Dr. Marilyn Pimentel is an Audiologist and has been practicing for over 17 years. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor of General Sciences, then continued to earn her Master’s Degree in Audiology Sciences. She received her Doctoral Degree in Clinical Audiology from Salus University. Dr. Pimentel has been working with the hard of hearing community and Deaf community in Puerto Rico since 1995 when she started to learn Sign Language and later, she became Sign Language Interpreter. She was Associate professor at the Health Science Department, Bachelor in Sign Language Interpretation at the Turabo University of Puerto Rico for 5 years and served as the Internship Supervisor. She served for 6 years as an Audiologist consult for the Puerto Rico Newborn hearing screening program IHSIS Project (Improving Hearing Screening & Intervention Systems). She was Vice President of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Puerto Rico chapter from 2005-2007, and was President of the Puerto Rico Academy of Audiology from 2009-2010. She’s a licensed audiologist in Texas and Puerto Rico and holds her Board Certification in Audiology. She speaks fluent Spanish and has a good knowledge of American Sign Language. Dr. Pimentel specialties include newborn hearing screening and evaluation, audiometric testing, tinnitus assessment and hearing aid evaluation, programming and dispensing of hearing aids. Also, she has work with patients with cochlear implants and Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) evaluation and programming. Dr. Pimentel’s is committed not only to help people to hear better but to counsel and support her patients through the process by providing quality hearing care.
Posted May 6th, 2021
Another reason I love Audiology is the diversity of populations and work settings to choose from. While the foundation of Audiology remains the same, one of the most interesting things about is its variability. Once you have completed your education, you have a variety of work settings to choose from. Whether it is the age of the population you work with or the work setting, you have choices.
Posted April 26th, 2021
We have all probably felt a little off balance or dizzy when we spin around for a period of time, or get off a boat, or sometimes even step off of a treadmill. This feeling usually lasts for a short period of time and then we go back to normal. How or why does this happen? There are three different systems in the human body that help us with balance. These are the Proprioceptive system, our Vision, and the Vestibular system located in the ear. As long as two of the three are functioning correctly, we have no problem. When two or more systems become compromised, then we have problems.
Posted April 5th, 2021
Probably every profession has its own inside jokes. Ones that only people with similar jobs can understand. Audiology is no different. Some of the jokes are related to commonly used terms, while others are about the profession in general. Cartoons are common, showing the structures of the ear as lively little creatures misbehaving. Lots of cartoons showing people who answer another person ‘s question incorrectly, but with a funny reply, because they don’t ear them right. Even cartoons about hearing aids.
Posted March 23rd, 2021
For years we have been told that reading, playing logic games, doing puzzles, and being active in society will help keep our brains healthy. It turns out that now being an active listener may also help. There is increasing evidence that there may be a link between Dementia and untreated hearing loss. Not that the hearing loss causes dementia, but that if individuals with hearing loss seek out help and wear hearing aids when appropriate, it can slow the rate of progression of the Dementia and keep your loved ones involved in the world longer.
Posted March 10th, 2021
Can medications cause me to lose my hearing? The quick and easy answer is yes. But not every medication can.
We have all seen the listed side effects on the paperwork when we pick up a prescription. These documents list the most common or severe side effects. The majority of medications are not harmful to your hearing. However, there are certain medications and categories of medications that are known to cause hearing loss or other auditory problems like tinnitus, or auditory hallucinations. Some of these conditions are reversible, meaning if you stop the medication the problem improves. Others may cause permanent hearing loss.
Posted February 23rd, 2021
Most people will easily schedule an annual physical, have yearly eye exams, see a dentist twice a year, and even perform routine maintenance on their car. But how often does someone schedule a routine hearing test? Do you remember the last time you had your hearing tested? Undiagnosed hearing loss can lead to other issues besides difficulty hearing. Nerve degeneration in the ear, and there are some studies that have shown a link between untreated hearing loss and dementia and other cognitive decline.
Posted February 12th, 2021
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are more than 34 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes. The number of people with diabetes is increasing in the U.S. Complications from diabetes can result in kidney issues, vision issues, amputations, heart failure and stroke. It can also result in hearing loss. Diabetes is a serious disease and most of us probably know at least 1 person who has it. We know that it is a problem with elevated blood sugar, and that it can affect other systems in our body. For people with severe or uncontrolled diabetes, the risk of severe health complications is much higher.
Can people who are Deaf drive, and other questions about Deafness.
There are many misconceptions about the Deaf community. Deaf does not always mean that a person can not hear sounds. Being Deaf means that a person typically does not have enough usable hearing to enable them to use their hearing to communicate. An individual who is Deaf may be able to hear very loud low-pitched sounds for example. In the distant past, individuals who were Deaf might have been placed into asylums or other institutions because they were thought to be mentally handicapped because they could not learn to talk. Luckily, we are better equipped to identify hearing loss and treat it these days.
Posted February 1st, 2021
Since their earliest development, hearing aids have benefitted from advances in technology. The earliest hearing aids were tabletop models. The aid was so large it was actually a large box that could not be carried. You had to sit next to it. You wore headphones connected to the aid with a cord so that you could here. Obviously there are some significant limitations with a hearing aid that large. As technology allowed for miniaturization in electronic components, hearing aids were developed that were smaller and smaller so that they went from table-top, to body-style, to behind-the-ear. Now we have hearing aids that are practically invisible, and some that are implanted.
Posted January 21st, 2021
Lipreading, also known as Speechreading, is often portrayed as a party game or trick. We see it shown on TV being used by someone trying to read lips of someone on a videotape where there is no audio on a crime show for example. Many of us have probably seen the funny lipreading videos of professional athletes or politicians on Facebook as well where they record the wrong audio over the video, but it looks like that is what the person is actually saying.
By Shari S. Beams, Ph.D., CCC-A, FAAA
Posed January 4th, 2020
Generally, Audiologists start their academic training in an undergraduate program that is geared primarily to Speech-Language Pathology. And while there are definitely similarities, there are definitely ways in which the two fields are very different.
Posted December 28th, 2020
Most people may not have heard the term, but they probably are familiar with the condition. Presbycusis is the technical/medical term for an age-related hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss is the third most common chronic health complaint among older adults (heart disease and arthritis being numbers 1 and 2 respectively).
Posted December 22nd, 2020
Everyone has had that moment. The moment where they hear their voice recorded on an answering machine or a video and they think to themselves, that’s not what I sound like, is it? It’s the same reason we watch people who try out on singing shows on TV and think, how can they possibly think they sound good? It has to do with physics, yes science!
Posted December 15th, 2020
Let’s take a moment and have a very simple conversation about how the ear works. The ear structurally can be broken down into four parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, and the auditory nerve.
Posted December 10th, 2020
Our world today is a very noisy place. Millions of Americans are exposed to dangerously loud levels of sound on a daily basis, and most are unaware of the dangers of it. According to the American Academy of Audiology, over 30 million American workers are exposed to dangerous levels of noise on the job. But noise exposure doesn’t always happen at work. It can happen at home or when you are enjoying hobbies and other activities too.
The first time I cried in clinic. Episode 4.
Posted December 1st, 2020
Hearing loss can be an emotional topic for many people. But when the patient is a child, it is especially so.
We had identified a 4-year-old boy with a significant hearing loss. It was bad enough that he could barely hear conversational level speech. As a result, he had very poor speech clarity. Once we finally confirmed that the child did indeed have a hearing loss, we counseled the parents about the loss and what options they had for their child. We discussed hearing aids and the parents agreed to proceed with a hearing aid fitting. We took molds of the child’s ears and scheduled a fitting for three weeks ahead.
Posted November 19th, 2020
There are so many different brands of hearing aids, it sometimes becomes confusing. However, no matter what brand of hearing aid it is, the style or shape of the hearing aids is fairly consistent from one to the other. Let’s look at the most common styles of hearing aids.
By Shari S. Beams, Ph.D., CCC-A, FAAA
Posted November 12th, 2020
Hearing aids are wonderful devices that have tremendously improved over the last several years. However, sometimes people think that hearing aids are a miracle cure for hearing loss or that because someone is wearing a hearing aid they should be able to hear everything around them, no matter how loud the background noise is or what else is happening. This is not true. Here are 5 common misconceptions about hearing aids or ways to avoid having unrealistic expectations about hearing aids.
Lessons Learned On Pediatric Day. By Shari S. Beams, Ph.D., CCC-A, FAAA - Episode 3.
Once a month, the Audiology clinic scheduled pediatric patients to come into the clinic on a certain day. The students assigned to clinic that day were the students currently enrolled in the Pediatric Audiology Course. I learned some important things during that class.
Posted October 27th, 2020
Ear Candles are a homeopathic remedy for ear wax removal. Many people swear that they are the easiest way to remove ear wax. Unfortunately, they can also be very dangerous.
Posted October 19th, 2020
As adults we may realize that sounds are noisy, and that sounds we are exposed to at work or during recreational activities can affect our hearing. What many people don’t realize is that children are often exposed to dangerous levels of sounds and often times we are the ones exposing them to these sounds.
Kids are smart. By Shari S. Beams, Ph.D., CCC-A. FAAA - Episode 2
Posted October 14th, 2020
Children are often underestimated. They can be a challenge to work with but very rewarding.
While I was working on my Ph.D., I worked for the University as a graduate assistant. I remember one day I was supervising and the clinicians that day were seeing a 4-year old boy for the second time. He had very poor speech and they had a hard time testing him the first visit. They were finally able to get him to respond to words by placing picture cards on the ground and having him put a bean bag on the picture that corresponded to the word he had heard. He was able to do that fairly successfully, and at a fairly low volume. When they tried to have him respond to beeps, he just wouldn’t do it. They tried having him raise his hand, say “beep”, throw bean bags, all our typical tricks for testing children his age, but they just couldn’t do it.
Posted September 17th, 2020
Vertigo is a sensation of moving or having the room moving around you. It is often described as a spinning sensation. It can cause nausea and if severe enough, vomiting.
Posted September 9th, 2020
Hearing loss can be caused by many things. Some are preventable, some are not. Here we will briefly look at some of the most common causes of hearing loss.
How I became an Audiologist, by Shari S. Beams, Ph.D., CCC-A, FAAA - Episode 1
Posted September 1st, 2020
Over the years, I have been asked by many people, how I came to be an Audiologist. I have to say, I was very fortunate. It was not my first choice of a career. In fact, when I started college I had never even heard of Audiology. But I was one of the lucky ones to find my chosen career and something I truly love doing by accident.
Posted June 16th, 2020
There are several different styles or sizes of hearing aids. However, there are two styles that are sold more commonly than any of the others. Today I would like to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the two most common styles of hearing aids.
Posted June 2nd, 2020
You’ve bought a hearing aid, you wear it faithfully every day. But do you remember to take care of it? Do you know what to do if it suddenly stops working? Here are 4 things you can do to keep your hearing aid in good working order and prevent the need for unnecessary office visits and costly repairs
Posted May 27th, 2020
Some people think that once you start wearing a hearing aid, you’ll be able to hear anything, anywhere, and anytime. But this is not the case. A hearing aid is an aid, something to assist you to hear better. But in the end, it is an electronic device that is better than your unaided normal hearing, but far from normal hearing. There are times where a person with a hearing loss might need to use an Assistive Listening Device or ALD in addition to their hearing aid in order to hear clearly. In this discussion, we are going to introduce a few of the assistive listening devices available. This is not a comprehensive list, but an introduction to the most commonly used or available Assistive Listening Devices.
Posted May 5th, 2020
Sudden onset hearing loss is a serious issue. Most sudden onset losses are sensorineural hearing losses, which means the sense organ for hearing or the auditory nerve has been affected. While there is a lot that we don’t know about it, there are a few possible causes for sudden onset hearing loss.
Posted March 9th, 2020
An Audiologist is a hearing healthcare professional. A person who is uniquely qualified to assess, diagnosis, and treat hearing loss and balance disorders. The requirements for obtaining a license to practice as an Audiologist have changed significantly over the years.
Posted February 18th, 2020
Communicating with someone with a hearing loss can be challenging. Depending on the severity of the hearing loss, conversations can sometimes be very frustrating. But communicating with one another is how we stay connected. It helps us to feel like we are valued and loved. Here are some tips on how to communicate more effectively with someone with a hearing loss.
Posted February 10th, 2020
Hearing aids have come a long way over the last several years. Advances in digital technology and electronics in general have resulted in some incredible new devices. This list will outline 5 of the recent advances in hearing aid technology. This list is in no way comprehensive and please keep in mind that not all Brands or Models will have all of these features.
Posted February 3rd, 2020
How do you know when you have hearing loss? Dr. Shari Beams our Audiologist from Corpus Christi Hearing Aid Center presents her latest blog on the top five signs of hearing loss. Read the full blog here.
Posted January 28th, 2020
Besides the obvious difference in price, there is a huge difference in a device purchased from an Audiologist and one purchased from a drug store or even online.