Navigating Audiology Services in Alaska: A Chat With Audiologist Dr. Emily E McMahan

02/09/2024 | Patient Resources

I recently had the exciting opportunity to join Dr. Cliff Olson and Dr. Rachel Cook on the Dr. Cliff Show. If you haven’t seen the episode yet, you can watch it here. We had a wonderful conversation, discussing the unique challenges and triumphs that come along with providing audiological services in Alaska, as well as how our team at Alaska Hearing & Tinnitus Center is embracing innovative treatments for tinnitus. Keep reading to learn more about what we discussed.

The Role of Telehealth in Supporting Long-Distance Patients

Practicing audiology in America’s largest, most remote state isn’t always easy, and it requires some creative solutions. Many of our wonderful patients travel extensive distances by car, plane, train, or boat to get to our offices. With travel being tricky and our patients living busy lifestyles, we are proud to offer Tele Audiology appointments as a convenient option when possible.

Alaska Hearing & Tinnitus Center patients have had access to Tele Audiology since 2018—long before COVID-19 restrictions made it necessary. Our goal is to provide patients with the same level of timely, excellent hearing care from Tele Audiology appointments as they get when they’re able to make it into the offices. Of course, there are certain appointments that must be in-office—we can’t fit your hearing aids remotely. And we do love seeing you in person!

Meeting the Unique Needs of Tinnitus Patients

Our team also takes a nuanced approach when it comes to tinnitus. When treating tinnitus, a holistic, individualized approach is crucial. Many people forget that tinnitus goes beyond just the ear. To treat tinnitus, we need to look at the whole person and consider the brain-body relationship, as well as any underlying conditions and comorbidities. Tinnitus treatment is not one-size-fits-all.

Tinnitus and hearing loss can have a negative impact on mental health, which is why our team believes that care should be comanaged with mental health professionals. Addressing underlying mental health conditions, like anxiety or depression, is important for the overall success of tinnitus management and hearing care.

Embracing Innovations in Tinnitus Treatment

We are always paying attention to innovations when it comes to treating tinnitus. We were thrilled to be chosen as one of the first providers to use Neuromod’s LAN device, which was recently FDA-approved in the United States. This device offers a bimodal neuromodulation approach for tinnitus management. The device combines a Tonguetip stimulator and over-the-ear headphones, tailored to the patient’s audiogram. Sixty minutes a day is recommended for treatment. Most patients do two 30-minute listening sessions while sitting and relaxing.

Clinical trials show the device to be between 80 and 85 percent effective for moderate to severe tinnitus, and we are holding true to those numbers, which is exciting to see! While bimodal neuromodulation is a highly effective tool, it is not a magical cure, and consistent effort and follow-up care are crucial for long-term success.

Helping You Hear the Life You Love in Alaska

Thousands of patients across Alaska trust our team due to our methodical and innovative approach. If you or someone you love is struggling with hearing loss or tinnitus, then we would be honored to be your partners on your journey to better hearing.

You can learn more about our services by navigating through the ‘How can we help?’ section at the top of our homepage!, and if you feel that we may be able to help or you have any questions, then you can call us at (907) 522-4357 or request a callback by clicking here.

A Chat With Dr. McMahan

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Dr. Emily E McMahan

Dr. McMahan attended the University of Cincinnati where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2009. She furthered her professional education by obtaining her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in Philadelphia in 2013. She completed her residency in Anchorage and has been applying her expertise to her patients in the Pacific Northwest for several years. Whether you need hearing testing, hearing aids, or assistance with managing tinnitus in your daily lives, Dr. McMahan is qualified to assist you!

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