Hearing Health Center | Hearing Center Interview
Although it’s difficult for Brooke Tudor, Au.D. to say goodbye to her three young children each morning, she knows the work she’s doing at Hearing Health Center helps her change lives on a daily basis.
“I get to come here and be part of something bigger,” she said. “There are aspects of life that can be negatively impacted by hearing loss. There are moments every day when I’m interacting with patients and realize it’s a life-changing moment. No matter how small the moment, it really feels good.”
Dr. Tudor worked in a VA hospital after graduating with her audiology degree in 2009 before purchasing Hearing Health Center in 2013.
“The practice was established in 2004 by someone with similar philosophies on patient care, so it was a smooth transition,” she said. “Patients knew they would receive the same standard of care they had become accustomed to.”
That philosophy includes treating each patient as an individual in order to develop an individualized treatment plan and providing appropriate counseling to guide each patient along their hearing journey.
“There are too many places out there that are just trying to sell a hearing aid,” Dr. Tudor said. “While we couldn’t do what we do without incorporating that piece into the treatment plan, it’s so much more than that. It’s all about the relationship and trust you build that allows us to go above and beyond what you can get anywhere else.”
One of Dr. Tudor’s favorite hearing device success stories involves a patient who had hearing loss in both ears, but was only wearing one hearing aid. “When I saw her for the first time I said, 'It’s my responsibility to tell you about the benefits of wearing two hearing aids. When you have two ears receiving sound, your brain gets the information from both sides.' She took my advice and later told me she’d never go back to wearing just one hearing aid. Her testimonial helps other patients see there’s validity behind having hearing aids for both ears.”
Lack of accessibility is one of the biggest challenges Dr. Tudor faces in her position. “The fact that hearing loss is not recognized in the healthcare system as a significant medical issue is frustrating,” she said. “You can get the treatment you need for vision, dental — even the common cold — and insurance will help you with that, but there are so many patients who come into my office that really need my help and don’t have access to the financial resources or insurance benefits for their hearing.”
On a positive note, Dr. Tudor said communities are becoming more aware of hearing loss issues and installing loop systems at local venues. While hearing aids are the “gold standard," Dr. Tudor said assistive listening devices such as loop systems go beyond what hearing aids can do alone.
“Patients still struggle with hearing the television or conversations in a restaurant,” she said. “Assistive listening devices work with hearing aids to reduce background noise and bridge any gaps so patients can be part of the social community that people with normal hearing take for granted every day.”
Kathy Scieszka, Au.D. works alongside Dr. Tudor in the Lansing office, where they partner with local physicians to promote better hearing and make sure their patients are benefiting from the most recent research on how hearing loss affects overall health.
“We all work here as a team,” Dr. Tudor said. “What we care about most is that patients know we care about them and consider them part of our family. We understand, and we’re here to help them go down the path to better hearing.”