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Hearing Aids

Washington University audiologists at Barnes-Jewish Hospital provide extensive diagnostic audiological services to determine the causes of hearing loss. They also provide state-of-the-art procedures for selecting and fitting hearing aids.

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are battery-operated amplifiers that use small microphones to pick up sounds in the environment and amplify them to make these sounds louder. Hearing aids do not restore hearing, nor do they cause further deterioration in hearing ability. However, they often improve your ability to communicate directly with others, and to listen to music and live speech in church, theaters and other situations. About 5-7 million Americans use hearing aids.

Adults and individuals 18 years old and older who are severely or profoundly hearing impaired in both ears (including those with sensorineural hearing loss), typically receive limited benefit from hearing aids. These individuals may be candidates for a cochlear implant.

Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)

Approximately 50 million Americans experience tinnitus or "ringing in the ears." Although it is not a cause of hearing loss, the noise can become debilitating. Tinnitus can be caused by blockages, such as from wax, infections, or even tumors, certain drugs, and even general aging. Barnes-Jewish Hospital offers a new treatment for those suffering from this disorder, called tinnitus retraining therapy, where patients are gradually able to filter out the noise on a subconscious level.

Cochlear implants

A cochlear implant is an electronic prosthetic replacement for damaged cells in the inner ear. State-of-the art cochlear implant devices now have up to 22 electrodes that stimulate the hearing nerves. These multi-channel implants have the advantage of stimulating many places along the nerve thereby transmitting more detailed information to the brain. The more information that reaches the brain, the greater the patient’s ability to understand what is happening in his or her environment.

The specialists in the Adult Cochlear Implant Program at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital provide a comprehensive evaluation and treatment program for these individuals.


Michael Valente, PhD
Diane Duddy, MS
Jane Enrietto, MA
Karen Layton, MS
Heather Monroe, MS
Judy Peterein, MS
Stacy Rebal, MS
Jenny Wibbenmeyer, MS

Current Research and Clinical Trials

In addition to providing clinical services, many of our physicians also conduct research in treating hearing loss. To find out about all clinical trials currently enrolling new patients with hearing loss, call 314-362-7489.

For more information on current clinical trials sponsored by Washington University School of Medicine, go to Volunteer for Health.

To make an appointment with a Barnes-Jewish Hospital hearing specialist, call 314.362.7489.

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