Hear to help

Cobalt Designworks owners Jennifer Corio and Dave Frei

A hearing patient takes a test
Audiology Clinic cofounder Nancy Bowen conducts a hearing screening from one of the company’s two Vancouver locations. Photo: Buck Heidrick
The clinic was established in the fall of 1982 by Dr. Al Hicks, who holds a PHD in audiology, and his wife Nancy Bowen, who holds a master’s degree in clinical audiology. In 2008, Audiology Clinic added Amit Gosalia, Au.D. to the professional audiology staff.

“We came to Clark County because back in ’82 there was not a lot of access to good quality audiology services,” recalled Bowen. 

Since then, Audiology Clinic has become one of the leaders in free-standing private practice clinics in the region. Being at the forefront of all the latest in hearing technology, Audiology Clinic evaluates, gives feedback, and obtains products to greatly help and enhance their patient’s lives. The clinic’s well-tested hearing aids come from Audigy Group, whose corporate office is also based in Vancouver. 

An ear exam
Dr. Al Hicks fits one of the clinic’s hearing devices. Hicks founded Audiology Clinic in 1982. Photo: Buck Heidrick
“Audigy Group is the largest member-owned national organization of independent audiology practices,” explained Bowen. “We were asked to consider joining the group, and they came in and evaluated our practice from the ground up and determined we qualified as an exemplary practice.”

Through Audigy Group, Audiology Clinic is able to bank on a wealth of knowledge from highly qualified professionals across the nation. They can share practices, standards of care, and technology to help finalize the products and services they decide to use.

One form of technology that has Audiology Clinic buzzing is Bluetooth. To utilize that technology, Bowen said, each hearing instrument has a special receiver built in that will accept a Bluetooth signal using an intermediary device that can be paired with a cell phone, iPod, computer, CD player, etc.

“When the listener’s cell phone rings, the ring occurs in their hearing aids, which become wireless headphones,” said Bowen.  At that point, all the person has to do is press a button on their Bluetooth device (without picking up their cell phone), bringing in the call with more clarity to both ears at the same time, and with a customized listening program.  

The ability to pair a small specialized microphone using Bluetooth technology with the hearing aids is also available. Someone trying to speak to you from across a noisy room, at a seminar or even someone who has a soft voice can be heard up to 30 feet away when using this microphone. 

Helping to promote Bluetooth technology usage for hearing devices, Bowen stated, “It’s been pretty exciting for us to be part of that.  

“We are able to greatly enhance communication both at home and at work by carefully selecting and implementing this technology along with traditional hearing devices,” she added. “People with hearing impairment are much better able to understand voices at business conferences, on the phone, during computer-based webinars or meetings and in noisy environments with this advancement.”

As one of Bowen’s recent patients said after being fitted with this new technology, “I definitely have a more powerful presence because I can hear and because I am aware I will hear.”

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