hearing aids or signing the required FDA waiver form.
Not all brands of hearing aids are the same, some have patents on technology that will work better for certain patients. Some have features that will be useful for a particular lifestyle. Some have features that are more practical, such as water or weather resistance, wireless, universal compatibility with other devices, programmability, or battery life. Some hearing aids can only be adjusted if you are within a certain franchise. Beltone (Parent company GN ReSound), Miracle ear (Parent company Siemens), Concept by Iowa (Parent company GN ReSound) are common franchise businesses. You can only go to a franchise to get hearing aid services, which will especially limit you if the franchise closes or you move to an area where no franchise exists. Even though we know who the parent company is we cannot adjust the hearing aids because a lock in programming software does not allow us to change programming in franchised or private label hearing aids. Stay with the Majors. Only a handful of major hearing aid companies currently exist, and they own many of the hearing aid companies out there. Major companies are worldwide, have more stability, have the latest technology and are more widely used by Audiologists. If you travel or move you are more likely to find service wherever you are. Even though we expect you to not ever return your hearing aids, make sure you know what the return policy of the clinic you choose is. Some will return the full amount paid. Some will return a portion of the amount paid and some will have longer trial periods than others. Make sure there is a purchase agreement, including policies and warranty information, in writing with the trial period. Make sure you are provided a copy of the purchase agreement at the time of sale.
Step four is getting fit.
If you purchase hearing aids from a good Audiologist, they should do a Real Ear Measurement or In-Situ fitting on you. What it this? Your ear canal shape and length causes a certain change to the acoustics entering your ear canal and impact your auditory system. REM or In-Situ measuring takes this acoustic difference into account when a hearing aid is put into your ear. The levels are measured and the hearing aid is programmed to match specific targets we create based on your hearing test results and your ear canal resonance. This method allows us to know what your hearing aids are doing in your ears. This is the best way to ensure we have objective measures of sound going into your ears so we can make sure you are getting the appropriate amplification you need. We will know if the level of sounds we put into your ears will not cause any further damage to your hearing. If this step is not included in the fitting protocol then one is just guessing, and guessing can be dangerous. DO NOT go to anyone who does not provide REM on every patient. The fitting will involve extensive counseling on expectations, and other objective measures of speech recognition in quiet and noise. There will be an assessment of loudness and comfort levels. Finally, there will be instruction on insertion/removal, care, cleaning, troubleshooting and function of the hearing aids.
Step five is follow-up.
Some practices will bundle their services which means that when you purchase your hearing aid evaluation, fitting, follow up, batteries and other services are included for a certain time period. Some practices will un-bundle services, which means the hearing aids, fitting, follow up, batteries and other services are separate costs. Follow up services are always recommended. Patients will need further counseling, minor adjustments, and cleanings. Depending on technology, the patient might also need the adding or deleting of programs, retesting, and reprogramming. Expect the average lifetime of a Behind-the-ear water and weather resistant hearing aid to last 4-years. Custom in-the-ear hearing aids may only last 2-3 years. Hearing evaluations should be performed at least every 18-24 months, or if sudden changes in hearing occur.
SO, should you get hearing aids over the internet?
We say we live in a great country where free enterprise exists. Internet sales are unregulated and most major companies discourage purchase of hearing aids over the internet. Some hearing aids purchased can be counterfeit or stolen. Some manufacturers have purchased internet hearing aid sales sites and will direct you to a hearing professional who has been paid a fee to fit the hearing aids purchased through the site. Most of these sites lower costs by un-bundling services or not providing services at all. You may be subject to internet sales tax and there is no guarantee whether repairs or loss and damage warranties will be honored. There is no guarantee the professional you are referred to is an Audiologist or is good at what they do. So far, we have not had anyone coming into our practice who was a raving fan about their internet hearing aids. Forums related to internet sales have quite a few complaints about improper fittings.
Should you get hearing aids or hearing enhancers through magazine ads, internet, TV ads, or mail order?
A fool and their money are soon parted. We recommend a big NO! Over the years we have had people come in with jars full of these devices. They are the biggest cause of confusion with people. They try these devices, don’ t bother to return them, never wear them, complain about improper fit, complain they are too loud or not loud enough or say they can hear refrigerators and motors better than voices. They confuse them for hearing aids and tell others “they tried hearing aids but they never worked”. These companies stay in business because most persons who try them never return them. They are cheap and you definitely get what you pay for.
Should you get your hearing aids from a van or portable trailer?
They may have a trailer or van with a sound booth built in but the trailer or van may be in a parking lot with traffic going by or the wind rocking. In these environments, your hearing test may not be accurate due to the ambient noise being too high or distracting. Fitting a hearing aid in a noisy environment will not allow the hearing aids to be accurately fit. REM needsto be performed in a very quiet environment. Feedback testing in digital hearing aids also requires a very quiet environment. They may sell major brand hearing aids and provide a trial period but what happens when the trial period ends in 30-days but they are not coming back for 40 days? What happens if they are 140 miles away and your hearing aids need adjusting? If you don’t require much service or you are in a very rural area with no services you may have no choice. If there are reputable professionals within a safe driving distance it would be better to go to an established clinic with quiet, calibrated equipment and sound-proof booths.
Should I go to a big box store to get hearing aids?
This is the newest trend in hearing aids. Costco, and some other stores now sell hearing aids. They typically sell them at a substantial discount due to un-bundling of services and huge volume discounts. Most hearing aids are not fit by Audiologists and training is provided by the stores, not the manufacturers. The hearing aids sold in big box stores are the same name brands as the major manufacturers but certain technological features are taken out, such as tinnitus management programming. There is a large amount of employee turnover in big box stores, hours can be inconvenient and there are no guarantees that the person who is fitting you knows how the technology or the features within the hearing aids work. Fittings and evaluations are provided in a big warehouse environment. If you are comfortable with this setting, great. Our experience has shown that we establish a personal relationship with all our patients. We establish trust and care and treat our patients like we would treat our own family. If you don’t care to establish a care centered relationship with whoever is fitting you, then big box stores will be adequate for you. If you are not comfortable with this situation, contact a local Audiologist and ask if they can un-bundle their services to bring prices down. You may also purchase hearing aids from the big box and take them to an Audiologist to be fitted. Just be prepared to have to pay every time you go in for checkups, cleanings, supplies, batteries and other services. Current forums indicate mixed feelings about going to big box stores. Most common complaints regard lack of knowledge about products and features.
Outdoorsmen and Music Lovers
In addition to helping those with hearing loss, we are committed to protecting and enhancing the listening experience for those with normal hearing. Do you spend a lot of time outdoors? Outdoor activities, such as mowing, often expose us to loud and damaging sounds. Protect your hearing with custom hearing protection. What about those music lovers out there? Learn how to enhance your listening experience with in-ear monitors.
Investing in Your Future
Tough economic times mean making wise investments. Did you know that persons with untreated hearing loss earn less in their lifetimes than persons who treat their hearing loss? Did you know that hearing loss can cost you lots of money in ways you never even thought of? Did you know that untreated hearing loss is one of the top five contributors to depression in our elders? When you have a hearing loss you are the last one to know. When you get better hearing you are the last one to know how much it is helping you. Others around you see the impact of your hearing loss on you. If you think it is time to make a change in your life start with investing in better hearing. The rewards you receive will be priceless.
Education is the Key
Concha Audiology patients are the most educated patients. We teach about your hearing loss and how to develop strategies that help you function as well as possible in your daily activities. We are continually learning about techniques and technology that can help our patients live better lives through better hearing. We invite you to find out why we are so successful with our hearing aid fittings.
Hearing Health Care
Hearing loss is one of the most common health problems in people over the age of 65, but it can occur in any age group. Concha Audiology has worked with citizens of southeast Iowa since 1998, dealing with clinical aspects of Audiology including newborn screening, balance disorder assessment, industrial audiology, middle ear disorders, hearing evaluations, and hearing aid fittings for all age groups, infants through adults.
Our patients are like our family. We do our best to reach the goal of better hearing with reasonable expectations. We do not take shortcuts, we listen, give good, honest, professional advice. You should not have to settle for less. Over the years we have worked hard to achieve our 99% satisfaction rating with our patients. We use the best available technology, the latest equipment and verification techniques to ensure proper fitting of your new hearing instruments. My hearing aids have been a “godsend”, especially as my hearing has deteriorated over the past 20 years. They have allowed me to enjoy near-normal interactions with my family, during everyday discussions, meeting participations, and most surrounding sounds. The Concha Audiology “team” has been helpful and courteous in handling fitting, cleaning, re-calibration, and possible enhancement issues. The “Concha Experience” has been both a valuable and pleasant one! Thanks! – G. Kreidler We started with Del Concha in the spring of 2009- with hearing testing; buying hearing aids and going back regularly since then for servicing those aids. Our experiences have always been most pleasant with Del- he is very prompt and professional. We are extremely satisfied with our aids and the services we have received. We wouldn’t go anywhere else. – J and B Cray
State of the Art Technology
We utilize state of the art technology, including:
Digital audiometers for hearing evaluations
Tympanometers for testing middle ear functions
Sound booths to ensure accurate evaluations
Real Ear Systems to accurately test and adjust your hearing aids
Powerful computers with the latest fitting software to ensure you have the latest fitting and hearing aid technology
Schedule an Appointment Today
Mount Pleasant, North Liberty, and Fort Madison offices are open 9am-5pm. Keokuk is open Monday and Thursdays from 1pm-4pm
Mt.Pleasant Office 319-385-9030 or 1-800-475-9110 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fort Madison Office 319-372-2999 or 1-800-569-8919 Email: email@example.com
North Liberty Office 319-626-2392 or 1-866-272-7965 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keokuk Office 1-800-569-8919 Email: email@example.com