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ARIA Therapy

If your child has a condition known as amblyaudia — a disorder that prohibits the ability of the brain to process competing information from ear-to-ear — he or she might need a type of dichotic therapy known as ARIA therapy.

Amblyaudia is often diagnosed following a central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) evauation, which can reveal binaural integration weakness. This is when your child develops a dominant ear, which often suppresses incoming auditory information from the opposite ear. We often refer to this “weaker” ear as a “lazy ear.” ARIA therapy’s goal is to correct this imbalance.

ARIA therapy takes place over 4 weeks, in 4 one-hour sessions, and is performed by a licensed audiologist in a soundproof booth. After therapy, there is usually a fifth, follow-up evaluation session.

The Auditory Processing Center, located in Mississippi, agrees that treatment of amblyaudia is crucial for learning and developing children: “Following ARIA treatment children have better access to auditory signals, which will help them hear better, so they will have better access to the curriculum at school. If a child has amblyaudia, this should be treated first in order to make listening easier and maximize benefit from other types of therapy (i.e. dyslexia, speech/language therapy, or tutoring) that the child may also be receiving.”

ARIA therapy is an exciting process the audiologists at REM are proud to be able to offer our patients. Amblyaudia often goes undiagnosed, which is unfortunate, because this therapy can very well help your child become a more efficient listener, both in and outside the classroom.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact our front office, email Dr. Cory McNabb (our pediatric audiologist) directly, or check out our ARIA therapy page on our website. For more info about the actual therapy, be sure to check out this month’s newly updated Technology Spotlight.

What Services Do Audiologists Offer?

Deciding to get your hearing tested is a big move for a lot of people. Whether it’s at the urging of a primary care physician or something you decide to pursue yourself, choosing an audiologist often comes with a whole list of unknowns. You may find yourself asking what an audiologist does and what services they’ll provide during the course of your visits. Maybe you’re wondering if you even need to see one in the first place (if you’re having difficulty hearing then probably, yes).

After the decision to meet, you’ll first be given a medical history form. You may also be asked to fill out questionnaires regarding balance and tinnitus. Medication and its potential implications on balance and hearing problems will also be discussed.

After the history? The hearing test. For more information about what to expect from a hearing evaluation, please check out our recent blog.

Once the test is complete, you’ll sit down with the audiologist for the consultation, often based on your COSI (client oriented scale of improvement) — your personal improvement benchmarks. Discussing your results, you and your audiologist will go over personalized communication problems, word recognition tests (comparing hearing speech in noise with hearing aids vs. no aids), and customized treatment recommendations.

If the audiologist decides you’ll need a hearing aid, this is when you’ll begin to talk about specific models. You’ll discuss what you want out of your hearing aid experience, whether you’d like to interface with Bluetooth® technology, and how often you plan to use your aids out in social settings.

After you choose your aid, the audiologist will then monitor the device’s results using real ear measurements. He or she will want to be sure the aid is working to its specifications and your needs. You’ll often meet for follow-up appointments at regular intervals, usually every 6 to 12 months, for maintenance and cleanings.

Other services audiologists often provide are:

  1. Earwax removal
  2. Auditory processing testing (if you have problems comprehending speech even though there is no indication of peripheral hearing loss)
  3. Balance testing or referral for balance consultation

Audiologists are also there to help with your tinnitus needs and can offer advice for any hearing-related questions you may have.