Since 1981, Hearing Evaluation Services (HES) has been serving Western New York, providing diagnosis, treatment, and counseling for individuals with hearing loss. Their staff of board certified Doctors of Audiology are highly skilled in the selection and fitting of all hearing aid styles and technologies so that each patient leaves with a device that is best suited for their hearing needs.
Dr. Rebecca Wantuck, a clinical audiologist and director of public relations, has been with HES since 2009. She earned her Doctoral degree from the University at Buffalo where she traveled abroad to gain a more global perspective of hearing and balance disorders. She also conducted research on the development of drug therapies to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, specifically individuals serving in the United States Armed Forces. Her research was published to Noise & Health in 2011.
"As I moved through my undergraduate and graduate studies, I realized something very interesting about my past," Dr. Wantuck wrote in an email interview. "When I was a child, my first friend in the world, Danielle, just happened to be born deaf. My exposure to her, the deaf culture, and the world of hearing loss at a very young age seemed to always stay with me. I never forgot her, her struggles, and the incredible support her audiologist provided for her so that she could lead a life that was no different than mine. That early experience with hearing loss is what drove me to audiology."
While Dr. Wantuck is personally devoted to improving the lives of others, she notes that there are struggles involved. "It's usually an intrinsic battle for new patients. They are usually in some phase of awareness, denial or acceptance about their hearing loss. I look to counsel individuals to determine their level of frustration with their hearing, but more importantly their level of motivation as to whether they are psychologically and emotionally ready to hear better."
However, many patients are concerned about the cost of hearing aids, which can lead to them avoiding the issue. Dr. Wantuck added that the American Medical Association recently recognized something that audiologists have known for years; that untreated hearing loss has been linked as a direct cause in the onset of dementia. Dr. Wantuck and the rest of the team at HES provide a variety of services so that individuals who want to hear well again can be assured that they are receiving the utmost care. After all, she said, "You don't know what you're missing, until you know what you're missing."
When asked why patients refer friends and family members to HES, Dr. Wantuck said, "I fully believe it's our level of care and commitment to the Western New York community. We are the only freestanding non-profit audiology practice in the United States, meaning we have attracted a culture of audiologists whose sole interest is in providing superior, ethical solutions for the hearing and balance impaired."