What is an audiologist?
Audiologists are healthcare professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat and manage hearing loss, tinnitus and/or balance disorders in newborns, children and adults. Audiologists work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, clinics, private practices, ENT offices, universities, elementary schools, government and VA hospitals. While most audiologists earn a doctor of audiology (AuD) degree, there are other doctoral degrees that audiologists can also obtain such as PhD or ScD from accredited universities with special training programs.
How often should I see an audiologist?
The frequency of your audiology visits depends on your needs and will be determined by your audiologist or referring physician. For those with diagnosed hearing loss or recurrent vestibular problems, regular visits are vital to your hearing/balance health.
What is a university teaching clinic?
The AFA Balance & Hearing Institute is part of the A.T. Still University- Arizona School of Health Sciences(ATSU-ASHS). Your audiologic care is provided by licensed faculty from the university Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Our providers teach at the Mesa campus and are hearing and balance experts. Because we are a university teaching clinic, student doctors who are preparing for a career in audiology may also be involved in your care.
Will I be cared for by a "real" audiologist?
Yes. Faculty supervisors at the AFA Balance & Hearing Institute have an AuD or PhD degree or equivalent, the national standard for the practice of audiology. Student doctors work under the close supervision of faculty members with care being provided by both parties with assistance from other staff as needed.
Can anyone make an appointment?
Yes. Our audiology clinic is public and is open to anyone and everyone who wishes to be a patient.
How do I make an appointment?
We offer several convenient options to make scheduling an appointment simple and easy. You may call the clinic during regular business hours.
Once you have scheduled your appointment, you will receive confirmation via email and/or text message. This message will provide you with all instructions needed before your appointment, and direct you to our Hearing Health Portal. The portal is where you will fill out all the required paperwork needed before you arrive for your appointment. We are a paperless office and all documents are completed online via the patient portal. You do not need to print any paperwork.
What services do you offer?
We offer a full range of audiologic services both diagnostic and rehabilitative. We also dispense a full line of hearing aids and assistive listening devices (ALDs). Additionally, we offer some services that many private facilities may not provide such as auditory processing testing, advanced vestibular diagnostics, and canalith repositioning treatments for BPPV.
Do you take my insurance plan?
We accept most major insurance plans, please call the office to verify if we accept your insurance.
What if I don’t have insurance or my insurance doesn’t cover audiology or hearing aid services?
We offer discounted fees for self-pay services and can usually find something to fit any budget.
How much are your fees?
Because we are university-affiliated, our private-pay fees are very reasonable. Everyone is welcome at our clinics and there are no income qualifications necessary to take advantage of our services. Specific fees for services will be explained to you before you receive testing or treatment.
Can you help patients with special needs?
Proper audiologic care is everyone's right. Our audiologists are trained, equipped, and capable of providing services to the special needs or disabled patient.
My child is a newborn or very young, how can you test his/her hearing?
Today’s technology allows us to evaluate hearing in many different ways. For newborns or young infants, we utilize electrophysiologic tests such as otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) and auditory brainstem responses (ABR) to determine how the hearing organ and auditory nerve are working. The baby typically sleeps during the testing and does not need to respond at all.
For these tests we ask that you bring your baby to the appointment tired so that he or she can fall asleep before we perform the test. It is best to keep them awake and hungry prior to the appointment and then you can feed them and allow them to sleep once you arrive at the facility.
My child is only 1-2 years old, how can you test his/her hearing?
We have a variety of ways to test hearing in children of all ages and abilities. Today’s technology allows us to evaluate specific components of the auditory system without having them actually respond to sounds. Additionally, we may also use conditioning tasks such as lighted toys or play techniques in response to sound stimuli whereby the child’s behavior dictates the response.
Note: Some children may need more than one appointment to complete their testing dependent upon cooperation and ability.
Vestibular FAQ (balance/dizziness)
Is it okay to eat or drink anything before my balance/dizziness test?
No. Although most people experience no discomfort with balance tests, there are some conditions and parts of the testing that may make you feel a little dizzy. Therefore, to reduce any nausea that you might otherwise experience, we ask you not to eat anything for about 6 hours prior to your test.
Why can’t I wear makeup during my balance/dizziness test?
Makeup, particularly eye makeup, can disturb or distort our sensitive equipment and prevent accurate results. We ask that you please arrive to your appointment with a clean face, free of makeup. Should you forget, we have makeup remover available and you are free to reapply after the testing is complete.
Should I take my medications before my balance/dizziness test?
There are certain medications that we ask you NOT to take for 48 hours prior to your appointment. These include; sleeping pills, tranquilizers, anti-dizzy medications (Antivert, Meclizine, etc.), pain medication or narcotics, muscle relaxers, antihistamines, cold or allergy prescriptions or substances which contain any of the above or that cause drowsiness. We also ask you to refrain from alcohol. Check with your referring physician before discontinuing any prescription medications. Please refer to the instructions that you received after you made your appointment for more information.
It is important that you not have these substances in your system prior to evaluation because they can affect the results of your testing and prohibit accurate diagnosis. If you have questions or would like a more detailed list of medications that you should not take prior to your appointment, contact us at 480.265.8067.
Please CONTINUE with medications for your heart, blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid, seizures or any other life-sustaining medications. You may also continue to take hormones and Tylenol.
Will the balance testing make me feel dizzy?
Not everybody reacts the same way. Some parts of balance testing can make people slightly dizzy but this is a normal reaction and only lasts a short amount of time. If you’re already dealing with dizziness, the testing will not make it any worse nor will it cause previous dizziness episodes to return.
Should I have someone bring me to my appointment for the balance testing?
Most patients feel completely normal and are fine to drive following completion of their testing. However, if your present symptoms are severe or you are concerned about driving already, it’s not a bad idea to have someone to drive you.