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See our feature article in Hearing Sound Advice on page 8 (please allow magazine to load)...or scroll down to read the transcript.
A double board-certified Audiologist who has been serving patients with communication issues for more than 20 years, Dr. Anzola has been named as the Washingtonian’s Top Doctor for Audiology for three years running, and has won the Angie’s List Super Service Award. Through her BBB-accredited practice, Dr. Anzola uses a unique hands-on approach to patient care, employing “a mix of experience and science in an effort to find the best solution for each individual.”
Dr. Anzola sat down with us to discuss some common communication issues she comes across in her practice, advances in the field of audiology, and what people should be looking for as they pursue better hearing health.
Hearing Sound Advice (HSA): For most people, taking care of their health means regular visits to their general practitioner, their dentist and their eye doctor. But we don’t always think about getting our hearing checked. Should we? And why?
Dr. Anzola: Absolutely you should! Your hearing is just as important as your eyes and your teeth, and it is a vital part of your overall well-being. Your hearing connects you to the places and people around you. Not being able to hear well leaves you disconnected from the people you love. It can negatively affect your work, your participation in your favorite activities, even your self-esteem.
HSA: When we’re looking for a service provider, should we be seeing an audiologist or an ear, nose and throat doctor?
Dr. Anzola: Audiologists specialize in hearing evaluation, hearing loss, tinnitus, hearing protection and hearing rehabilitation. ENTs are trained in the management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose and throat – not specifically hearing-related issues.
HSA: When should someone visit an audiologist?
Dr. Anzola: Everybody over the age of 50 should visit an audiologist annually as part of their overall health care plan. If you experience hearing issues prior to the age of 50, book an appointment with an audiologist to get your hearing tested. For example, if you have trouble following conversations in restaurants or other loud places, or if you have a constant ringing or buzzing in your ears, no matter where you are or what you’re doing... Also, if you often ask people to repeat things because you’re not hearing them the first time, or if you’re turning up the volume on the TV or radio louder than everyone else thinks is necessary. If any of these things are happening to you, it’s time to visit an audiologist.
HSA: Can’t we just go to our local pharmacy, big box store or order online to obtain a pair of hearing aids?
Dr. Anzola: Proper fitting and programming for your hearing aids requires a seasoned, experienced audiologist to tailor the solution to your specific needs. This is the most important factor for patient satisfaction. Without proper fitting, issues such as poor sound quality, inadequate amplification and further hearing loss are more likely to develop.
HSA: What factors should someone consider when looking for an audiologist?
Dr. Anzola: The most important things to look for when being evaluated and fitted for hearing aids is the experience and education of the hearing professional. Look for an audiologist who has at least 10 years of experience, and at the very minimum, a CCC-A professional certification. This is the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology. In addition, I would highly recommend that people work with an audiologist who holds a doctorate degree in Audiology – an AuD.
Also, look up the reviews of the audiologist. Don’t just listen to what the audiologist has to say. What’s most important is what their patients are saying about them. I find video reviews and testimonials tend to be the most authentic.
HSA: Should we be looking for audiologists who work with certain hearing aid manufacturers?
Dr. Anzola: I always suggest working with an audiologist who is familiar with many different hearing aid manufacturers, so they can meet your individual needs. There are so many new and advanced hearing aids on the market that do more than just make everything sound louder, but also filter background noise. You want to make sure you’re working with a professional who is familiar with – and has access to – the most recent models that use the latest digital technology.
HSA: Are we all set once we have our new hearing aids?
Dr. Anzola: Not quite! Your hearing will change over time, and your hearing aid will need adjustment and re-programming to meet your changing needs. It’s so important to develop a relationship with your audiologist. You want the confidence that comes from working with a seasoned expert who knows your needs, tracks your case history, and who you trust to take care of you every time you see them.
I always encourage patients to inquire about the type of after-care the audiologist provides. I suggest working an audiologist who provides their patients with online resources to help them adjust to their new hearing aids, and train their brains to recognize sounds they haven’t heard in a long time.
HSA: Is there anything else we should be asking our audiologist?
Dr. Anzola: Yes. Remember that you are visiting a medical office, and infection control should be of primary importance. I always recommend that patients work with audiologists that follow strict infection control practices. Furthermore, the audiologist should review infection control practices with you to ensure you don’t spread infection from your hearing aids.
And don’t forget, your hearing is part of your overall health. Work with an audiologist who has a patient-centered approach and reports back to your primary care physician about your hearing health.
HSA: What kinds of technologies are available with hearing aids today?
Dr. Anzola: Today’s hearing aids don’t just make everything louder – they have the capability to amplify the voice of the person you’re talking to, while diminishing background noise – while being practically invisible in your ears. They have microphones that can be directed towards people in your conversation. And many hearing aids these days connect wirelessly to your smartphone, opening up a whole new area for hearing aid users. It’s actually quite exciting!
Dr Anzola is outstanding. Dr Anzola has provided me with hearing aids that have improved my hearing dramatically. She does an outstanding job of adjusting them each time I see her. Her staff will always fit me in if I need some help. My hearing aids have made such an improvement in the quality of my life. I am most grateful to Dr Anzola.
- Linda B., Annandale, VA
Great Service with Outstanding Results. Lost my previous hearing aids so went to Dr Ana Anzola for help in getting new ones. Thanks to her I have new hearing aids which are extraordinarily better than anything I had before. She takes time to analyze your hearing loss and then creates the best solution tailored to your needs. I woukld recommend her to anyone who suffers from hearing loss problems.
- Thomas A., Mc Lean, VA
A five-star experience! I am a first-time hearing-aid user. I did not know what to expect but Dr. Anzola immediately put me at ease, explained the process and educated me on available options. I have been impressed with the follow-up services. The doctors and staff are friendly, efficient and professional. I have recommended Ascent to others.
- Kathleen S., Herndon, VA
A+++++ (that's 5) for service, professionalism, expertise, etc. I went to the office not really knowing what to expect. Marci Smith was the Audiologist and she is very personable and professional. I am almost please enough to travel to Rockville, her normal office. Everything about the people and office are really the best.
- Richard L., Falls Church, VA
All 5 stars! I purchased my Starkey hearing aids in Naples Florida where we spend part of the year. Audiology Associates located in Naples found Ascent in a directory. With the office close to where we live, I have come in twice to purchase supplies. Service was professional, courteous, and prompt. I will be back for continued purchases as well as service on my hearing aids if necessary.
- Richard S., Oakton, VA
Service is very good and quick. After service my hearing aid is in good condition. I satisfy. Thanks.
- Thuy D., Rockville, MD
Excelent practice. Dr Anzola is an excellent professional. I'm very happy with her professional practice and office. Before I went there, I visited many doctors and they never solved my problem. With Dr. Anzola my experience has been very good.
- Ana B., Bethesda, MD
Excellent! Highly recommend. I accompanied my mother for her initial exam and again when she received the hearing aids. I was very impressed with the amount of time spent and the attention to detail. My mother is not an easy customer and for her to be impressed also says volumes. Dr. Anzola listened well and carefully and responded to all questions and concerns. I was invited to sit in as the aids were prepared and how to use and care for them was explained. She took A LOT of time going over everything, answering questions, and explaining everything in detail. We never felt hurried or rushed. Our appointment was on a Friday late afternoon. What totally amazed us was on Saturday morning my mother got a call from Dr. Anzola. She wanted to see how my mother did after the appointment and in the morning. She asked my mother if she had any questions or concerns. A follow up from the doctor WITHOUT a call from us, was a pleasant surprise. I would highly recommend her.
- Dale L., Alexandria, VA
Dr. Anzola is very attentive, listens very carefully to what ou have to say, will answer all guestions and will change whatever that can be changed to accommidate your wishes. If you have a problem Dr. Anzola will squeeze you in as soon as possible.
- Mary M., Falls Church, VA
Overall - Excellent. Office is officially run and staff (Christine) always accommodating. Appointments are timely, so next to no waiting time. Very friendly but efficient and professional environment. Small waiting room but comfortable setting. Earing devices and testing process seem to meet excellent standards...Doctor Anzola appears very technically knowledgeable and competent.
- Linda G., Fairfax, VA
I Can Hear!!! Dr. Anzola and her staff have been unbelievably fabulous with me. They worked with me to make sure that I got the help I needed and got the comfort that I wanted. They've been there every time I've needed advice or help. And yes, I've already been recommending them to friends. Think you can't hear? Go get help - After 10 years, I'm hearing the birds again... I had no idea how much I'd lost and I'm so happy to have it back again!
- Sheldon C., Arlington, VA
They have gone out of their way to help me hear better. Many times I have called or gone to their office to correct a problem or answer a question.
– Lynda R., McLean, VA
Excellent service! Dr. Anzola is totally professional, helpful and experienced - it is a pleasure to use her services.
- Jane F., Mclean, VA
Dr. Anzola taught me how to use my hearing aid. Improving your hearing is more than purchasing an aid. I am very pleased with my choice to get assistance from Ascent Audiology for my hearing needs. Dr. Anzola is a teacher as well as a doctor. I highly recommend her practice.
- Carol B., Falls Church, VA
Great service, good listeners! My hearing aids are very comfortable. I've been wearing them now since Jan. 2013. Dr. Anzola is responsive to my questions and gives great customer service! Christina is so helpful and her calls to remind me of my next appointment are much appreciated. Thank you Dr. Anzola and staff.
- Craig R., Arlington, VA
Caring, professional audiologist Dr. Anzula guided me through the difficult transition of adjusting to wearing hearing aids. She made sure I had devices to fit mt needs and took the time and care to make sure I was satisfied.
- Rhett D., Mc Lean, VA
Outstanding in all areas. Dr. Anzola and her staff are well-trained professionals who are dedicated to providing a high level of service to their patients.She is not satisfied until her patient is completely satisfied.I am very pleased with the product and my relationship with Dr. Anzola and her staff
- David S., Fairfax, VA
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