Welcome to The Hearing Centers
Locally owned and operated and family run.
IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE! here is why.
The Hearing Centers of Arizona, was founded and is owned and operated by Terri Ellert and her husband Ric. When you put your hearing health into our hands, you can be assured that the business owner is directly involved with that care.
Terri serves as the primary specialist in several of the offices and also oversees the procedures and training of all our Patient care specialists at all levels.
Basically, at The Hearing Centers of Arizona, there are no layers of management between your care and needs and the owner of the company.
Some may think “Well, the large chain or warehouse stores must be able to offer better pricing due to greater buying power.” NOT TRUE, The Hearing Centers of Arizona is part of the AHAA (American Hearing Aid Associates) network.
This means that we have joined forces with hundreds of other independent practices all over the country to combine our purchasing power.
In fact, our pricing and value exceed anything you would find at any national chain or warehouse store. Maybe you travel a lot (winter visitor, RVer, etc.)? Well we have you covered there as well.
In addition to the AHAA network, we also are connected to the networks of all the major manufacturers of quality devices so we can pinpoint a quality care facility wherever you are.
Basically, your hearing will be our responsibility, and we take that responsibility seriously. We will always make sure you needs are met and addressed.
We are an independant hearing healthcare facility.
What does this mean and why is it important? .
The Hearing Centers of Arizona, is not owned or run by any manufacturer. We have access to and are well versed and trained in the programming and amplification approaches of all the major manufacturers.
Why is this important?
No hearing loss is identical. Each person has very specific needs to their lifestyle and the hearing they still have. Each manufacturer takes a different approach to their amplification process and no one device model or manufacturer approach will fit everyone. Since we have access to all, we can find the best, personalized solution to each person’s needs vs. trying to “make do” with only what one manufacturer has to offer. This is the case at most chain and warehouse stores. Thankfully, we are not subject to that disadvantage.
Foundation of practice is based on proper auditory rehabilitation. Rehabilitation? What does that have to do with hearing aids?The answer here.
Wouldn’t it be great if all we had to do was place a magical device on the ear and all hearing issues would be magically fixed? Well, unfortunately it does not work that way. Today’s hearing device technology is nothing short of amazing. For something that small to have the processing power of a desktop computer is really a miracle of modern technology.
We can do more and have incredible flexibility in programing than we ever thought would be possible years ago, However, no hearing aid can compensate for damaged sound processing in the brain. This happens when the brain is forced to process sounds with only part of the information available. As hearing loss is almost always a slow, gradual process, you don’t even realize this damage is occurring. In fact, most people with hearing loss go 7-10 years or more with impairment before they even begin to realize they have a problem.
A good comparison would be having your arm in a cast for a period of weeks or months. When the cast is removed, it takes a bit of time to relearn how to use that arm properly again. Not just because the arm is a little weaker but because the mind to arm connection through the central nervous system has been diminished. With a little rehabilitation and regular use, full function returns. Now imagine having that arm in a cast for 7-10 years or more. Rehabilitation at a much greater scale would definitely be needed to regain proper function of that arm.
Our hearing is no different. When parts of the brain responsible for processing certain sounds and frequencies go dormant over time, that connection between the brain and auditory system must be reconnected. That process is called rehabilitation and it is essential that this process is carried out thoroughly to ensure the best results with your hearing devices. Many practices take a “Hear are your new hearing aids, now have a nice life” attitude towards correcting hearing loss leaving the responsibility of good result on the hearing aids vs. their own efforts.
Well that is unacceptable to the specialists at The Hearing Centers of Arizona and proper rehabilitation is always the priority in our minds. One of our happy patients summed it up best with the following statement
After purchasing a number of different hearing aids in my life,
when I came to The Hearing Centers of Arizona for my current aids
I finally realized something. The hearing aid is 20% of the solution,
who you get them from is 80% Jim Vickers
Ability to pull from all major manufacturers to find best technology option for each patient.
Maybe you thought all hearing aids are the same? NOT TRUE!
Hearing aids can be a confusing subject. For example, there are some days where the newspaper has a different ad for hearing aids on every turn of the page. They all look about the same, but the prices seem to vary a lot. How can this be and what is the difference really between them?
To start, most hearing aids will look very similar regardless of manufacturer or price point. What is different is the circuitry inside. At The Hearing Centers of Arizona, we investigate the claims and features of all the major manufacturers before offering them as solutions to our patients. Terri’s husband Ric suffers from hearing loss himself and gets to serve as the guinea pig for all new technologies to make sure they live up to their claims.
What we have found is that the best sound quality comes from the handful of manufacturers who design and manufacture their own processing microchips. Most manufacturers utilize whatever microchips are available on the open market, which are the same ones used in other consumer electronics.
The most superior sound quality comes from the manufacturers that handle their own research and development and manufacturer chips that do what they need vs. design the best hearing aid they can around whatever chips they can get on the open market.
It really makes a difference in the sound quality. After your evaluation, our specialists can recommend a device that suits your specific needs from a number of different quality manufacturers.
Full Tinnitus treatment program.
Important Tinnitus info
- Tinnitus is “the pain of the ear”.
- Hearing loss at 4KHz @70dB+, can cause a sympathetic ringing of the ears.
- It is the search party the brain is sending for the missing sound. In other words, the tone of the ringing in the ears is usually the frequency of sound that you are not hearing.
- Progressive high frequency hearing loss brings high pitch “ring” @4KHz
- Tinnitus grows louder & wider as the hearing loss worsens
- Tinnitus masking is the most common approach hearing aid manufacturers utilize. Our experience has been that masking is not the best answer but extended bandwidth amplification (10Khz or more) is the best solution for treatment.
At The Hearing Centers of Arizona, we have a complete tinnitus management program. We work in conjunction with Dr, Chartrand and the SIRCLE clinic to help those who suffer from this ailment find the root cause and address it. Dr. Chartrand knows firsthand the effects of tinnitus. He has been hearing impaired most of his life and is now completely deaf. He has also had to manage his own severe tinnitus most of his life and still does today.
Below are links to additional info on tinnitus.
Hearing aids are for old people.
"I am not old enough to be wearing hearing aids." This is simply not true.
The long time stigma that hearing device technology and hearing loss itself only affects the elderly is simply not true. Sure, most of us do not notice our hearing loss until we are in our 60’s but it actually starts much earlier, especially in today’s noisy world, usually taking 7-10 years or more before it gets bad enough for us to notice.
Unfortunately, our family, friends and other loved ones are the ones that actually suffer more as communication slowly gets worse. Fortunately, hearing aid manufacturers have tackled the issue of size and comfort of hearing aids so getting the hearing help needed can be very discreet. Whether it be a micro sized in the ear device, a sleek behind the ear style, or the unique extended wear option from Lyric that goes deep in the ear for months at a time, there is an invisible option to fit your needs and lifestyle.
Also important to consider is that the longer one waits to address their hearing loss, the more intensive the rehabilitation process becomes. Those who address their hearing loss early on enjoy far better results over the long term and protect their all-important speech discrimination abilities.
One of the most disappointing things our specialists see is someone who finally comes in for help with their hearing after 20-30 years or more of just “getting by”. When they come in, sometimes they have lost 20-50 percent or more of their speech discrimination ability.
Although we can still do wonderful things with the hearing and speech discrimination this patient has left, it will never be nearly as good as the patient that addressed their hearing loss early on and maintained their speech discrimination ability, even if their hearing loss worsened over time. Please, do not put off getting the help you need.
I hear good enough everyone just needs to stop mumbling!
Everyone and I mean EVERYONE with untreated hearing loss says this.
Don't be that guy! More info on what you are experiencing here.
Sure, it would be convenient to believe that all the communication issues are somebody else’s fault. Unfortunately, more often than not, the problem is a hearing loss starting to form. What happens is the first area of hearing that starts to suffer is the high frequencies.
It feels like we are hearing ok because our low frequency hearing is still strong, but since the soft consonant sounds at the beginning and end of words are high frequency, words just start blending together. We then blame the speaker for mumbling.
The other area where high frequency hearing is important is in an environment with a lot of competing sounds. Our ears deliver the information to the brain which then has to process and organize all the competing sounds.
The brain must then select and follow the one sound it wishes to concentrate on. Directionality is of utmost importance in this process and most of the directionality cues the brain uses are high frequency sounds. That is why when hearing loss first starts, we feel like we are still doing fine overall but we start to struggle in noisy environments which used to be no problem.
In addition It is important to realize that hearing loss is more than just an inconvenience. It has serious ramifications on other areas of our health. For example, most people are surprised to learn the following information about those with uncorrected hearing loss.
- They utilize medical services of all types five times as much as normal hearing individuals (VA 2003)
- Up to 92 percent of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease suffer uncorrected hearing loss (UP[NIH], 1998; Brandeis University, 2008
- A mild untreated hearing loss increases risk of Alzheimer’s by 2x, moderate loss 3x risk, severe loss5x risk of . (Johns Hopkins-2011)
This information is not coming from hearing aid manufacturers. These are independent medical studies that have verified what we have been seeing for years. That poor hearing does affect other areas of health, not to mention the damage done by strained relationships due to long term poor communication.