Essential oils have been popular in Burbank for years. People use them to help reduce stress and anxiety, aid in digestion or just to make their homes smell good. Their purported health benefits are numerous; some swear essential oils can even help reverse hearing and balance disorders. Is there any truth to these claims?

The Long History of Essential Oils

essential oil on a table with plants

Essential oils are liquid concentrates derived from a wide variety of plants—usually herbs and fruit. Hundreds of fragrances can be extracted; popular ones include peppermint, lavender, tea tree oil, cedarwood, lemon and eucalyptus. Oils are distilled from many different parts of the plant including the leaves, flowers, roots, bark, seeds, berries and needles.

People have been using essential oils as a type of folk medicine for hundreds of years—as far back as the 12th century. Their use is on the rise again with modern-day Burbank residents who are looking for alternative medicine and natural remedies. Many believe essential oils promote positive well-being and can help with a range of health ailments. The oils are usually diffused, burned or rubbed into the skin. Believers swear they help do everything except make the bed! Specifically, they are alleged to:

  • Boost energy
  • Reduce stress
  • Aid digestion
  • Lower anxiety
  • Improve mood
  • Protect against infection
  • Relieve headaches, nausea and some skin conditions

Essential oils are not regulated by the FDA. This has led to some pretty far-out claims about their health benefits, but none has ever been proven. They won’t cause harm when used as directed, but there are dangers associated with improper use. Essential oils can cause skin irritation and other allergic reactions in some individuals. Ingesting them can cause a burning sensation and inflammation. Children and pregnant or nursing women should avoid using them.

Specific Hearing and Balance Claims

Proponents claim that cajeput oil, geranium oil, lavender oil and tea tree oil can help those with sensorineural hearing loss (nerve deafness) and helichrysum oil will ease symptoms associated with both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. There is no scientific evidence to back this up.

Cypress oil, ginseng oil, helichrysum oil, juniper oil, lavender oil, lilies oil, olive oil, onion oil, petitgrain oil, rehmannia oil and spotted orchis oil are said to reverse tinnitus, a persistent ringing in the ears. The reality is, tinnitus has no cure.

Individuals suffering from vertigo are told that basil oil, bergamot oil, bitter orange oil (neroli), CBD oil, clary sage oil, cypress oil, geranium oil, ginger oil, lavender oil, lemon balm oil, peppermint oil, rose oil, rosemary oil, tangerine oil or thyme oil will all help eliminate dizziness. Again, there is no truth to this.

People with ear infections are urged to try lavender oil, olive oil, tea tree oil, oregano oil, basil oil, thyme oil, bishop’s weed oil, peppermint oil, mustard oil and a mixture of sesame and castor oil to help fight off infection. Time (and in some cases, antibiotics) is the only proven cure.

It’s understandable to look for natural ways to treat your health, but the reality is, only a qualified hearing specialist can provide a solution that will work. If you are experiencing a hearing or balance problem, make an appointment with an audiologist in Burbank.

Children who visit the Burbank Audiology Center office will find a “book tree” full of engaging, exciting and educational reading opportunities. Dr. Frintner and her staff encourage young patients to choose a book from the shelves that sparks their interest and curiosity and take it home, free of charge. Not only does this give children something to look forward to during their visits to the office, but it also aids in relaxing the patients while an earmold impression is taken. We believe that through our book donation program, we are discouraging screen time at a young age, promoting literacy and increasing the positive effects of the literate thinking process.

According to the recent study, today’s clinicians and researchers are faced with a new generation of children with mild to severe hearing impairment. The study found these children typically have access to early identification, enhanced hearing technologies and early intervention. Researchers concluded that focus should broaden, to include multidimensional definitions of language and literacy. In addition, consideration should to be given to the ways in which language foundations are established to support children’s literacy and literate thinking processes. (Moeller 2007)

Hearing loss impacts language development, which impacts the development of reading skills. Research has found that competency in reading is based on competency in language and that children who have language delays as a result of hearing loss are at risk for serious reading deficiencies. (Carney and Moeller 1998)

With this in mind, Dr. Mary L. Frintner and the team at Burbank Audiology Center have been supporting the San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley and Greater Los Angeles communities by partnering with teachers and professionals through a book donation program. Dr. Frintner works with teachers who are retiring and would like to donate books to support hearing impaired children’s literacy and literate thinking processes. Additionally, Burbank Audiology Center partners with a local realtor that receives books from homes that have sold.

10 Ways Families can Improve Their Child’s Reading Skills

  • Set aside a regular time to read to your children every day.

    Studies show that regularly reading out loud to children will produce significant gains in reading comprehension, vocabulary and the decoding of words. Whether your children are preschoolers or preteens, it will increase their desire to read independently.

  • Surround your children with reading material.

    Children with a large array of reading materials in their homes score higher on standardized tests. Tempt your kids to read by having a large supply of appealing books and magazines at their reading level. Put the reading materials in cars, bathrooms, bedrooms, family rooms and even by the TV.

  • Have a family reading time.

    Establish a daily 15- to 30-minute time when everyone in the family reads together silently. Seeing you read will inspire your children to read. Just 15 minutes of daily practice is sufficient to increase their reading fluency.

  • Encourage a wide variety of reading activities.

    Make reading an integral part of your children’s lives. Have them read menus, roadside signs, game directions, weather reports, movie time listings, and other practical everyday information. Also, make sure they always have something to read in their spare time when they could be waiting for appointments or riding in a car.

  • Develop the library habit.

    Entice your children to read more by taking them to the library every few weeks to get new reading materials. The library also offers reading programs for children of all ages that may appeal to your children and further increase their interest in reading.

  • Be knowledgeable about your children’s progress.

    Find out what reading skills they are expected to have at each grade level. The school’s curriculum will give you this information. Track their progress in acquiring basic reading skills on report cards and standardized tests.

  • Look for reading problems.

    Teachers do not always detect children’s reading problems until they’ve become serious. Find out if your children can sound out words, know sight words, use context to identify unknown words and clearly understand what they read.

  • Get help promptly for reading problems.

    Reading problems do not magically disappear with time. The earlier children receive help, the more likely they will become good readers. Make sure your children receive necessary help from teachers, tutors or learning centers as soon as you discover a problem.

  • Use a variety of aids to help your children.

    To help your children improve their reading, use textbooks, computer programs, books-on-tape and other materials available in stores. Games are especially good choices because they let children have fun as they work on their skills.

  • Show enthusiasm for your children’s reading.

    Your reaction has a great influence on how hard they will try to become good readers. Be sure to give them genuine praise for their efforts.

  • If you have a child who is hearing impaired, we are here to help. In addition to our services, there are many resources for education and support that we can connect you with. Please contact our office at (818) 859-7730 to schedule an appointment.


    Carney, A. & Moeller, M. (1998). Treatment efficacy, hearing loss in children. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 41(1)
    Moeller, M. (2007). Current state of knowledge: language and literacy of children with hearing impairment.

    People with hearing loss in Burbank aren’t always aware of their condition, and this can lead to problems. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a variety of physical, psychological and social side effects. The sooner you recognize the signs, the more likely you are to avoid these potentially debilitating side effects.

    Hearing Loss Develops Gradually

    Red flag with help spelled out with matches

    Most cases of hearing loss in Burbank develop so gradually, it can be difficult to notice. The human brain is a remarkable organ; when hearing declines, it helps “fill in the blanks” by diverting cognitive resources from other areas such as memory and concentration. No wonder it takes an average of seven years from the onset of hearing loss for Burbank residents to seek medical treatment.

    Learning to spot the red flags will help protect you from many possible complications of untreated hearing loss—a list that includes anxiety, stress, fatigue, depression, isolation, social withdrawal, dementia, diabetes, kidney disease and an increased risk of falling.

    Look out for the following signs of hearing loss:

    • You frequently ask others to repeat themselves or say “huh?” a lot. It’s normal to miss a word of conversation here and there, but when it happens repeatedly, there’s probably more going on here. Unless everybody else has taken to mumbling—not a likely scenario—you may be experiencing early signs of hearing loss. If you think you can fool everybody by nodding your head and saying “yes” to something you haven’t  understood, you’re setting yourself up for embarrassment.
    • Family members are always asking you to turn down the volume on the TV. Look, we all agree that “The Golden Girls” is a great sitcom, but when Dorothy and Blanche are waxing over cheesecake so loudly it causes others in your household pain, your hearing is likely in decline.
    • You have trouble hearing women’s and children’s voices. We’re not talking about the type of “selective hearing” that occurs when your wife asks you to clean out the garage for the tenth time, but you’d rather watch football. High-pitched frequencies are usually the first to be affected, so if you find women and children harder to understand, you may be experiencing the beginning stages of hearing impairment.
    • You find it hard to communicate over noisy backgrounds. Bars and restaurants tend to be noisy, but if you find yourself struggling to hear throughout the entire meal, it’s possible your hearing may be going. If you find yourself struggling to hear throughout the entire meal and Barry Manilow is playing in the background, the odds that you’re experiencing hearing loss are even higher. Plus, you might want to rethink your dining choices.
    • You experience a ringing in your ears. Unless you’re standing next to a telephone, you shouldn’t notice a ringing in your ears. If you do, it’s likely tinnitus—an early sign of hearing loss. You might experience a roaring, whooshing, hissing, clicking, whistling or chirping sound instead. These are also signs that your hearing may be fading.
    • You find yourself avoiding social situations. We all have that one friend we dread getting an invite from, but if you find yourself declining to RSVP people you enjoy hanging out with, you might be avoiding the strain and fatigue caused by a constant struggle to hear.

    If any of these signs apply to you, schedule an appointment for a hearing evaluation with a Burbank audiologist ASAP. The sooner hearing loss is treated, the less likely you are to experience long-term complications.

    Most people don’t give an audiologist a second thought, until they develop a hearing problem. If you are diagnosed with hearing loss in Burbank, you’ll be getting to know your audiologist pretty well, so it’s a good idea if you know exactly what he or she does. After all, an audiologist is more than just a person who looks inside your ear canals. They have a wide range of responsibilities, some of which will probably surprise you!

    Definition of an Audiologist

    audiologist looking in an ear

    Your Burbank audiologist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation and management of hearing and balance disorders. They most likely possess a Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) degree but might instead have a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited university. No matter the degree, you can be sure your audiologist has received thorough training in the prevention, identification, assessment and treatment of a wide variety of hearing and balance disorders. They will have completed an internship, passed a national competency exam and obtained professional certification and licensing in California and any other state(s) in which they practice.

    The Many Roles of an Audiologist

    Audiologists in Burbank do a lot more than just examine ears. They have many responsibilities, any or all of which they might be involved with on a typical day. These include:

    • Identify, test, diagnose and treat hearing and balance disorders and tinnitus.
    • Counsel and educate patients and their families about hearing health, management strategies and improved communication methods.
    • Assess candidacy for hearing aids, cochlear implants and other implantable hearing devices.
    • Manage audiologic rehabilitation programs including speech reading, language development and communication skills.
    • Evaluate and treat patients suffering from central auditory processing disorders.
    • Develop and implement hearing conservation programs for employers, schools and other professional organizations.
    • Supervise and conduct newborn hearing screenings.
    • Recommend, dispense, fit and program hearing aids and assistive listening devices for patients of all ages.
    • Examine the ear canals and eardrum to eliminate excess earwax.
    • Make custom earmolds from impressions of ear canals.
    • Assist surgeons with ear-related medical procedures.

    Where Audiologists in Burbank are Employed

    Audiologists in Burbank work in a wide range of settings. They find employment in hospitals, clinics, private practices, primary schools and universities, hearing aid dispensaries, VA clinics and other locations.

    Now that you have a better understanding of everything your audiologist does, you can appreciate that they are uniquely qualified to help manage hearing loss and balance disorders. Contact a Burbank audiologist today if you are experiencing problems with hearing or balance.

    Extraordinarily, the vast majority of insurance providers do not cover hearing devices and services, deeming them not medically necessary. Families are left to cover the financial responsibility of hearing devices and services themselves. While some may qualify for government assistance, it can take months to materialize, if at all. This is unacceptable in the case of a small child when every day of hearing is critical to development. Often, adults who need help hearing do not qualify for government assistance and cannot afford the price of the devices or services.

    For these reasons, Dr. Mary L. Frintner and the team at Burbank Audiology Center partnered with HearAid Foundation, an organization that has been helping those in need for over a decade.

    Why we partner with HearAid Foundation

    Quality and immediacy are top priority for HearAid Foundation.

    HearAid Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping people hear as well and as quickly as possible. Established in 2009 in Orange County, California, HearAid Foundation serves children and adults who are in need of immediate hearing intervention, with a high standard of care to ensure that each patient doesn’t get just any hearing devices, but gets the right hearing devices and solutions under the care of a doctor.

    HearAid Foundation works with hearing professionals and accept referrals from doctors, schools, social workers, hospitals, assisted living centers and even individuals to identify underfunded people with hearing loss who need hearing aids or services. The potential beneficiary (or their parent), with the help of a hearing professional, fills out a straightforward application for assistance and submits it to HearAid Foundation. Qualified recipients can receive assistance immediately or within days of application approval.

    No delay of many critical months.

    No red tape.

    How It Works


    HearAid Foundation recipients must provide income information and fill out a simple application to be eligible for consideration. A tax return or other proof of income level is required at the time you submit your application.

    Click here for a Recipient Application Form.

    Device Donors

    In addition to cash and in-kind donations, HearAid Foundation accept hearing aids and other assistive devices that are new or in good repair. All donations are tax deductible. Devices can be mailed to HearAid Foundation, if preferred. They will provide a letter of receipt for your records.

    Click here for a Device Donation Form.

    Since 2000, Dr. Mary L. Frintner and the team at Burbank Audiology Center has served hearing impaired patients of the San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley and Greater Los Angeles communities. Our services focus on newborn hearing screenings, pediatric and adult hearing tests, hearing aids and implants and pediatric audiology resources. We strive to help our patients improve their hearing and speech in addition to providing support for their families.

    For more information about how you can get involved, please contact our office at (818) 859-7730 to schedule an appointment.

    Now that summer is officially here, many people in Burbank will take full advantage of all the season has to offer. Granted, our weather isn’t nearly as extreme as that in Fargo, for instance. But we still tend to flock to the great outdoors once summertime rolls around; doing so can prove hazardous to our hearing.

    Why is Hearing Loss More Common in Summer?

    child eating a watermelon

    We’re fortunate in Burbank to have so many opportunities for summertime fun. The ocean is just a stone’s throw away, world-class theme parks are practically right in our backyard, and our entertainment options are seemingly endless, from concerts and festivals to sporting events. The down side? All of these pastimes can potentially harm our hearing.

    Noise-induced hearing loss is prevalent in Burbank and across the U.S. – and you’re more likely to experience it during the summer months. There’s a real correlation between the rise in temperatures and incidences of hearing impairment. 85 decibels (dB), about equivalent to the sound of Burbank traffic (when it’s moving, that is), is considered the safe threshold for hearing. Anything louder than that can cause irreversible hearing damage. The louder the sound, the less safe exposure time you have.

    Summer activities that can potentially lead to hearing impairment include:

    • Concerts
    • Fireworks
    • Sporting events (e.g., Dodgers and Angels games)
    • Parades
    • Motorized vehicles (e.g., powerboats, jet skis)

    The good news? Noise-induced hearing loss is pretty easy to prevent. Protecting your ears by wearing earplugs anytime you are engaged in noisy activities such as the ones listed above will reduce your odds of developing hearing impairment. Foam earplugs from the corner drugstore are fine, but for even better protection and a snugger fit, consider having your Burbank audiologist fit you for a pair of custom earplugs taken from silicone molds of your ear canals.

    Other things to be aware of during the summer months include:

    • Fireworks are synonymous with the 4th of July and a thrilling spectacle to behold but lighting them yourself is fraught with danger. For starters, they can produce sounds in excess of 150 dB; that’s loud enough to cause immediate, permanent damage. Plus, there’s a chance you could lose a limb or an eye. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to let the professionals set them off. There are plenty of opportunities to view fireworks safely – take advantage of them!
    • Noise may be the most common cause of hearing loss in the summer, but it’s not the only one. Chances are you’ll seek out a refreshing dip in a cool body of water on the hottest days of the year; be aware of high bacterial counts, which can cause a painful infection that might eventually lead to hearing loss if not treated. Signs are usually posted when bacteria levels approach dangerous categories, so look before you leap, as the saying goes. Even when bacteria aren’t a concern, water can still cause problems. If it enters the ear canals it can lead to swimmer’s ear, another infection that could potentially lead to long-term hearing damage. Prevent this by wearing swim plugs whenever you are going to be exposed to water (this includes all sources, from the Pacific Ocean to the shower in your master bedroom). Be sure to thoroughly dry your ears after swimming or bathing.
    • Hearing aid users must take precautions to protect their devices from heat and humidity, either of which can damage the sensitive electronic circuitry, leading to costly repairs or replacement. Wear a wide-brimmed hat when walking outdoors in the sunshine; never store your hearing aids in a hot car; and take them out of your ears if an unexpected summer rainstorm catches you off guard. A dehumidifier will wick away moisture when you aren’t using them.

    Want more tips for protecting your hearing (and your hearing aids) this summer? Your Burbank hearing professional is happy to help! Contact them with any questions or schedule an appointment.

    Noise-induced hearing loss is on the rise among adolescents in Burbank. It’s already one of the leading causes of hearing impairment in people of all ages but has become especially prevalent in younger people. Experts believe technology is to blame for this upward trend.

    Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

    construction site

    Noise-induced hearing loss is the result of permanent damage to the hair cells in the cochlea that are responsible for processing sounds. Noise that exceeds 85 decibels (dB) can destroy these nerve cells; the louder the sound, the less permissible exposure time you have. At 85 dB hearing loss can occur after eight hours, but at 100 dB, it only takes 15 minutes.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 17 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 19 experience noise-induced hearing loss in one or both ears. Much of the blame can be traced to music and the popularity of earbuds. Streaming services make listening to music on the go much easier than before; there are no bulky boomboxes or Walkmans to carry around and it’s a lot more economical than buying CDs.

    Kids who join band are more likely to experience hearing loss, as well – particularly if they play noisy instruments like drums. It’s important that music teachers provide hearing protection to students, so check with your child to make sure earplugs are provided.

    Other activities that contribute to noise-induced hearing loss in adolescents include concerts, sporting events and recreational pursuits involving dirt bikes, jet skis, snowmobiles and other equipment with a noisy engine.

    Prevention is Key

    Stressing the importance of hearing protection now is the best way to prevent irreversible hearing damage in the future. You can’t turn back the hands of time and wish technology away, but you can encourage good listening habits. Your Burbank audiologist recommends instructing your teen to set the volume level at no more than 60 percent of maximum and to take frequent breaks so their ears can rest. If you can hear your kids’ music despite the fact that they are wearing earbuds, it’s too loud!

    Make sure your kids wear earplugs any time they are going to participate in noisy activities. Regular foam earplugs are okay, but for better protection, custom molded plugs are the best way to go.

    For more tips on protecting your adolescents’ hearing, talk to your audiologist in Burbank today.

    People with hearing loss in Burbank face challenges in all aspects of their daily lives. For those in the workforce, performing routine tasks can be trying. Learn to be a better colleague by advocating for your hearing-impaired coworkers. It’s easier than you think.

    Hearing Loss in the Workplace

    coworkers having a meeting

    Many people associate hearing loss with the elderly, but in reality, about 60 percent of people with a hearing disability are currently employed. In addition to the stressors typical with any job – tight deadlines, tyrannical bosses, disgruntled customers – these folks must overcome other obstacles to productivity, such as noise distractions and communication difficulties.

    Whether you work directly with somebody who has hearing loss or only pass them occasionally in the hallway, there are steps you can take to make their work life easier. Simply making them feel included is a great start! You can raise awareness through onsite deaf awareness courses (available through many government and community organizations); these will help employees better understand the nature of hearing loss and is a great way to show support for your hearing-impaired coworker. They will feel like a valuable member of the organization.

    Be sure your colleague with hearing loss has access to tools that will help him or her perform their job more easily. A quiet place to work that is free from distraction is a necessity. Background noise makes it very difficult for hearing impaired individuals to concentrate, so a cubicle in the middle of a crowded office will probably be detrimental to their success. Look for an unused private office or, at the very least, a corner spot with less traffic. Consider investing in Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) or captioned telephones and assistive listening devices and provide written transcripts of meetings and company announcements to ensure they don’t miss out on any important information. Incorporate flashing lights into your emergency notification systems to complement audible alarms; most people with hearing loss have trouble with high frequencies.

    Implementing a health benefits package that offers coverage for hearing aids and services such as vocational rehabilitation will also help offset the high costs associated with hearing loss.

    When talking to your hearing-impaired colleague, look for a well-lit spot; maintain eye contact; don’t cover your mouth when speaking; and offer to repeat yourself if they are having trouble following along.

    For more tips on helping out coworkers with hearing loss, speak to a Burbank audiologist today.

    When residents and visitors think about California, they associate many things with the Golden State; sunshine, crashing waves, snow-capped mountains and celebrities are a few things that immediately come to mind. Few people would mention tinnitus, but this ringing in the ears is more common in Burbank and other locales throughout the state than you think!

    Tinnitus in Burbank

    bells ringing

    Tinnitus effects one out of every five Burbank residents, making it one of the most commonly reported health complaints. It isn’t just a California problem; about 20 percent of the U.S. population experiences it to some degree. To understand what tinnitus is, you should first know what it isn’t: tinnitus isn’t a medical condition but is instead classified as a symptom – the result of another underlying condition or factor.

    There are many causes of tinnitus in Burbank. They include:

    • Excessive noise exposure
    • Blockages in the ear canal (wax buildup, ear infection)
    • Medications that are harmful to the ears (aspirin, quinine and certain antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and chemotherapy drugs)
    • Aging
    • Meniere’s disease
    • Otosclerosis
    • Migraines
    • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
    • Head and neck injuries
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Circulation disorders
    • Diabetes
    • Autoimmune diseases

    Tinnitus is unique to each individual. For some people it is nothing more than an occasional nuisance, while others find it so bothersome it affects many aspects of their everyday lives. It is most often described as a ringing in the ears, but people have also reported a roaring, whooshing, buzzing, hissing, clicking or whistling sound. Its negative effects include anxiety, stress, depression, fatigue and irritability.

    How is Tinnitus Treated?

    There is no cure for tinnitus, but this doesn’t mean people experiencing it in Burbank have no chance of finding relief. Audiologists recommend a number of strategies for managing tinnitus in order to minimize its impact on your daily life.

    Masking techniques such as white noise therapy and tinnitus retraining therapy seem to help people find the most relief. They work by distracting your brain from the ringing in your ears with other sounds – rain, ocean waves and patterned musical notes are common. Many folks simply turn on an air-conditioner or fan to achieve the same effect.

    Your Burbank audiologist might also recommend making changes to your diet or lifestyle. In some cases, reducing or eliminating things such as sodium, alcohol and tobacco can lead to a decrease in symptoms. Others swear by natural remedies like gingko-biloba or alternative therapies such as acupuncture, but evidence of their effectiveness is mostly anecdotal. If symptoms are believed to be caused by medications, your doctor may prescribe a different drug to see if that makes a difference.

    The bottom line is this: when it comes to tinnitus, you are not alone. Contact an audiologist in Burbank today to learn how to quiet the distraction.

    Airline travel doesn’t exactly rank up there on most people’s lists of favorite activities. Whether you’re flying out of Bob Hope Airport or LAX, you are going to have to contend with traffic on the way there, not to mention security checkpoints, overzealous TSA agents, cramped seating and the possibility of overbooked flights. It’s enough to have anybody seek out Greyhound tickets instead! But bus travel is no picnic either. Sometimes, you have little choice but to fly to your destination. If you have hearing loss in Burbank, that can be even more of a hassle.

    Tips for Flying with Hearing Loss

    person walking through an airport

    Hearing loss presents challenges in your everyday life. Traveling only compounds that! While we can’t promise you a turbulence-free experience, the following tips should help ensure a smoother flight.

    • Do some advance planning. Before you even pack your bags, make a list of everything you’ll need so you don’t overlook important items. People with hearing loss in Burbank should include hearing aids (naturally!) as well as accessories such as batteries, cleaning supplies and a travel/storage case. It’s a good idea to schedule a clean-and-check appointment with your audiologist before embarking to ensure your hearing aids are in good working order. We also suggest printing up all important information, such as itineraries, hotel reservations, etc. in case you get separated from traveling companions or experience language difficulties in a foreign country.
    • Inform TSA about your hearing aids. You won’t have to remove your hearing aids when going through security checkpoints – x-ray equipment won’t damage them in any way – but letting TSA personnel know you are wearing hearing aids will reduce the chances of a hard-core pat-down. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aids when passing through the checkpoint, do not place them on the conveyor belt or inside plastic bins – doing so might cause static electricity to discharge, and this could damage your equipment.
    • Take advantage hearing loops. More and more public facilities, including airports, are being outfitted with hearing loops – wire coils that transmit electromagnetic signals directly to your hearing aids. This allows you to hear more clearly over background noise, helping you to get from Point A to Point B more efficiently. To use the system, just turn on the “telecoil” setting on your hearing aids and you’ll be connected.
    • Don’t stow hearing aids in the overhead bin. Your best chances of ensuring a smooth flight, other than avoiding the dreaded middle seat, are to wear your hearing aids the whole time. Don’t worry about turning off these electronic devices and stowing them away; hearing aids will not interfere with the airplane’s communications or controls. Putting them away increases your risk of missing important in-flight announcements or, worse yet, having them disappear.
    • Know your rights. The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 was passed to provide airline passengers with hearing loss special rights. These include the right to indicate your need for special assistance during the booking process, information that will be added to the passenger manifest and distributed to flight attendants and gate agents; the right to request disability seating, usually located in the front of the aircraft in order to ensure the flight attendants are visible; the right to pre-board; and the right to the same communication access as all other passengers. Exercising these rights will help make your travel experience less stressful.

    For more information on traveling with hearing loss – whether by air, sea, rail or interstate – talk to your Burbank audiologist.