Senior Expo – 2018

If you’re not aware, the Marshall County Senior Expo will be at the Plymouth High School on Thursday, October 18th – 8:a.m. to 3 p.m. Come out and see me in Booth #26.  I will be providing free hearing screenings.

If you haven’t looked at the Senior Expo flyer that’s been in the newspapers, be sure to flip through it.. There is an article on hearing issues and the importance of seeing an Audiologist. I’ve seen it in the Plymouth Pilot and the Culver Citizen. Ask me why it’s important to see a Doctor of Audiology for your hearing needs. I’ll happily give you an earful! <pun intended> I’m passionate about my profession and the patients I serve.

Stretching My Doctorate…

Rebecca Berger, Doctor of Audiology

I am very proud of my AuD (Doctor of Audiology) designation. I often have to explain what it means. I have advanced degrees in Audiology. I am not just a technician that fits you with a hearing aid… I am trained in the theory and practice of how my equipment works, how hearing aids work (and don’t work!), the interaction of the hearing aid with various types of hearing loss, the interactions of various drugs with hearing as well as a myriad of other hearing related information. I also am trained to recognize the physical causes of your hearing loss that might require you to see a physician and possibly a specialist such as an ENT. I participate in yearly continuing education to maintain my license, advance my knowledge and keep current on the latest technology and practices that I can use to help my patients.

When a patient mistakes my degree for a medical degree, I am quick to correct them. I am not qualified or licensed to dispense specific medical advice outside my defined limits. I am not able to write prescriptions for medicines. I often recommend a visit to a patient’s family physician for further evaluation if I feel that there is a health issue that needs to be addressed in conjunction with the hearing loss. That said, I’ve been pressed into other roles this past month!

Lions Club Shelter at Centennial Park

I am a member of the Plymouth Lions Club. On Labor Day Weekend, I was one of the volunteers serving food, or more accurately, acting as cashier, for the Lions Club Fundraiser at the Blueberry Festival. A festival-goer came to the pavilion and asked if they could have a seat as they were not feeling well and the heat was affecting them. Seconds later, I found myself holding them, slumped in my arms, as they passed out and vomited. I took control, organized help to get her settled and directed calls to get her medical attention.

Pulaski Memorial Hospital

Our satellite office is at Pulaski Memorial Hospital in Winamac. I am there two days a month. On a recent day there, a staff member came into my office, distraught over a patient. I sat with them and comforted them until someone from the hospital could help. I often feel like a marriage counselor when dealing with spouses with hearing loss, but this was a bit outside my realm!

I’m sure my years of working with the Medical Doctors who were my previous employers helped me deal with these issues. Doctors Brooks, Kletzing, Saine and McTigue were all compassionate professionals, dedicated to their patients’ care. They set a great example and I respected them all. I was glad that I was able to step up in these recent situations when others were unable to do so. But it has also reaffirmed my understanding that everyone should have some basic emergency medical training. My Doctorate didn’t apply here, but my compassion and basic knowledge let me be a Good Samaritan when one was needed.

How to Choose a Hearing Healthcare Provider

If you are new to hearing care or the hearing loss community, you may have a few questions. One of the most popular questions is: “What is the difference between an audiologist and a hearing aid dispenser?” For starters, both help people get hearing aids, so it’s easy to understand why the difference is not so clear all of the time.

Hearing Aid Dispensers

Hearing aid dealers must meet very basic requirements to receive a license that allows them to do a basic test for the purpose of selling hearing aids to adults. While there is some variance between states, most states require a high school diploma prior to taking a licensing exam to become a hearing aid dispenser. Some states require a course prior to the licensing exam, and some require a valid student dispenser certificate prior to taking the licensing exam. Hearing aid dispensers are not doctors and have limits on the testing and treatment they are allowed to provide to a patient.

Audiologists

Audiologists are highly trained healthcare professionals. As a matter of fact, audiologists are the only professionals who are university trained and licensed to specifically identify, evaluate, diagnose and treat hearing disorders. Audiologists are required to obtain a doctorate degree, pass a national exam and do a one-year externship under a licensed audiologist before they can become licensed to practice.

Audiologists use specialized equipment and procedures to accurately test for hearing loss. The audiologist is trained to inspect the eardrum with an otoscope, to perform cerumen (ear wax) removal, conduct audiologic tests, and check for medically-related hearing problems. Audiologists can advise about whether hearing aids are recommended, provide the necessary fitting services and a continuum of detailed follow-up, including verification of the hearing aid fit and programming, counseling, and instruction. Audiologists are licensed to work with all ages, from infant to geriatric.

In addition to hearing disorders, audiologists are able to assess and treat balance system dysfunctions, and are also trained in the treatment of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and hyperacusis (aversion to loud sounds). They are also experts in hearing loss prevention, providing counseling and resources to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. They also monitor hearing and balance disorders that may result from the administration of ototoxic medications.

Hopefully this description will help when it is time to choose a hearing healthcare provider. Contact Berger Audiology today to schedule your hearing exam and see what Dr. Berger can do for you and your hearing.

Thank you for voting us Best of Marshall County!

I want to thank everyone that voted for me as Best Audiologist in Marshall County and my office, Berger Audiology, as the #1 Audiology Office in Marshall County. I am honored by your support and I don’t take it lightly. I will strive to live up to this and continue to provide the best possible service to my community. I want to continue to be Your First Choice in Hearing Healthcare.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Berger, Au.D.