CORBIN — Southeast Kentucky Audiology is committed to providing hearing and balance services to their patients in a rural area, and has been doing so for nearly two decades.
“We all feel really passionate about providing all of these diagnostic services in a rural area so these patients don’t have to travel to Lexington, they don’t have to travel to Knoxville, or in some cases Louisville, to get what they need,” said Dr. Liz Rogers, who owns Southeast Kentucky Audiology located at 1707 Cumberland Falls Hwy Ste U7, Corbin. “We want them to be able to get as much as they can here.”
Southeast Kentucky Audiology recently opened a second location. The new office opened at 445 S Hwy 27 Suite 100 in Somerset in April and it offers most of the same services as the Corbin office.
As Southeast Kentucky Audiology sees patients from infants to adults, they are equipped and ready to help patients with a range of needs.
A new service Southeast Kentucky Audiology has available is the cleaning of hearing aids and wireless earbuds with the Redux machine. The Redux machine is a professional-grade dryer that will pull out moisture from electronic devices.
Rogers said that even just one drop of water can affect the components of hearing aids and headphones.
Rogers said a local gym owner said she goes through several pairs of wireless earbuds because of spending so much time wearing them while sweating in the gym. Rogers had her bring in a pair that was no longer working and after being put in the Redux machine, the earbuds started working again.
Southeast Kentucky Audiology works with many patients who are experiencing dizziness, vertigo and imbalance. Patients can make an appointment for a balance evaluation and now the office has partnered with a physical therapist in Corbin who works with vestibular patients. Rogers explained that the physical therapist understands the diagnostics that Southeast Kentucky Audiology is able to provide and will provide treatments locally.
The clinic also has the only 3D ear scanner in Kentucky. It is useful for patients who need custom hearing aid pieces. It can also help for custom hearing protection for people who shoot guns or those who work in loud environments.
The Earigator is another device used frequently in the office. It removes ear wax quickly and painlessly as it is specifically designed for cleaning out the ear.
The clinic also works with patients who need cochlear implants. Although they do not do the surgery in their office, they do pre- and post-evaluations and help their patients throughout the process of getting the implants.
Southeast Kentucky Audiology uses the Cognivue to screen for cognitive decline as untreated hearing loss has been linked to a higher risk of cognitive decline. Rogers noted that a 20-year study showed that hearing loss was the greatest modifiable risk factor that leads to dementia.
Cognivue tests five areas of cognition, and Rogers and her staff use it as a tool to help counsel patients on why they should get hearing aids or if they need further consultation with a doctor. Rogers said that if patients do get hearing aids after screening with the Cognivue, they will retest with the device six months later and most of their patients see improvement in at least one cognition area.
Rogers knows that a lot of people are hesitant to have their hearing screened because they don’t think they can afford hearing aids anyway.
“We feel very strongly that our job here is to educate patients and help them understand what all of the options are,” she said. “Coming in and talking to us and knowing what is available to them is only going to help them in the long run. If they don’t want to move forward with hearing aids at that time for whatever reason, that’s totally fine, but at least they have the information.”
Rogers said most people don’t know that there are options for purchasing hearing aids or insurance coverage for them.
“A lot of people that have Medicare have some type of hearing aid benefit,” she said, also noting that if people are working, there is a program they can go through to get hearing aids as well.
“But for our patients that don’t have any other means, there are low-cost options and financing options,” Rogers said. “We really do try to work with all our patients to get them what they need.”