Holistic audiology is a private practice that was created to better serve individuals in the areas of tinnitus, auditory processing, and to help treat the brain in regards to hearing. Holistic Audiology will run out of the Oro Valley Audiology office. Since there are specific insurance limitations to providing this type of testing and therapy, Holistic Audiology was developed. Holistic audiology takes a solution based, cooperative approach to develop treatment that address an individual’s daily needs. At Holistic Audiology we treat the brain. Certain populations that will benefit from our services are those that are very bothered by tinnitus, people who suspect they may have an auditory processing disorder, those struggling with cognitive decline, individuals with poor word recognition, cochlear implants, or auditory brainstem implants.
Auditory processing disorders are more common than many people realize. Due to the lack of available testing and treatment, this population is largely underserved. Those at risk for auditory processing disorders are people with multiple head injuries, which is commonly seen in people that serve in the military or play contact sports. People who struggle with auditory processing might experience difficulty understanding speech, even if they have normal hearing. A central auditory processing disorder means that there is some sort of dysfunction in the brain that is causing the person to have trouble making sense of the sounds and speech around them. This can lead to problems in school or work, such as, difficulty following a long conversations, trouble with reading or spelling, and struggling in noisy environments. People with an auditory processing disorder may appear easily distracted, be slow to respond, or respond incorrectly to questions or commands because they didn’t understand what was being said.
Anyone who feels like they are struggling in these areas should have an auditory processing evaluation. The evaluation consists of having a person listen to words or sounds in different conditions, for example, in background noise, and repeat what they hear. Seeing how the person responds during the evaluation allows the audiologist to determine if the individual has a central auditory processing disorder and identify what type of auditory processing disorder they have. From there, we will work to develop an individualized therapy plan to strengthen the areas of the brain that need help to make sense of the sound. Often, this starts at breaking down speech to the basic sounds and re-teaching people to identify them correctly. There are many different types of therapy that we can do. Other areas that we work on are auditory memory training, speech in noise training, and teaching the brain to make sense of sounds when there are different things coming into each ear individually. Significant improvements have been seen when those with auditory processing disorders undergo this type of auditory training therapy.
Additionally, the auditory training can also help those before and after they get a cochlear implant or auditory brainstem implant. People with hearing loss that have poor word recognition may also benefit from this type of therapy. Holistic audiology will be expanding into music therapy as well since it has been shown to improve understanding of speech in noise and improve cognitive function. Holistic audiology’s goal is the treat the individual as a whole. When someone has a hearing loss, getting sound to the eardrum is a crucial first step in their treatment. At Oro Valley Audiology we work with the best technology and ensure that best practice procedures are followed to make sure that the hearing aids are fit optimally. Sometimes, hearing aids are not enough. For individuals who are still struggling after hearing aids, more help may be needed. Many people don’t realize how important the brain is in the hearing process. At Holistic Audiology we aim to focus on the brain, which is and area of audiology that has been long neglected and is overdue for treatment. Auditory training therapy makes a world of difference for those with auditory processing disorder. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Holistic Audiology at (520) 448-9345.