Dr. Mary L. Frintner, owner and audiologist at Burbank Audiology Center, has been selected as a finalist in the 2022 Oticon Focus on People Awards, a national competition recognizing individuals who are helping to change perceptions of what it means to live with hearing loss.

You can cast Your Vote Online at Oticon.com/FOP now through Nov. 4! If she wins, Dr. Frintner will donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

How the Contest Works

Leading hearing solutions manufacturer Oticon, Inc. created the national awards program to honor hearing impaired students, adults and advocacy volunteers who drive awareness and understanding that can change attitudes and open doors of opportunity for all people with hearing loss.

Dr. Frintner is one of three finalists in the Practitioner category, recognizing hearing care experts who share a passion for making the world a better place for people with hearing loss through their professional, volunteer, cultural and civic endeavors.

The total number of votes each finalist receives will help determine who will be the first, second and third place winners in each category.

About Dr. Frintner

In 30-plus years of practicing audiology, Dr. Frintner has strongly advocated for children who experience hearing loss. That passion extends to the care they receive in her practice, Burbank Audiology Center, and beyond – through a program she established called “Listen through Literacy.”

Many of her patients are children from low-income households. To encourage families to read to their children to develop a love of reading and build literacy, all children that come to her practice can choose a book to take home. Dr. Frintner recently fitted 10-year-old Lev and his nine-year-old sister Vlada, refugees from war-torn Ukraine, with hearing aids and provided them with books, backpacks, lunch bags and all the school supplies they need to be ready to learn.

Voting for Dr. Frintner is open now through Nov. 4 at Oticon.com/FOP.  Winners will be announced in early 2023.

Burbank Audiology Center’s Dr. Mary Frintner has been featured in a local online publication for her heartfelt gift to two Ukrainian siblings in need.

In July, Rick Assad from the local online news outlet MyBurbank.com reported on in the gift and Dr. Frintner’s commitment to quality, passionate care as the owner of Burbank Audiology Center. As the article states, “10-year-old Lev Nuzhnykh and his nine-year-old sister Vlada, refugees from war-torn Ukraine, were fitted with hearing aids that will enhance their lives.”

“We provide help to those with hearing and balance disorders. My job is to find solutions for difficulties patients are having. That comes in many forms and might include some kind of hearing device,” Dr. Frintner said in her interview.

You can read more on the Ukrainian siblings’ journey and Dr. Frintner’s gift here.

After serving the La Canada and Foothills community since 2004, Balance and Hearing Resource Center has recently learned the building we are located in has been sold, and we are closing this location. While we are working on finding a long-term solution to remain in La Canada Flintridge, we are asking our Balance and Hearing Center patients to access their hearing health care services at our Burbank Audiology Center office, located at 2211 W. Magnolia Blvd., Suite 100, Burbank, CA 91506.

Effective January 1st, we will be closing the doors to our office at 1407 Foothill Blvd. Ste. 2, La Canada, CA 91011. You are welcome to continue to schedule appointments at this office till we close, but please take a moment to update your records for future communication and payments to our Burbank office address.

To schedule an appointment at our Burbank Audiology Center or find out more information about this transition, please contact our office at (818) 859-7730.

You can expect the same services and care at the Burbank office that you have received over the years from our team at Balance and Hearing Resource Center. Hearing testing for all ages; hearing aid evaluation, fitting, repair, and follow-up; and pediatric services are available at our Burbank Audiology Center location. Your medical records will continue to be available through our Burbank office as well, so there will be no disruption in your care or service.

We appreciate your flexibility and understanding during this transition. We can’t wait to be back in the La Canada and Foothills community serving patients, but until then, we would be honored to care for you at our Burbank office.


Best regards,

Mary L. Frintner, Au.D.

Doctor of Audiology



Like most hearing aid users, you probably wear your devices a majority of the day, seven days a week. With this much constant use, it’s not surprising that hearing aids can experience some wear and tear. Below are the most common hearing aid problems and how to fix them.

Moisture BuildupVarious hearing aids in a hand

Much like other electronic devices, hearing aids are not waterproof and can be damaged when exposed to water. Living in a humid climate and spending time around the ocean, pools and lakes can put your hearing aids at risk of moisture buildup, which can cause damage to the circuitry within the device.

If you are experiencing poor sound quality or your hearing aids stop working, this may be a sign of moisture buildup. Your audiologist can open the devices and remove the excess water. If there has been additional damage done to the electronic components within the device, it may need to be sent to the manufacture for repairs or additional examination.

Broken Tubing

Tubing can become damaged over time through no fault of your own. Debris can get caught, the plastic can be overstretched or it can be punctured or cracked. Any damage to the tubing can lead to an issue with sound clarity.

Your audiologists can help you replace the tubing in no time at all.

Damaged Microphone

The microphone is responsible for picking up sounds from the environment so they can be converted into electrical signals. Debris or earwax can block sounds from entering the microphone, or the microphone itself can be damaged.

Your audiologist will assess what is wrong with the microphone and clean it, repair it or replace the entire piece.

Prevent Hearing Aid Damage

The best method of repair is to prevent the damage from happening.

Moisture can be controlled by opening the battery door overnight to help the device dry out. You can also invest in a dehumidifier.

Cleaning your hearing aid and using a wax guard can prevent the tubbing and microphone from getting blocked up.

You audiologist can help you put together a cleaning protocol and provide you with a list of cleaning tools to purchase.

Contact the experts at Burbank Audiology today to learn more tips for taking care of your hearing aids.

Learn More About Hearing Aids

In an effort to protect the general health of the public, we are following Governor Newsom’s “Stay At Home” Order and temporarily limiting certain access to our office. However, we know that hearing and communication are essential in a time of emergency. At Burbank Audiology, we are able to continue providing hearing aid services through this challenging time.

Individual Appointments

Both our office locations are open Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 4pm, and offering individual appointments for health services to better protect our patients.

We are able to provide a variety of hearing health services through private in-office appointments, phone calls, emails, and video chat platforms.

We are using strict CDC guidelines to clean and sanitize all areas to be able to provide a safe care environment for our patients.

To schedule an appointment or learn more information, please call (818) 859-7730.

Please continue to check our website for updates.
For more with information from Governor Newsom’s Office, please visit: covid19.ca.gov

Everyone has a role to play in staying healthy. Protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by taking the following preventative actions:

  • Stay at home if you have fever, respiratory symptoms or believe you are sick.
  • Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces including: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
  • Disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with germs after cleaning. See a list of products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims, maintained by the American Chemistry Council Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC). Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation while using the product.
  • Practice hand hygiene. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wearing hearing aids is not like putting on a pair of glasses. Hearing aids do not replicate how you used to hear; they amplify sounds to a level your damaged ears can hear. Everyday sounds you have not heard in years, background noise and even your voice may seem different than you remember. Many get frustrated and give up. The audiologists at Burbank Audiology put together a list of tips to help you get used to your new hearing aids.

Start Home

Doctor fitting a senior female patient with a hearing aid

You’ll want to start off wearing your hearing aids at home or in other quiet environments. This gives you an opportunity to get used to hearing just a few sounds at a time.

Your voice will sound funny at first. A good way to get used to this is to read out loud or talk to your pets.

Your friends and family can also help you when you’re first starting out. Having one-on-one conversations is a great way to get your brain used to distinguishing important sounds from background noise. In addition, they can also help hold you accountable and make sure you are wearing your hearing aids when you should be.

While home, try giving yourself homework. Standing in the living room or kitchen, try to identify the source of sounds, such as the hum of an air conditioner or the tick of a wall clock.

Increase Gradually

When you first leave Burbank Audiology with your hearing aids, you’ll be instructed to start wearing them only a few hours a day. Slowly over the next few weeks, you should increase the amount of time you wear your hearing aids each day. This helps your brain relearn how to process the new sounds.

Attend the Follow-Up

Two weeks after your initial fitting, you will have a follow-up visit with your audiologist. They will review your progress and discuss any situations you experienced challenges. From there they will fine-tune and adjust your hearing aid to better fit your degree of hearing loss.

They will also adjust your hearing aids to make sure they sit comfortably in your ears. While the hearing aids may cause some slight tenderness at first, you should not experience any pain.

Getting used to your new hearing aids is a process. The hearing experts at Burbank Audiology understand this. To learn more about the hearing aid process or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today.

Going out to dinner with friends and loved ones is an enjoyable social experience. But for those with hearing loss, a casual get-together can be stressful. Follow the steps outlined below to ensure your next dinner out will be free of frustration for you and your guests.

Select the Right Restaurant

noisy restaurant

Picking a quiet place to eat is key. Unfortunately, many have excessive background noise and tables that are too close together, creating an atmosphere where it is nearly impossible to have a conversation. Try asking friends for recommendations and reading online reviews. Many review platforms now include loudness ratings. Crowdsourcing apps with decibel measurements are available on your smartphone, such as SoundPrint and iHearU.

While researching, make sure to look at pictures of the decor. Places with classic designs featuring carpet, drapes, cushioned seats and table cloths are typically quieter, as the fabric helps absorb sound. Trendy restaurants often feature hardwood floors, mirrors and metal surfaces that reflect the noise, making sounds louder.

Select the Right Table

When making a reservation, let them know you wear hearing aids, and ask to be seated at a quiet table. One in a corner or beside a wall is best as the wall provides a barrier between you and the restaurant noise. You’ll also want your table to be far away from the kitchen.

A round table makes group conversations easier, as people are positioned to face you while they speak. Their voices are projected toward the center of the table and their faces are visible, which helps with lip reading.

Don’t be afraid to ask to be moved if you are seated at a table that does not meet your requirements.

Select the Right Time

Even the quietest restaurant can be loud during its busy times. Eating on the other side of the lunch and dinner rushes gives you the best chances of having a conversation you can actually hear.

If you are one of only a few guests, the staff may be more willing to turn down the house music upon request.

Select the Right Guests

Going out to eat with a large group is difficult. Try limiting your guest lists to less than six. If you do find yourself out with a large group, focus on having conversations with those seated around you, rather than someone on the other side of the table.

When choosing a seat, opt for one in the center of the group, with those you have the hardest time hearing, like women and children, directly across from you. If you cannot hear a conversation you need to be a part of, don’t be shy about asking to change seats.

There is a growing number of assistive listening devices that pair with your hearing aid to help amplify speech in difficult listening environments. Cellphone apps like speech-to-text are also beneficial in this situation.

Contact your Burbank Audiology hearing specialist to learn more about overcoming listening challenges and enjoying your time out with friends and family.

More Information on hearing loss here:

Individuals with osteoporosis in Burbank must contend with fragile bones that make the possibility of a fracture or other serious injury more likely. A little-known side effect of the bone disease is hearing loss.

What Causes Osteoporosis?

x-ray of a hand

Osteoporosis is a bone density disease that causes weakened, fragile bones that can break easily. It affects an estimated 54 million Americans and can strike at any age but is most common in those aged 50 and older. Around half of all women and 25 percent of men over the age of 50 will break a bone as a result of osteoporosis.

Low bone mass is the most serious complication from osteoporosis. This increases the risk of substantial bone loss and fractures; the hips, spine and wrist are most susceptible. The majority of these fractures are the result of falls, but in some cases, minor bumps – or even something as seemingly innocent as a sneeze – can lead to a broken bone. Other side effects of osteoporosis include a stooped or hunched posture as a result of height loss; limited mobility; isolation and depression. Sadly, 20 percent of elderly patients in Burbank who break a hip will end up dying of complications from their fracture within a year.

Another complication of osteoporosis, one that few ever think of, is hearing loss.

How Low Bone Density Affects the Ears

When sound waves enter your ear canal, they strike the eardrum, a thin membrane attached to a trio of tiny bones in the middle ear called the ossicles. Because the disease weakens bones, the ossicles can be affected, too; damage to these bones may result in hearing loss. One such bone of the ossicles — the stapes — is one of the smallest bones in the human body, making it particularly susceptible to fracture.

Other Risks of Osteoporosis

When hearing loss occurs as a result of osteoporosis, it can come on suddenly. One recent study examined 10,000 patients with osteoporosis and found they were 76 percent more likely to develop sudden sensorineural hearing loss compared to individuals without the bone disease. They are also more likely to experience tinnitus, a ringing or other phantom sound in the ears.

Due to the seriousness of bone fractures, anybody over the age of 50 who has been diagnosed with osteoporosis should receive annual hearing screenings, according to your Burbank audiologist. This is especially important in elderly patients, whose risk of experiencing a fall is already higher.

Learn more about Hearing Loss

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays—especially when that home is filled with the mouth-watering aroma of turkey roasting in the oven. Thanksgiving and Christmas are times when families gather to celebrate, and often marks the rare occasion when people from near and far find themselves together in the same room. Over the river and through the woods, right? If you’re expecting a family member with hearing loss in Burbank this year, you might want to consider using the holidays as an opportunity to discuss their hearing.

Untreated Hearing Loss is Dangerous

Felt turkey Thanksgiving decoration

Hearing loss is a widespread problem, not only in California but across the country. About 20 percent of Burbank residents experience hearing impairment to some degree, but many are either unaware of the problem or unwilling to acknowledge it. Hearing loss develops gradually, making symptoms difficult to recognize, but the progressive nature of the disease means it will only get worse. Ignoring it solves nothing, and puts your long-term health at risk. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to physical, social and psychological side effects that include isolation, anxiety, depression, dementia, kidney disease and falls. The sooner it’s diagnosed, the better your odds of treating it successfully.

Often, a family member is the first to recognize a hearing problem in their loved one. Talking with them about this is important, but it’s a touchy subject for many. Finding the right time and place to have a serious discussion about their health is tricky. Choosing to do so when there are a lot of people willing to offer their support may help the person with hearing loss feel more comfortable. Your Burbank audiologist believes Thanksgiving or Christmas are ideal times to bring up the issue, as long as it is done with tact and diplomacy.

Be Prepared for a Serious Discussion

You really don’t know how your loved one with hearing loss will react when you mention their problem. They might not think there is an issue, or they could become defensive or angry about it. We all want to avoid confrontation, but remember, talking to somebody about hearing loss is a sign that you love them and care about their health. Prepare for your talk ahead of time and you’ll help ensure the encounter is positive. Try the following:

  • Do your homework. Learning as much as you can about hearing loss before sitting down with a loved one will show them you have studied up on the topic and will allow you to answer any questions they have. Familiarize yourself with statistics, symptoms, causes and treatments.
  • Choose the right time and place. It’s not a good idea to ask your loved one to pass the mashed potatoes and follow that up with, “By the way, I’ve noticed your hearing isn’t great.” Your initial conversation should take place in private, before other guests have arrived. This prevents your loved one from being put on the spot and gives them time to digest what you have said. If they are receptive and willing to open up, they’ll have the support of family and friends later on.
  • Be ready for defensiveness. It can be hard to accept the fact that your health isn’t optimal. Taking a defensive stance is natural; your loved one might feel that you are critical over the fact that they haven’t addressed the issue themselves or sought out treatment. The best thing you can do is assure them that hearing loss is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by and certainly not their fault; let them know that you are speaking with them out of love and concern.
  • Focus on the positive aspects of treatment. With so many negative impacts of hearing loss, let your loved one know that treatment will make communication easier and lower their risks of developing health-related complications, potentially adding years to their life! If they are concerned about wearing hearing aids, let them know that today’s digital devices are discreet, comfortable and offer excellent sound quality.
  • Be supportive. Whether your loved one responds positively or negatively, let them know that you are there to support them throughout their hearing journey. Remind them that their friends and family will have their back, as well.
  • Listen. Above all else, don’t dominate the conversation; your loved one is sure to have lots of feedback. Let them talk through all their thoughts and concerns without interrupting, and ask questions to encourage them to keep talking.

If you would like more information about hearing loss prior to opening a dialogue with a loved one, reach out to your Burbank audiologist. They are happy to help prepare you for a difficult talk.

Burbank residents with hearing loss are more likely to experience a variety of physical, social and psychological health problems, especially if they don’t seek treatment for their impairment. The risks are well-documented, though some are more surprising than others. The link between hearing loss and loneliness is one such example.

The Health Risks of Untreated Hearing Loss

man holding up a sad face

Hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical health condition in the U.S.; only arthritis and heart disease affect more people.

An estimated 48 million Americans experience hearing loss to some degree—that’s about 20 percent of the population. Hearing aids provide benefit to most patients, but surprisingly few use them. Only about one out of every five older adults with hearing loss in Burbank who would be helped by hearing aids actually wears them.

According to JAMA Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, this puts 23 million people with untreated hearing loss at risk.

What does untreated hearing loss increase the risk of over 10 years?

  • 50 percent more likely to experience dementia
  • 40 percent more likely to suffer from depression
  • 30 percent more likely to sustain a fall

How long does it take people to seek treatment?

The reasons for skipping treatment vary. Because hearing loss tends to develop gradually and the brain does a remarkable job of filling in the gaps, many people don’t even realize they are suffering from a hearing impairment. It takes the average patient seven years from the onset of their hearing loss to seek treatment.

Why doesn’t everyone get treated for hearing loss?

Knowledge is power, but even those who are aware of their hearing problem often choose to ignore it. Some fear the stigma associated with hearing aids, believing that wearing them will make them look older.

Hint: constantly saying “what?” or asking others to repeat themselves won’t exactly make you appear young! There may be doubt about the effectiveness of hearing aids, and the cost proves to be a barrier for some.

Unfortunately, few health plans offer coverage for hearing treatment, Medicare included. While some of these are valid concerns, not taking the steps to treat your hearing loss is like playing Russian roulette with your health.

The strain associated with following conversations in social settings makes many people withdraw from their favorite activities. Isolation is common in those with hearing loss, and this leads to loneliness; a recent Dutch study found that every decibel drop in hearing perception for people younger than 70 corresponded with a seven percent increase in severe loneliness.

The effects of untreated hearing loss get worse over time

The more severe your hearing loss, the more debilitating loneliness becomes. It often leads to additional health problems such as stress, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.

Individuals suffering from loneliness related to hearing loss have a 40 percent higher likelihood of developing dementia and their risks of dying prematurely for any reason go up by 26 percent. This has led some health experts to compare the effects of social isolation to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

How are hearing loss and dementia connected?

Nobody is quite sure how hearing loss, loneliness and dementia are all interconnected, but there are theories. Loneliness causes an increase in stress hormones and inflammation, two factors that are associated with dementia.

Also, the lack of brain stimulation caused by a withdrawal from social activities can hasten cognitive decline. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University are currently in the midst of a study (slated for completion in 2022) that is looking into whether treating hearing loss can delay or prevent cognitive impairment and cut down on loneliness.

If you suspect you have hearing loss, don’t wait any longer to have your hearing tested.

One thing is certain: the earlier hearing loss is diagnosed, the greater your odds of preventing a variety of health complications. If you haven’t had a hearing evaluation in a while, schedule an appointment with a Burbank audiologist as soon as possible.

Learn More About Hearing Loss