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Kirsten Daniels, Audiology Podcast - Transcribed

Hearing Loss & Early Prevention

[00:00:00] Pete Waggoner: Hi everybody and welcome to optimal health- the podcast from Hudson Physicians, getting you back to optimal health when you're feeling sick, stressed, overwhelmed, or run down. Today, we have Dr. Kirsten Daniels, Doctor of Audiology here from Hudson physicians joining us today. And our topic is going to be hearing loss and the importance of early intervention with hearing loss and what to do, so we're looking very forward to getting into all of this. And before we bring in the good doctor in, I'd like to give you a little background on Dr. Daniels. She's been with Hudson Physicians since 2016. She received her bachelor of arts degree in communication sciences and disorders from the University of North Dakota in 2011.

[00:00:43] And then also when I had to receive her doctor of audiology degree from the university of Nebraska Lincoln in 2015. And you are a lifelong North Dakotan who are now like, kind of, are you a Hudson resident or a twin cities resident?

[00:00:57] Kirsten Daniels: No, I actually live in Woodbury.  [00:01:00]

[00:01:01] Pete Waggoner: How has that transition been?

[00:01:03] Kirsten Daniels: Great. You know, I grew up in a small town in North Dakota and I love coming into the Hudson area just because I feel like it's so welcoming and small. I mean, it's not a small town, but, you kind of feel like everyone is. You know, very open to getting to know you and a more homey feeling, which I like.

[00:01:22] Of course, you know, living in the twin city, Metro area, it's a little more fast paced and everything like that. So I do like getting into the smaller community.

[00:01:30] Pete Waggoner: A little more relaxed from what I've noticed. I've spent a lot of time here at Hudson and I absolutely love it. I do too. I'm not quite ready to move from the west Metro, but believe me. I'm thinking about it over time. So yeah, for sure. Thank you.

[00:01:43] So, when it comes down to what you do and how you got into this, obviously your initial degree was in communication, sciences, and disorders. What does that encompass?

[00:01:54] Kirsten Daniels: Yeah. So typically the bachelor's degree that I have, you either are going to be going into speech pathology [00:02:00] or audiology.

[00:02:01] So at North Dakota where I started off, I really thought I was going to be a speech pathologist. That's kinda what I was going for my freshman year. Well, then getting more into the audiology program, and just with classes I really liked, that side of things,

[00:02:15] Kirsten Daniels: And, you know, just working with patients who really are, you know, struggling with communication and, you know, just find a solution for them.

[00:02:23] So it's that very different from, the speech pathology side that I started in just going to the audiology realm of things. But once I took my first class, I just loved it. And, I just really like working with the patients in finding a solution for them.

[00:02:35] Pete Waggoner: So as you've gone down that path, what are some of the things that you learned that may have surprised you, that you maybe wouldn't have thought of?

[00:02:42] And what are some trends that you would say is kind of important to what your whole purpose is?

[00:02:49] Kirsten Daniels: Well, You know, I primarily work with adults. I used to see pediatrics, but now here in my role at Hudson physicians, I'm just seeing adult, individuals. [00:03:00] And I really do feel like it's surprising at how many people just don't know how to properly treat their hearing loss and are just kind of a little more in the dark of it.

[00:03:11] And maybe a little more in denial, I guess I could say. And so it really kind of surprised me just, more doing the educating side of things that, "Hey, this can, you know, help you in so many aspects of your life." A big part is just communication in general so we aren't isolating ourselves that can run into increase risk of depression and mental state going down.

[00:03:30] There's been all, you know, a lot of research that is tied into earlier onset of dementia without treating hearing loss and that type of stuff. So that I think really surprised me just working, working with patients more and just seeing that my job educating them is so important and "Hey, we need to treat this hearing loss sooner rather than later. So we don't see other risk factors start to appear."

[00:03:52] Pete Waggoner: Great. And we're going to get into that a little bit later on, too. So let's just start from the very beginning. What really is [00:04:00] constituted in hearing loss. I mean, and is there an age that it knows? And, and how does that, I mean, you know, obviously you have something and then it goes away, right.

[00:04:08] So there's some that are born without. Correct. So where do you draw the line on, you know, what hearing loss is and where it occurs?

[00:04:17] Kirsten Daniels: Like when you should do something about it?

[00:04:18] Pete Waggoner: Yeah. Like how do you know? Or when should you, I mean, I know when we were kids, you know, you raised the hand, you know and all that.

[00:04:27] You know, I, when I get nervous, I'd be like, oh, here we go. No, but I mean like when do you like determine, okay, we really need to start getting a little deeper here.

[00:04:38] Kirsten Daniels: Well definitely, you know, once you reach your fifties, it's good. You know, a baseline at that time. We start doing the screenings here at Hudson physicians at 55 plus

[00:04:46] we do that annual screening just to see if there's a concern with the hearing loss and if you need to come see me, but just so individuals know, when they're starting to have some concern, you know, if you feel like you're really concentrated in [00:05:00] conversation, you really have to tune in.

[00:05:01] You're just talking in, at home, if the TV's on and you're trying to talk to your spouse, if you feel like you're having a hard time with that, and they're just across the room from you. Yeah. Let's maybe you know, a reason for Maybe I should go get my hearing checked. if you're noticing tinnitus where that's ringing of the ears can be a symptom of hearing loss.

[00:05:19] So, you know, getting a baseline, if you're noticing that is always a good idea as well, but usually it's our family that's going to kind of be like, Hey, you know, I feel like you are asking repetition a lot. I think that because we kind of get wrapped up and, you know, just day to day and we maybe don't pay much attention to it always.

[00:05:39] But if our family and friends are coming to us and they're saying that, Hey, I you're always asking me to repeat. Maybe we should get this looked into another big thing that I see a lot with my patients is they feel like they're hearing, but they're not understanding. So I have a lot of patients come in to me and they're like, well, I can hear just fine.

[00:05:59] Okay, but are you [00:06:00] understanding what the conversation is? You may have low frequency, your low frequencies may be normal, but if your mid and high frequencies are diminished, you may feel like people are mumbling. Speechless isn't coming through very well very clearly. So you definitely need to, you know, come in and get that looked at.

[00:06:15] Pete Waggoner: Here's the million dollar question, you know, what's coming.

[00:06:19] How do you handle, okay. I know this is real. I use, I think my dad was like probably the premium of it. My mom, my mom would be talking to him and he would just like, not hear a word. He was just like full ignoring.

[00:06:31] So what does that, what does it, do you ever get people that come in where it's just, they're just not listening. So when you screen them now, how do you handle that? I mean, that can be a real. Maybe on a weekly basis, you get asked again, which Monday. So here we go.

[00:06:46] Kirsten Daniels: Yes. Well I mean, definitely it's an attention thing. It can be. So I always tell my patients because I see it a lot now with people wearing masks, where they come into me and they're like, you know, I just feel like I'm not hearing very well.

[00:06:57] Is it my hearing? Or is it, you know, people wearing [00:07:00] masks where I can't see their face. So I always say, okay, if you're normal, if your hearing is normal and you're still struggling with that work on communication strategies rather than, you know, if you're home and the water's running and you're trying to have a conversation with someone at home.

[00:07:15] Yeah. You might struggle with that a little bit. Try to decrease background noise as best you can. If there's a fan on turn that off, if no one's watching the TV and it's in the background, turn off that TV and have a conversation. Another thing I also tell my patients. You know, maybe say their name first before you just yell a question at them.

[00:07:32] Cause sometimes we're busy doing things or, you know, in our everyday life we have, there's multiple things that are going thoughts that are going through our head. And we definitely sometimes just need that. Hey, you know, Mom or dad do you know before. So getting their attention is really big when it comes to wanting to have a proper conversation with someone as well.

[00:07:53] Pete Waggoner: Eye contact doesn't hurt either.

[00:07:54] Kirsten Daniels: Yes. Yeah. And make sure that you're, you know, at a nice distance, if your rooms away, yeah. You might [00:08:00] struggle with that. Even if you have normal areas.

[00:08:03] Pete Waggoner: You know, I do. I do think there is so many factors that come into play and you're never really at risk to come in and receive a complimentary and comprehensive, uh, hearing assessment for adults here at Hudson physicians. Right. So what does that entail if you're going through these things? And you're not sure what happens when I come in and see you?

[00:08:22] Kirsten Daniels: Yeah. So I'm going to go through, like you said, a comprehensive evaluation. And so I'm going to be testing all speech frequencies to see what, you know, decibel range at all the frequencies to see, you know, are you in the normal range?

[00:08:34] Are we mild, moderate? You know, what have you so we're going to be testing 250 to 8,000 Hertz. Those are all. Frequencies that are important for speech. So we want to determine all that. And we want to see what type of hearing loss you have. So is it a conductive hearing loss that potentially, you know, maybe there's fluid in the middle ear system or something going on with the middle ear bones?

[00:08:57] That would be a referral to ear, nose and throat. So [00:09:00] I would determine that and if it's a sensory neural hearing loss that is happening within the inner ear. And so that would be, you know, the treatment. Hearing aids for that and that's when we would just kind of go into that if the result warranted that.

[00:09:14] But yeah. Then we do speech testing as well. And speech testing is very, very important because if word understanding is that a low percentage, those individuals. Kind of struggle with hearing aids. It doesn't really matter how loud I make that sound, but if their brain's not perceiving the information.

[00:09:33] Pete Waggoner: How do you learn that on your end?

[00:09:35] Do you, or is it trial and error? How, how do I learn? How do you learn that the brain can't perceive that? So you may say, I mean, how do you get to that?

[00:09:43] Kirsten Daniels: Yeah. So for example, say someone has like a moderate hearing loss I'm usually going to present with the word understanding, let's say it like 80 decibels.

[00:09:52] So I'm going to bring that volume up for them. So normal conversation is going to be at 60 decibels primarily. So we want to increase that and see, [00:10:00] okay. If we bring the volume up for that individual, how is their brain processing it? And it's just words that they have to repeat in that test. And. If they get like 60%, for example, that is kind of a poor score.

[00:10:12] So that's telling me that their brain's not processing it as well as it maybe did in the past.

[00:10:17] Pete Waggoner: So when you brought up the decibels and the conversation, I want to share this a little bit. It's kind of funny. So actually the reality is, as I'm hearing you really well right now. Yeah. So for those of you that are listening, you can't see this.

[00:10:30] Obviously I bring in this fancy little soundboard pluck some headsets in like at a radio station, whatever. And when I do hockey games or baseball games, whatever I'm doing, I kinda like to Jack up the value ticket, not feel. Yeah. It's just like, I'm used to it like being really loud. And so I was really nervous to plug this in with Kirsten because I'm like, oh God, I mean, I've got issues, you know, obviously my freaked out.

[00:10:55] And so I put it right to where I usually do. And she's like, [00:11:00] Ooh, that's a little loud. I'm like, oh God, I keep ringing it down and down. But this is a super comfortable level of listening. And I think we're having in a room what would be a normal conversation? I don't know if it comes across in this. I guess this is a roundabout way to ask the question.

[00:11:20] Is there a way in which, you know, with, with levels of decibels that you're receiving as a listener, that you can condition yourself to that as well. Whereas if you're used to the TV, just being bolting loud, and then, you know, if you bring it down over a period of time, that you can be that you adjust to that, is that possible?

[00:11:41] If you don't have loss as well?

[00:11:43] Kirsten Daniels: Yeah, definitely. I mean, we kinda, you know, get used to certain levels just throughout our house. Right. We kind of started to adapt to that. So yeah, I mean, if you are always listening to something at a certain, you know, let's just say 75 decibels, for example. Yeah. You do kind of start just to get used to that level.

[00:11:59] I [00:12:00] guess the main thing is. Just making sure that it's not overly loud, where it's going to damage our hearing. And that rule of thumb is going to be around 85, decile, anything 85 decibels or higher is going to start to possibly do damage over time. So it depends on how loud it is.

[00:12:13] Pete Waggoner: Let's say we're at a concert, let's say it's the we Fest.

[00:12:17] Okay. But it'd be endorsed, let's say. And it's really, if you're a loud concert, how long would that until that becomes a real big problem.

[00:12:24] Kirsten Daniels: So, I mean, even if you're there for, you know, three hours and let's just say the decibel range is a hundred or higher, I mean, that could start to do damage within, you know, just a few hours.

[00:12:34] Sometimes, say you go to a concert once a year, right? You're not very often. Yeah. You're you typically leave that concert and you're going to have ringing of the years that ringing is showing you that you had some damage to your ears.

[00:12:46] Pete Waggoner: Seriously? Yup. Okay. What about that after allowed show, you leave and you kind of, not only do you have the ringing, but it sort of feels like your ears are plugged too?

[00:12:56] Kirsten Daniels: So that's what we call temporary threshold shift.

[00:12:58] That means that [00:13:00] you have some hearing loss more than likely your hearing has declined. Right after that concert, but typically within 24 hours, it goes back. It feels like it does. And that's what we call temporary.

[00:13:10] Pete Waggoner: Well, I am the king of that. Believe me. Okay. Now we've got that established. Okay. So now there's an interesting number out here that says 48 million Americans experience some form of hearing loss yet 80% of them don't do anything about it.

[00:13:26] Why do we as a society live in denial of that type of thing? Cause I think it's kind of a denial.

[00:13:34] Kirsten Daniels: You're a hundred percent, right. I feel like it is, I feel like it's getting better even in the last, you know, six, seven years that I've been working that individuals are starting to recognize that more and want to do something about it sooner rather than later.

[00:13:48] I feel like there's that stigma out there that, Hey, my grandma had hearing aids and they were huge and they didn't, you know? Yeah. And she was always complaining about them. Well, I mean, those more than likely were like [00:14:00] analog hearing aids. Now they're digital. They're going to be doing so much more with background noise, making you more comfortable, but the big thing I always want to educate.

[00:14:09] So I feel like that, you know that aside, I feel like that's a big reason why people kind of put it off because they kind of hear those negative comments out there. But I feel like it is turning around and that's what I do a more of the educating part of it, rather than, just telling them they need hearing aids.

[00:14:24] I mean, they need to know what can happen if they, if they wait a big statistic out there. That we've known for years is that it can take about seven years for someone to do something about a hearing loss. They know that they have. So we're trying to. Decrease that as time goes by, and I feel like technology has come a long way where, you know, hearing aids, now we're connecting to people's smartphones where, you know, it's,

[00:14:46] Pete Waggoner: I've spoken with to people about that.

[00:14:48] Kirsten Daniels: Said, yeah. Yeah. So Bluetooth connectivity, which is awesome. So you can go take a walk and play music from your phone and it's like a headset for you. As well as giving you that proper lamp [00:15:00] amplification that. So there's a lot of cool things the hearing aids are doing now, but, you know, treating them, it's really important that we treat the hearing loss to keep those nerve stimulated that's going to help so that word, understanding it, doesn't go down in the future.

[00:15:12] The longer you wait to do anything about the hearing loss, we can start to see that word, understanding decline. That's going to make it harder for that person to adapt. And really, you know, appreciate and do well with the hearing this in the future.

[00:15:23] Pete Waggoner: Do you think? I think when we were younger, right, that there was a stigma that would go, with, with a grandparent though, it would be like, huh, you know, that kind of thing, you know, whatever. But, but, but where they would be. Along with that came, what could have been a very, very smart person full of wisdom, but I feel like that there's always been this kind of thing as you get older or that comes with it.

[00:15:45] You lose your thought processes and that sort of, I think a little bit of a stigma that follows it. Can you kind of go in on that phenomenon? A little bit of culture. How people judge that.

[00:15:57] Kirsten Daniels: Yeah. Well, I feel like, I hear all the time only [00:16:00] old people need hearing aids. Well, it's just like all in my mind if you're always asking for repetition, I think that makes you look more old than getting a hearing aid.

[00:16:09] Pete Waggoner: I would agree. That you can't even see anymore.

[00:16:12] Kirsten Daniels: Yeah, no, you really can't like I have one of my patients come in, I have to look really hard to make sure that they're even wearing them and they are but yeah, so I feel like, you know, we just can't. Put that hand in hand that, oh, you know, only people that are asking, you know, asking for repetition all the time.

[00:16:28] They're the ones that need hearing aids and that's not the case. And I do feel like it has gotten better over the last five years, but we still have a long way to go with that.

[00:16:36] Pete Waggoner: I think I know the answer, but I want to ask it anyway. If you get in early and you get things addressed this way, is there a way you could turn it around or are you pretty much you are where you are, but it's not going to get worse.

[00:16:50] Kirsten Daniels: Yeah. Great question. So, yeah, typically, so the thresholds that I was talking about, that we're finding when you're listening to the beeps, more than likely if it's a sensory [00:17:00] neural hearing loss that is not going to improve. What we want to try not going down is that word understanding. And so let me explain what I mean by that.

[00:17:09] So say your word understanding right today as a hundred percent, when I brought that volume up, your brain was understanding that speech very well. What we want try to preserve is that over time. So treating that hearing loss now is going to help your nerve stay stimulated so your brain is getting that information.

[00:17:25] So say your hearing loss goes down in five years when you come back to me. Yeah. I'm probably going to have to readjust the hearing aids to address that new threshold shift. But since we've been keeping your nerve stimulated for the last five years, your brain knows what to do. So, yeah, we're just going to adjust the hearing aids accordingly.

[00:17:42] Rather than if you waited for those five years to do anything about the hearing loss, maybe you come back and your word understandings 80%. Well then it's going to be harder for your brain to adjust to hearing aids and getting that signal.

[00:17:53] Pete Waggoner: Got it. I learned something new today. Okay. So like in terms of, this is a good one too, like [00:18:00] he, the whole ear buds thing, whether the AirPods or whatever it is, I mean, you've got to clearly have some thoughts on those products.

[00:18:08] Kirsten Daniels: Yes. And we're even seeing that a lot of teenagers now are coming in with hearing loss associated with noise cause it's pumping it. And so a big, I mean, obviously the only way we can really test what what the level is, you'd always want the sound level meter and all of that, but most people are not going to be going and doing that.

[00:18:26] So a lot of things. You know, just easy ways that you can tell to see if those air pods are too loud. If someone next to you can clearly hear that song it's way too loud. Or if you put the air pods on the table and they're still on, and you're hearing that song clearly, it's too loud. So those are some things that you can kind of monitor yourself, or if you're in a room listening to music and someone comes in the room wanting to have a conversation with you, if you can't hear that person and have a conversation with them, with the music being on, that's maybe another clue that it's too loud.

[00:18:58] Pete Waggoner: Well, you think what's interesting [00:19:00] with my iPhone is I happened upon and it really actually was a terrific wake up call for me because I liked my music loud. I just heard, I mean, I want to feel it come on. So when I was in it, you know, you're getting your screen time and all that other stuff, but then it went into how often you had your ears in and if what decibels into loud. And I looked at it and that was, I fell into it, but that really taught me to, I toned it down once I saw that.

[00:19:33] And I don't know if people know that it's in their iPhone, but they might want to take a look at that or their Androids. I don't know, but either one, but take a look at it because there's tools in there that are actually saying here, Buddy you're cracking it too loud.

[00:19:44] Kirsten Daniels: Yeah. And that's, what's nice about the technology now on our phones that they can really kind of alert you when the sound is too loud.

[00:19:51] Because sometimes, I mean, we get busy listening to music, you know, we don't really think anything of it, but yeah, if we have that nice, you know, notification letting us know about it, it's [00:20:00] it just makes us more mindful.

[00:20:01] Pete Waggoner: Very, very helpful there. Okay. Now, in terms of the importance of getting in early, we talked about that rather than later what are the longterm facts of people that wait, what can happen?

[00:20:14] Kirsten Daniels: Yeah. So definitely a big thing is you know, the memory concern. There's a lot of research on this that you can kind of go in and look at the statistics, but, you know, even with a mild to moderate hearing loss, we are about three times more likely to, develop dementia from someone with normal hearing.

[00:20:33] And it goes up the more hearing loss that we have.

[00:20:36] Pete Waggoner: Okay. So is there a, wow, this is fascinating. So. Not to get too deep into the inside baseball here, but is there obviously, you know what we know about dementia and, and the things that come with that it could be hereditary, correct?

[00:20:52] Kirsten Daniels: Yeah. Yeah. They can kind of, you know, crossing, relate a little bit with that. Hearing loss can definitely, there are [00:21:00] hereditary hearing loss losses, but of course. I mean, there's genetic testing that you can do. Is it like a syndrome that's causing that hearing loss?

[00:21:08] You know, we, we don't usually go and do that genetic testing to see what's driving that. Exactly. But the big thing that you can do and all of us can do is just watch your noise exposure. Cause noise exposure is going to be a huge thing that is going to cause hearing loss over time.

[00:21:24] Pete Waggoner: Very compelled to ask you this question about hearing and memory. This is a whole nother, a little compartment you opened up for me. Explain to us how hearing things. Plays into the mind and memory as far as recall. And then you're saying that if you can't hear things that will diminish, is that correct?

[00:21:46] Kirsten Daniels: Um, to degree your memory. Yeah. Your memory.

[00:21:49] Yeah. So think about it this way. We're not keeping. With hearing loss. And as we get more hearing loss that are hearing nervous, not as teen stimulated, like it should be. And if our [00:22:00] hearing nervous and stimulated, it's not cuing that information to the brain. So there's certain parts of the brain that are just not getting that signal like it should.

[00:22:07] And so, because of that, that can tie into memory decline. And of course there's multiple, you know, yes, dementia can be a little bit hereditary too, so it kind of goes hand in hand a little bit. But yeah, so that can really, you know, tie into that. So we want to make sure to keep those pathways to the brain active and the more hearing loss that we have, that's how those pathways aren't staying very active. And so that's what hearing aids are going to play, going to help with so that brain gets that information. And hopefully we don't see that memory. I mean, memory may go down as we get older. Anyway, we can't always get away from just the normal aging process, but we can help slow it down and getting the proper auditory information can definitely help with that.

[00:22:49] Pete Waggoner: Now that we've ramped. Best to what's going on and how this all plays and fits into itself and the importance of it and the importance of having [00:23:00] screenings and getting in and seeing you and taking care of things. Now we get into the fun part because we've now established that we need to do something, right.

[00:23:07] So, I mean, this is the fun part, maybe the products. So what is out there like, like w in your role and what you do, how do you go about. Do you make recommendations? Is there a brand I don't want to, I'm not try to do selfless promos. How do you go about that part of it?

[00:23:24] Kirsten Daniels: Yeah. So, I mean, there's two main things that I'm always going to look at whenever I have a patient in my office, I'm going to see number one, what their hearing loss is.

[00:23:33] Do I need to refer them to ENT because their hearing loss or do we need. Talking about hearing aids. If we have to go down that hearing aid route, I'm going to also ask them a lot of questions about their lifestyle.

[00:23:44] Lifestyle is really, really big when we start talking about hearing aids. So if I'm an individual who's maybe home, most of the time maybe goes on walks, but doesn't really go into restaurants or get together with big groups. They maybe don't need as high of a technology [00:24:00] level. As someone who goes to basketball games, their grandkids are involved in a lot of things or you know, maybe are outdoors golfing, you know, they're very active individuals.

[00:24:11] They may need a more high technology level to keep them more comfortable in noise. So I'm always going to be asking my patients about their lifestyle and see, okay, what type of technology do we need to go with? And then their type of hearing loss, it's also going to kind of guide me to what type of device would be right for them.

[00:24:28] I, as an audiologist am always going to ask those specific questions, you know, once I know what the results are and that's going to help guide me to what type of device would be right for them. Everyone has a different budget, you know, and everything like that. And so I always want to be mindful of that.

[00:24:44] So I want to tell them what's right for their type of lifestyle, but also be mindful of their budget. But if you're a really active person. Yeah, the investment's more than likely going to be more if you want to be enjoying conversation well in those more active environments.

[00:24:59] Pete Waggoner: Is it [00:25:00] perceived that this would be an expensive move for most people?

[00:25:06] And are there things you can do from a financing perspective? When you do go down that path.

[00:25:12] Kirsten Daniels: Yes. I mean, the way hearing aids are everything's kind of do upfront. Right. So it kind of seems like a big dentist. Yes. It kind of just feels like something big right off the bat. Well, if you were to divide it out you know, so you get hearing aids that are around $5,000.

[00:25:30] If you were to divide it out with how long they last. I mean, that's really going to be less than, you know, what we pay for cable a month. It's going to be less a lot, you know, probably maybe what people pay for in coffee a month, you know? So when you look at it that way, it's really going to be very comparable to other areas that we're paying for.

[00:25:48] So I kind of like. Individuals to recognize that because when you divide it out, it's really not that different than other things that we're paying for.

[00:25:57] Pete Waggoner: You break it down to the basic, right. [00:26:00] And just say, you know, you have a cup of coffee a day. Yeah. Well now. Yeah, because that's just really how it goes.

[00:26:06] And there you go. Right? I mean, so.

[00:26:08] Kirsten Daniels: And there's payment plans that we can always talk about. Cause I understand that sometimes that's hard for individuals to be able to, you know, make that type of investment right off the bat. Well, it will be a payment plans to help you. And then we have a lot of different technology levels for price points as well.

[00:26:23] So, you know, if the high technology is just not something that an individual can afford, well, yeah, we have options that are going to be more on that level.

[00:26:32] Pete Waggoner: Now, one of the things you brought up to me before we hopped on the podcast was the OTC, the over the counter all the rage.

[00:26:40] And you're mentioned there's a lot of media coverage on this. And it sounds like it's fitting into a one size fits all type of scenario. I haven't even seen it, so that's good news, but it hasn't gotten here yet. But can you tell us a little bit about that pluses, negatives, whatever that may be?

[00:26:56] Kirsten Daniels: Well, I feel like over the counter hearing aids [00:27:00] and a lot of them are just amplifiers I'd sometimes. Classified them unnecessarily as hearing aids all the time. But in my eyes, they kind of are a little scary because you're taking the professional out of the equation. And, I mean, we have a doctorate for a reason, right?

[00:27:13] We want, we need, we need them fitted appropriately. When OTC devices kind of came about, they were more for like mild losses. Well, a lot of individuals who are going to get an OTC device, they aren't necessarily getting their hearing tested. Right, right. There may be a week or something where, you know, or need to go see an ENT physician.

[00:27:36] So you really do need to go through a professional and get proper testing first. And those devices that are over the counter, they're not going to be programmed for that hearing loss either. So sometimes they might not even be doing a benefit for you at all. And then I feel like that's when hearing, you'd start getting kind of a negative reputation, because if individuals aren't fitted appropriately, then [00:28:00] you start hearing all those negative things out there.

[00:28:02] Well, you kind of have to look at it as two. Well, yeah, is that person, they have a proper device, you know, that type of thing. So it kind of goes full circle and you start looking at that.

[00:28:10] Pete Waggoner: So still the old the apples and oranges scenario. I mean, you can't really, you can't really compare the two and you know, if you're, if you're going on the cheap, let's say, quote unquote, you're going to probably get the cheap result. If you're doing it the right way, it's more long-term. And I would probably guess that your outlay will be much more valuable and much more efficient to see a professional such as yourself to really get that taken care of.

[00:28:36] Kirsten Daniels: And I always want to. I drill this into my patients as well, just making sure that they understand the service aspect of it as, you know, a long-term because these devices are, they're going to need maintenance.

[00:28:49] They do break every now and then. And what are you going to do when that happens? Well, bring it with the patients. I see, bring it into me if I can't fix it in, in my office, which I typically can. I'm going to [00:29:00] send it in to get fixed for you. So I'm going to, we know that. Yeah. Yeah. So there's right.

[00:29:05] Yeah. So if I I'm going to troubleshoot it here in the office, and if I can't fix it, then sometimes it does need to be sent into the manufacturer, but Yeah. And there's parts of the device that need to be changed out. So I usually like seeing patients every six months to make sure that they're working appropriately and all those appointments are going to be covered for you.

[00:29:21] So, we are, you know, billing the patient for that upkeep with the device as well.

[00:29:26] Pete Waggoner: How do you go wrong? What's the best way to get an appointment with you?

[00:29:30] Kirsten Daniels: Yeah, so. You can just call and make an appointment for an evaluation. If you're feeling like, you know, you may have hearing loss and want to be seen for an evaluation, you can just call the appointment line and they can get you scheduled here at Hudson physicians.

[00:29:44] Otherwise. When you do see the provider, you can. The provider here. You can always ask to get a hearing screening and then, you know, if there's concerns about that name, then they'll refer to me.

[00:29:55] Well, that's great stuff. And obviously you can check everything out here at [00:30:00] hudsonphysicians.com and they have all of it's a great website.

[00:30:04] Everything you need is right here. And Dr. Daniels, I gotta ask you a question. Did you go through the process of what your workspace will look like in the new building like the virtual thing. Did you put the goggles on or something like I've got a podcast tomorrow. I can't wait to see what this is about.

[00:30:22] Did you do that?

[00:30:23] Pete Waggoner: No. Well, I haven't put on the goggles. I don't know

[00:30:25] if there's goggles or something, but it's like a virtual thing. Yeah. I'm not to be a little dramatic. So I took it a little bit extreme there, but where did you go through that process?

[00:30:35] Kirsten Daniels: So, I kind of got to see the layout and where.

[00:30:38] We'll be, and it's going to be a beautiful facility. Everyone here is really excited about the new space. Cause I feel like we're growing so quickly that we just, yeah, we just need all that extra room. So no, I think it'll be great. A good new chapter for.

[00:30:53] Pete Waggoner: That's awesome. So we'll be talking about that and the whole process, letting everybody know that it's next level here at Hudson physicians.

[00:30:59] So [00:31:00] thank you for joining us here today. Really fascinating talk and I appreciate everything you do.

[00:31:04] Kirsten Daniels: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

[00:31:06] Pete Waggoner: Optimal health with Dr. Kirsten Daniels. We’re back with another podcast coming up. I'm Pete Waggoner. So long everybody.