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DrNagler

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In another thread DrJ made brief reference to a new organization called "TPA" - the Tinnitus Practitioners Association. As it turns out, this weekend I am attending a course in Mesa, Arizona that is sponsored by TPA. Besides developing courses and encouraging audiologists to get involved with treating tinnitus and hyperacusis patients, it looks like TPA is going to try to establish standards and credentialing in the field, which is something that has long been sorely needed. The organization is relatively in its infancy, but I want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank DrJ, who recognized this need early on and who has already invested considerable time and effort as a member of TPA's board.

smn
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Marilyn

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks to both Dr. Nagler and Dr. Johnson for your tireless efforts to help those of us with H/T.  I have read everything on both your websites.  It's caring doctors like you two who are leading the way, and making a difference in countless numbers of people's lives.



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bartony

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Reply with quote  #3 

Amen from this corner too.


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Tony


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saab1216

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Reply with quote  #4 
It looks like hyperacusis is rearing its ugly head to just enough people. it may finally be a recognized condition to the majority. That in itself would be such a comfort. At least we would not be labeled as over-reactive and overemotional. Our ability to join together as a real team and not hidden away anymore would be God sent!
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Paul H
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DrNagler

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Reply with quote  #5 
Paul posted:

Quote:
It looks like hyperacusis is rearing its ugly head to just enough people. it may finally be a recognized condition to the majority.

Well, thanks to the efforts of folks like DrJ, it is true that more and more audiologists will become familiar with hyperacusis - but as I see it, that's a very long way from its becoming "a recognized condition to the majority." 

Quote:
That in itself would be such a comfort. At least we would not be labeled as over-reactive and overemotional. Our ability to join together as a real team and not hidden away anymore would be God sent!

You have really hit the nail on the head there, Paul.  The key lies in the ability of those with hyperacusis "to join together as a real team."  I mean, hyperacusics have always had the ability to join together as a real team - the question is what form should that team take and, once formed, what should the team be doing to promote the cause.  Letter writing campaigns?  Advocacy initiatives?  I don't have hyperacusis, and I don't have the answers.  But I can tell you this: as dedicated as DrJ may be ... her extraordinary efforts alone are not going to get the job done.  Not by a long shot.  If the hyperacusis community is not willing to take the bull by the horns and promote its own cause, then hyperacusis will forever remain "an unrecognized condition to the majority."  In my opinion.

smn
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Marilyn

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Reply with quote  #6 
In my opinion, It's extremely necessary for olaryngologists and audiologists to be educated about hyperacusis and treatment.  They are the first medical professionals we see with a hearing problem.  This general lack of knowledge about hyperacusis has caused many patients to go untreated and/or given misinformation.  I'm just speaking from my experience, but unfortunately, this seems to be the norm.

Is there currently a plan to revise textbooks to include hyperacusis education?

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DrNagler

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Reply with quote  #7 
Marilyn posted:

Quote:
In my opinion, It's extremely necessary for olaryngologists and audiologists to be educated about hyperacusis and treatment.

You're preaching to the choir, Marilyn.  I could not agree with you more.  And like I pointed out in the first post in this thread, DrJ is doing more than her part to try to make that happen.  But there are very few hearing healthcare professionals who feel as strongly about this issue as DrJ does, which is why I believe that if the thrust does not come from within the hyperacusis community, we'll be having the exact same discussion five years from now ... just like we had it five years ago.  Tell me, where do you think AIDS research would be today were it not for a grass roots effort from within?  Now I'm not suggesting a march on Washington here, but if the hyperacusis community does not feel strongly enough about the state of things to promote its own cause in some form or fashion commensurate with its numbers, well I just do not see it happening on its own.

smn
(stepping off his soapbox)


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Johnloudb

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Reply with quote  #8 

Well, I complete agree with you guys (Marilyn, Dr. Nagler, Dr. J,  .... )  and if I only had the email address to every ENT in the country! They would get an ear full, let me tell you!

So, how do we start a grass roots effort to educate the ENTs with there there heads in ground?


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MirjamVonk

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Reply with quote  #9 

TPA

 

Tinnitus Practioners Association

 

http://audiology.advanceweb.com/Article/Tinnitus-Practitioners-Association.aspx

 

By Natan Bauman, EdD, MS, Eng, FAAA

 

 

Posted on: May 26, 2009

 

 

I think that we can all agree that as audiologists and the end consumer, when it comes to describing today's tinnitus economy, we can use the term "bittersweet." Things are "bitter" in the unfortunate aspect that tinnitus cases are on the rise and that there are not enough audiologists to treat the disease. But things are also "sweet" in that these unfortunate cases have brought a booming business to those of who can treat tinnitus.

 

Over the past couple of years, the number of patient inquiries that come into my private practice on a daily basis has increased significantly. I'm sure that the response can be linked to public speaking events, physician referrals, marketing efforts, and word of mouth, but I also know that it is linked to the increase in tinnitus cases among our service veterans, prolonged exposure to excessive noise without wearing proper ear protection and possibly the fact that I am the only tinnitus and hyperacusis clinic in the Southern New England area.

 

Tinnitus has been recognized as a problem that is affecting close to 50 million people in the U.S. alone, at least 10 million of whom are reported to require some form of intervention. The number of audiological clinics providing tinnitus management is scarce. Even more scarce are clinics that can provide treatment in a convenient manner (I have some patients that have to drive over 100 miles to seek care).

 

Our audiological "tinnitus industry" appears to address the tinnitus issue in a segmented way. Audiologists who have been trained to treat tinnitus and hyperacusis have a broad range of treatment program options. They are: Dr. Pawel Jastreboff's method of tinnitus retraining therapy; Dr. Robert Sweetow's method of cognitive behavioral therapy; masking or minimal masking proposed by Dr. Jack Vernon and Dr. Richard Tyler; music therapy (aka Neuromonics) brought to us from Australia by Dr. Paul Davis; and the recently introduced progressive tinnitus management program by Dr. James Henry.

 

With all of these treatment options available to us, why aren't there more audiologists treating this ever increasing auditory affliction? Unfortunately, the answer is due to a "mystique" evolved around the ideas that it is difficult to establish such a program, it takes a huge demand of time to help a tinnitus patient and there is lack of reimbursement for such treatment. Many audiologists find themselves pondering these questions: "Do I have the skills? How do I get started? How do I market my services? What tests do I need to do? How much time will it take? How do I organize my business? Where do I get the products I need? Where can I go for help if I need it?" In addition, many still question the lack of evidence as to the outcome of such programs.

 

I've had the opportunity to meet with many audiologists and audiological groups across the country. After meeting with different practitioners, it occurred to me that hearing aid manufacturers and buying groups give practitioners an amazing amount of support. Assistance ranges from practice management, marketing (brochures, seminars, direct mail, Web design), CEUs and hands-on training, conferences, and discounts on specific quantity purchases. With the support and expertise of the manufacturers and buying groups, audiologists have all of the resources needed to run a successful practice right at their fingertips. So much is focused on hearing aids and hearing loss that tinnitus and hyperacusis are often lost in the shuffle. I started asking myself "Why is this? What can I (or we) do about it?"

 

I've reacted to my thoughts, and it is with great enthusiasm that I introduce the Tinnitus Practitioner's Association (TPA). The TPA is a professional organization created of, by and for tinnitus practitioners; it is dedicated to professional development, education, research, and increased public awareness of tinnitus and hyperacusis. Below is a list of benefits that members will receive by joining the group:

 

Structured Approach

 

There are many methods for treating tinnitus and hyperacusis. The TPA will not limit itself to any particular philosophy. Its treatment guidelines can be used with any counseling and sound therapy management approach. Print materials will include patient inquiries, case histories, standardized inventories, audiological and tinnitus assessments, treatment options and plans, and follow-up schedules and assessments.

 

Specialty Training

 

TPA will offer a two-tiered training course for tinnitus management to qualified audiologists. A basic-level training course will be offered for those who want to be able to work with the tinnitus patient but do not want to commit their practices to a more significant involvement. An advanced-level training course will be offered for those who want to get more involved in treatment, as well as in the TPA.

 

Professional Networking

 

All members of the American Tinnitus Association will be united for a common cause and will create a stronger voice for legislation, education and research. The TPA also will establish an "association network" for information and referrals.

 

Business Management

 

Business specialists will be available to guide members through setting up and maintaining a successful practice. Mentors will be able to assist with everyday practice activities, such as scheduling, billing, procedures, marketing, and record keeping.

 

Group Pricing

 

TPA has established and continues to establish partnerships with manufacturers of tinnitus products. A TPA membership would offer preferred group pricing on products, such as external sound therapy devices, ear-worn noise generators, hearing aids, combination units, and tinnitus treatment devices.

 

Consumer Education and Marketing

 

Not only do we, as practitioners, need to be educated and have available resources on tinnitus, but so do the patients who suffer from it. TPA will educate consumers by providing them with access to consumer brochures and seminars, Internet information, advertising and direct marketing, and press releases. The TPA also will guide the patient to qualified professionals and create an assurance that there are professionals that are able to provide care.

 

Professional Marketing and Referrals

 

With allied professional marketing and referrals, members will be able to establish themselves as the tinnitus specialist in their areas. Members will receive referrals from the TPA network, Internet and allied health professionals. Certification will assure professionals and patients that a TPA member has the necessary professional qualifications and continues to maintain the educational level necessary for quality care.

 

On-Demand Professional Support

 

Ever had a question that requires more information from a colleague or an expert in the field? Our "on-demand" professional support services will have experienced audiologists available for "on-demand" advisory and mentoring services for TPA members, including consulting services available by phone or online for patient cases.

 

Accreditation

 

In order to provide the highest standard of service to our patients, TPA will be an accredited organization.

 

Research Support

 

The TPA will strongly support all academic and clinical research endeavors, especially established funded organizations such as the American Tinnitus Association. After administrative costs, money raised from various TPA activities will be distributed for research.

 

These highlights are only the building blocks of the TPA. We have developed an advisory board of leading tinnitus professionals and are looking forward to implementing and establishing this high-demand group. Let us "tinnitize" our profession, as tinnitus is part of the scope of our practice.

 

I encourage all interested audiologists to get involved! Membership applications will be available soon, as will our Web site, http://www.tinnituspractitioners.com. In the meantime, I encourage you to send an e-mail to tinn_practitioners@snet.net with your contact information so that we may notify you as soon as the information is available. The time is now to get involved in not only helping the tinnitus and hyperacusis patient, but also in setting up a successful, reputable and profitable business.

 

Natan Bauman, EdD, MS, Eng, FAAA, is the founder and director of The Hearing, Balance and Speech Center and the New England Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Clinic, both based in Hamden, CT.  He invented the Vivatone open-ear hearing aid.

 

 

9 comments there at this moment.

 

Love, Mirjam


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Mirjam Vonk
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MirjamVonk

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Reply with quote  #10 

Welcome TPA Professionals

 

http://www.tinnituspractitioners.com/p_educational_opportunities.html

 

 

Love, Mirjam


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Mirjam Vonk
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aQuieterBreeze

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Reply with quote  #11 
It would be helpful if there was a way to raise awareness for the general public - so others could avoid getting these challenges, where avoidable - such as from Loud sound, in the first place.....
An organization or organizations i think would possibly  be helpful, may be veterans organizations -
as i would imagine that both hyperacusis, and tinnitus may be fairly prevalent in their "community" of members...
I also think the ATA could be helpful. In part because i have read that a certain percentage of people with tinnitus have some degree of hyperacusis. And i don't know if they have published any articles about it or not......I think it could be helpful for people with tinnitus to know about though,
because IF they do have some degree of hyperacusis, they may be able to learn what they can do to raise their tolerances and prevent it from getting worse.
I was a bit shocked to see someone who recently started posting,
who said he ha gotten ATA newsletter for many years -
mention the following, in another thread-
Mark mentioned-

........had been receiving the ATA newsletter for 10-15 years at that point ......... I never heard the word "hyperacusis" until finding the network.

It seems a bit odd to me, because of how many with hyperacusis also have tinnitus, and because of reading that a certain percentage of people with t have some degree of hyperacusis, and I wonder how many do not even realize it?

DrNagler you mentioned-

As it turns out, this weekend I am attending a course in Mesa, Arizona that is sponsored by TPA.

Hope your trip went (or goes) wel!!

P.S. DrJ, if you are still on the board of the ATA, perhaps you could sugguest that the newsletter include some information about hyperacusis?
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DrJ

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Reply with quote  #12 
I Shall do so at the Board Meeting this coming Saturday.

DrJ

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Marsha Johnson
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Marilyn

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Reply with quote  #13 

ATA was very helpful to me.  Last November, I emailed asking for help to locate a doctor in my area who could treat me for hyperacusis.  Daniel from ATA contacted me and gave me names of doctors in my area who are ATA members, whom he thought I should call.  I found a wonderful doctor of audiology well trained in TRT, only 3 hours away.  

Afterward, I emailed Daniel to tell him my treatment was going well and I had found a doctor who was very good.  I wanted ATA to have her name readily available to any other hyperacusis sufferers in my area.


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