Double Dose of Care

One morning in 2004, Judy Baker woke up to a nightmare. As she sat on the edge of her bed, it felt like the ceiling was spinning. She couldn’t get out of the bed and was forced to lie back down. The dizziness she felt was overwhelming and intense.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Judy and Jim got two problems solved in one place.

After a while, Judy was able to get up and go about her day, but she never felt steady on her feet. At the end of the day, she was happy to go back to bed, but the next morning, she felt even worse. She was so dizzy when she woke up, she vomited.
“I was eventually able to get out of bed and function, but not like usual,” recalls the retired teacher. “I wasn’t feeling normal. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what it was. I had to get to the doctor right away.”
Judy was able to make an appointment the next day with her ear, nose and throat specialist, whom she saw regularly for general ear care.
“I went to the doctor, and I discovered I was experiencing vertigo,” she states. “The doctor said, You need to see Dr. Kelly Hansen.”
Kelly Hansen, AuD, is a board-certified doctor of audiology at Trinity Hearing & Balance Center who specializes in treating hearing loss and dizziness. As luck would have it, Dr. Hansen was seeing patients once a week at Judy’s
doctor’s office. She explained the cause of Judy’s vertigo, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, then treated her using a time-tested technique.
“BPPV is the most common cause of episodic vertigo, which can easily be diagnosed,” informs Dr. Hansen. “The condition is caused by small crystals of calcium carbonate that get into the inner ear balance mechanisms. When these particles become loose in the ear canals, causing symptoms of vertigo, they must be repositioned.
“In 2004, I relied on a manual table technique for repositioning known as the Epley Maneuver. In 2017, I use an advanced, software-driven machine, the Epley Omniax System. This allows me to pinpoint the location of the particles and make treatment decisions. It enables me to detect, differentiate, treat and manage balance and dizziness disorders.”
When Judy first saw Dr. Hansen in 2004, the doctor performed the Epley Maneuver on Judy, and she finally experienced some relief from her dizziness. Judy continues to be treated for recurring episodes of vertigo.
“The first time, Dr. Hansen positioned me right on an examination table,” remembers Judy. “More recently, I went to her after she got her new equipment. With that, she secured me in a chair, then put me up in the air for twenty seconds one way, and twenty seconds the other way. The chair does exactly what Dr. Hansen did on the table, but does it mechanically.”
Seeing how well Judy responded to Dr. Hansen’s treatment gave Judy’s husband, Jim, a positive outlook when he also suffered a battle with vertigo.
“When it hit me, I felt dizzy and I staggered, like I was half-drunk,”
discloses Jim. “When my wife had vertigo, she went to Dr. Hansen, and the doctor helped her right out. So, I went on Dr. Hansen’s special chair, too. Once she put me in that machine and moved me into different positions, I got my balance back again.”

Second Front

After Judy and Jim were successfully treated for their dizziness, they returned to Trinity Hearing & Balance Center and Dr. Hansen. This time, they received assistance on a second front, a battle with hearing loss.
“We’re both in our eighties, and our hearing was failing,” reports Jim. “My hearing loss has been a prolonged issue. It started twenty years ago.
“I have a problem hearing high-pitched sounds. Fire alarms could go off, and I wouldn’t hear them. I also have had trouble in conversations. Words seemed jumbled. I learned to look at people when I’m talking to them, partially so I could read their lips.”
Dr. Hansen took time to learn about their daily activities and lifestyle, then suggested hearing instruments that matched their needs.
“Jim and Judy are very active and social, and go to many places with quite a bit of background noise,” notes Dr. Hansen. “People with hearing loss often complain about not being able to hear in those situations. Jim and Judy were also having a difficult time with the television. They could hear it, but they couldn’t clearly understand what was being said.
“I fit them with the newest technology hearing aids. With it, they have a Bluetooth® device that streams the TV sound directly into their hearing aids. Now, they can hear the TV and understand what was said.”

Measurable Expertise

Trinity Hearing & Balance Center’s philosophy and dedication to patient care set it apart from other hearing centers.
“Our center is proud to be an AudigyCertified practice,” acknowledges Dr. Hansen. “We are one of only two hundred and fifty clinics in the nation to hold this certification.
“AudigyCertified professionals are among the country’s most experienced hearing care professionals, possessing some of the industry’s highest credentials. Our expertise is measured by our commitment to patient satisfaction, continuing education and the expert application of current technologies.
“Many patients who have gone through our Patients for Life™ program experience greater satisfaction with their hearing technology and a greater quality of life.”
One of the most unique aspects of Audigy’s service is e-patient®, which brings their Patients for Life program into the digital world.
Graphic from“The e-patient program, a component of Patients for Life, is an educational tool that we provide for patients,” explains Dr. Hansen. “e-patient offers an overview of what’s going to happen during the appointment as well as explaining how someone’s hearing works. It is a treatment-focused software tool that enables us to quickly and effectively explain products and procedures to patients. e-patient has excellent visuals to show the patient how their hearing works and what happens when someone has a hearing loss.”

Advice From Experience

With Trinity Hearing & Balance Center’s comprehensive hearing and balance services, Jim and Judy were able to fight on two fronts with one weapon. The inclusive services also brought continuity and consistency to their overall care. Now, they no longer suffer the discomforts and inconveniences of living with dizziness and hearing loss.
“I had that bout of vertigo,” states Jim, “but I haven’t had it again since Dr. Hansen put me through the repositioning procedure.
“When I first went to Trinity Hearing and Balance Center, I was dubious like you would be with anything new. After a couple of sessions, however, I gained trust in them and in Dr. Hansen. It’s a really good place to go.”
“I can still get a little dizzy if I sit up or lean over too quickly, but otherwise, I’m just about normal,” says Judy. “When I put the hearing aids in, it’s like another world. They make a huge difference for Jim and me because now we can hear. They’re wonderful.
“I have some advice to anyone who has a problem with hearing or vertigo: You want to go to Trinity Hearing and Balance Center and see Dr. Kelly Hansen!”

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    • Trinity Hearing & Balance Center

      Trinity Hearing & Balance Center utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of many different types of dizziness and balance disorders. You no longer have to "learn to live" with it. The great news is that diz... Read More

    • Kelly Hansen

      Dr. Kelly Hansen obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and her Doctorate of Audiology degree from Arizona School of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona.  Throughout her career, Dr. Hans... Read More

    • Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD

      Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech and hearing in 2011 from Cleveland State University and her Doctorate of Audiology degree from the University of Louisville in 2015. She recently completed her clinica... Read More