AUDIOLOGY

At West River ENT, we don’t just match a person with a hearing aid; the audiologist works closely with the ENT doctor to diagnose the hearing issue and develop an appropriate treatment plan. We honor the needs and priorities of each patient as an individual, and never try to create a “one size fits all” approach. Your hearing loss affects you differently than anyone else, so it’s our promise to create hearing solutions that work best for you.

We are a locally owned practice in Rapid City, SD and are proud to offer comprehensive hearing healthcare services to the community.

A hearing evaluation is the start of uncovering any hearing impairments that you may have. With our comprehensive hearing evaluations, that time is spent learning about your hearing ability and making plans to improve it. Participating in a hearing test is easy and completely painless. We’ll gain a better understanding of your hearing health so if you do have hearing loss, we can provide comprehensive information – then you can decide which course of treatment is right for you.

If it is recommended that you use one or two hearing aids, you will discover that hearing aid fitting and hearing aid repair is also a critical part of your success with these incredible devices. The type of hearing loss, extent of hearing loss as well as your lifestyle will determine exactly how your devices are adjusted. And if you ever experience any trouble with your hearing aid, we are happy to address the issue and repair any problems. We rely on your feedback to let us know how your hearing aids are working for you.

Your hearing health also relies on preventative measures, and that is where ear plugs and earmolds are an easy solution to protection from noise damage. Our ears are as differently shaped as the nose on our faces so a custom-fit earmold can make a big difference when blocking out sounds or in hearing more clearly for those who wear hearing aids. Custom-fit earmolds are also excellent for keeping the ear canal dry and healthy for all underwater activities.

With over 30 million people experiencing some form of hearing loss, there’s a chance that you could have an impairment and not even know it. Dr. Kennedy is licensed through the state of South Dakota to dispense hearing aids. She can provide patients with hearing aids that are adequately fit to the patient’s loss, giving them the most benefit. West River Audiology provides different tiers of technology for hearing aids, ranging in price. From in-the-ear hearing aids to behind-the-ear hearing aids, we can determine the best treatment options for you and your loved one.

Smart Hearing Aids

Hearing aids have come a very long way in terms of design and usability. Smart hearing aids are the most popular and effective treatment option for any type of hearing loss because they offer automatic functionality. This allows users to interact with their environment naturally while the device’s algorithms enhance desired sound in real time. With smart hearing aids, you can easily synchronize all your devices (whether it be a smartphone, tablet or even your smart tv!) and navigate between audio sources with ease without sacrificing discretion or audio quality. Plus, hearing aid design has become sleeker and more modern, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with clunky models. You can move forward with your life and hear better than ever before!

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, over 50 million Americans are thought to have tinnitus with many individuals not knowing how to get relief from this plaguing condition.

Tinnitus occurs when the auditory system picks up the presence of noise without there actually being any actual sound present. This noise can take the form of roaring, ringing, or whistling, and might be loud or soft. Many times, tinnitus is most noticeable and frustrating before bed when an individual’s environment is quiet and calm.

Causes of tinnitus include fluid behind the eardrum, head and neck trauma, earwax buildup, hearing loss, and medications.

Unfortunately, there is no known cause of tinnitus and no cure. However, relief is possible through a variety of treatment plans that often include the use of hearing devices, medication, counselling, or external sound generators. You don’t have to live with the frustration of tinnitus – our audiologists can help you find relief!

Sometimes, hearing aids aren’t enough, and the hearing loss is too severe.

A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of a damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants do the work of the damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.

The cochlear implant’s electrodes that deliver signals to the brain are surgically implanted into the cochlea; the organ responsible for converting sounds waves into electrical nerve impulses in the inner ear. These electrodes bypass any damage of the cochlea by sending information directly to the auditory nerve. The auditory nerve then transfers these electrical signals to the brain, where they are processed as the sounds we hear.

Dr. Schleiffarth is trained in the surgical procedures and rehabilitation services for cochlear implants for those patients who experience severe to profound hearing loss. Dr. Stout contributes in the candidacy, surgery, and post-op therapy sessions for cochlear implant patients. West River ENT offers the latest in implant technology from Advanced Bionics and Cochlear Americas.

Similar in several ways to an ear infection, swimmer’s ear occurs when bacteria grow inside of the ear canal and causes an infection. It’s often experienced by individuals who swim and have water that remains in their ears, creating the ideal conditions for the bacteria to flourish. However, other actions can cause swimmer’s ear, including putting cotton swabs or other objects into the ear canal and damaging the skin inside. At first, the symptoms of swimmer’s ear aren’t extreme, but can worsen over time if left untreated. You may notice a bit of itching or drainage accompanied by a slight redness inside of the ear. Sometimes mild pain is also present when pressing on your ear. These symptoms could continue to become more noticeable as the infection progresses, so be sure to visit our office for the relief you need.

Patients who have had bouts of dizziness may be surprised to learn that the bodily systems responsible for our balance are located inside of our ears. Regulated by a structure called the semicircular canals, it’s an elaborate set of parts that work with our visual and skeletal system. Together, these processes allow us to maintain balance and the position of our bodies in space, especially when the head is moving. The causes for dizziness or balance issues can vary considerably, so it’s best to visit an audiologist for a thorough evaluation. In some cases, rehabilitative exercises are enough to improve the patient’s condition, whereas in other instances, additional care from other physicians might be required, as the dizziness is caused by another medical condition.

Our eardrums are thin membranes that separate our ear canal and our middle ear. They are delicate and if exposed to trauma or chronic infection, they could rip or tear. In many cases, a perforated eardrum can be coupled with hearing loss, discharge, and possibly pain if it becomes infected. Perforated eardrums generally heal on their own, although it can take several months to do so. During this time, the ear should be protected from water and any further trauma. Instances where the eardrum does not repair itself could require surgery.

Our office focuses on making you feel comfortable by providing quality care with a compassionate touch. The success of our solutions lies in our combination of compassionate care, cutting-edge technology, and unique teamwork within our ENT specialists. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our audiologist!

About Us

At West River ENT & Allergy, we specialize in a wide range of medical services to get you and your family feeling healthier than ever before.

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