The Link between Dementia and Hearing Loss

We are in the midst of two campaigns that bring awareness to memory-related health issues. September was Dementia Awareness Month and November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. While these impairments can go hand-in-hand, they are two different health issues. Dementia is viewed as a “symptom,” for which there can be many different kinds of dementia diagnoses. Alzheimer’s is one such diagnosis that causes dementia.

Research has shown a link between dementia and hearing loss.

Several studies out of Johns Hopkins University and other prestigious institutions indicate that untreated hearing loss may be a risk factor for the development of dementia.

Studies have found:

  • Untreated hearing loss may be a risk factor for the development of dementia.
  • Patients with bilateral hearing loss are at higher risk for dementia than those without hearing loss.
  • The risk of dementia increases with the severity of hearing loss.
  • Hearing aid use reduces the risk of dementia

What to do:

  • Get tested. Everyone should have a baseline hearing test upon turning 50 years old and if any changes in hearing occur.
  • Take action. Don’t let your hearing loss cause other difficulties for you.
  • Wear your devices. It’s the best thing you can do. This will help to take the stress away from your brain, improve memory, and make you feel less fatigued at the end of the day.


Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo is pleased to welcome Jennifer Baumann, Au.D., Jenna Hendler, Au.D, and Cherise S. Keane, Au.D. to the expanding Audiologist team.

Dr. Baumann graduated from the University at Buffalo in 2017 and has been a practicing Audiologist for four years, working in Syracuse, NY and Buffalo, NY. She specializes in personalized audiological care and tinnitus management.

Dr. Hendler is a familiar face at HES, as she recently completed her Audiology residency with HES earlier this year. Dr. Hendler graduated from the University at Buffalo and is a certified Lyric provider. She also has a special focus on tinnitus evaluation and management.

She is the recipient of the Wanda Frey Joiner Award for exhibiting excellence in academic and clinical studies in audiology, and also attended a clinical observation at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in London, UK in 2019.

She is originally from Clarence, NY, where she currently resides with her husband, and her dog, Rocky.

Dr. Keane has been an Audiologist for 10 years, graduating from the University at Buffalo in 2011. Dr. Keane actually completed her Audiology residency at HES in 2010, and we are so glad to have her back.

She specializes in diagnostic audiometric assessment and treatment, amplification, Bluetooth-integrated hearing technologies, custom hearing protection, and counseling.

Dr. Keane is originally from Buffalo, NY, and after spending some time in Chester County, PA, she returned to Buffalo to be closer to family. She currently resides in Lancaster, NY with her husband and children.

Dr. Jennifer Baumann

Dr. Jenna Hendler

Dr. Cherise S. Keane

HLAA providing resources for WNY

Hearing Loss Association of America’s New York State Association (HLAA – New York) was established with the mission to make hearing loss an issue of statewide concern by promoting the HLAA philosophy of self-help while specifically addressing access, advocacy, awareness, and education. Ultimately, the goal is to help people with hearing loss lead more satisfying and productive lives.

HLAA – New York holds a monthly seminar – which provides resources, updated information, and education on hearing loss. These complimentary presentations will be held on the first Tuesday of every month, through June 2022 from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Further information and the presentation link can be found on the WNY Chapter’s website –

HES Celebrates 40th Year

Last month, Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo hit a milestone by celebrating its 40th year as an organization.

HES was founded in 1981 by Audiologist, Tom White, shortly after the America Speech-Language and Hearing Association granted audiologists the ability to dispense hearing aids.

HES established an important professional model of leading with a counseling, non-commissioned approach in order to truly fit the patient with the best hearing aid based on their needs – vs. pushing a “sale.”

Over the years, HES has dramatically expanded its range of audiological services, including tinnitus management, ototoxic management, cochlear implants, as well as an extensive dizziness and balance program in partnership with DENT Neurologic Institute.

HES Launches Virtual appointment care

COVID-19 forced many organizations to rethink, and at times, reinvent how they provide service and care. Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo were no different. Although we already had extensive sanitation protocols in place, we had to take things a step further through curbside or phone appointments, limitations for in-office settings, and custom accommodations for those in need.

This led to the development of launching our official Tele-Health/Virtual Appointment Care!

The telehealth service is for both new patients, current patients, active hearing aid users, and potential hearing aid candidates, hearing tests, and more.

When a patient requests a telehealth appointment, they simply need access to their own computer, smartphone, or tablet, as well as earbuds or headphones. No special equipment is necessary.

Many hearing aid models are equipped with technology that allows the audiologist to provide follow-up care and programming adjustments without a trip to the office.

Another major advantage of this new program is the increase in our ability to provide continued care for our “snowbird” patients or patients that might be traveling out of town that encounters an issue. You no longer have to delay your care because of travel or location. We are here to help.


Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo launched a new Hearing Aid Leasing Program! This brand new program allows our patients to enjoy all of the features that premium and advanced hearing aids have to offer, at a low monthly rate!

Like leasing a car, you’ll never have to worry about having out-of-date technology ever again!

How the Leasing Program Works:

Similar to leasing a car, the process for leasing your hearing aid devices are nearly identical to the process if you were to purchase instead:

  • Take an up-to-date hearing test.
  • Discuss and assess your hearing with a Doctor of Audiology.
  • Determine which device is best for your hearing needs, budget, and lifestyle.
  • Once selected, opt into our leasing program – and walk home with your new devices!

Our leasing program includes a lot of additional benefits, all within your lower monthly price.

Benefits include:

  • Low Monthly Payments. Four years of office visits.
  • Trade-in OptionsLittle to no down payment. Covered by warranties.
  • Always enjoy the newest model.

If you are interested in our Hearing Aid Leasing Program, you can learn more, and you can request an appointment on our website –

You also have the ability to prequalify for the program, by submitting an application through our website as well.

Medal of Honor Recipient and New WBEN Talk Show Host endorses HES

Hearing Evaluation Services is proud to announce that Medal of Honor recipient and the new News-Radio 930 WBEN host, David Bellavia has joined the HES family of satisfied patients.  Mr. Bellavia will be sharing his great experience with HES and his hearing aids technology on his radio talk show and helping the rest of Buffalo get excited about better hearing.

At HES, we have proudly showcased actual patients on our popular TV commercials, telling real stories from their life about how their experience with HES helped them reconnect with their families, jobs, and hobbies. Whether it is John from Lancaster talking about his tinnitus, Katie from Amherst showing how her hearing aids help her as a competitive play hockey, or Bruce from Buffalo showing how better hearing helps him perform better in business – the truth speaks for itself.

In 2018, we had the pleasure of having Tony Caligiuri, the longtime producer of the Sandy Beach show on WBEN, begin endorsing HES and sharing how his hearing aids have helped him be more present with his kids at home and on the sports fields.

In July 2020, when Sandy Beach retired, David Bellavia took over as host of the show. Mr. Bellavia’s military noise exposure was catching up with him and affecting his ability to hear at work and home.  We are honored to be able to assist him reengage with all the activities that are important to him.  Both David Bellavia and Tony Caligiuri will share the experiences with HES and all the great advancements in hearing aid technology on their show.

Mr. Bellavia began his career with the United States Army in 1999 and served in Kosovo, before deploying to Iraq in 2004 with the Company A, Task Force 202, 1st Infantry Division.

During a battle in Falluja, Iraq, Mr. Bellavia was the squad leader of a platoon that was tasked with clearing a block of buildings, when they suddenly came under attack by jihadists.  An ensuing gun battle injured several soldiers, even as they retreated out into the street.  Fire continued on the platoon from the rooftop of the building, and as the battle continued, Mr. Bellavia single-handedly saved his platoon by infiltrating the building and using hand-to-hand combat, even while wounded, to save his squad.

Mr. Bellavia was awarded the Silver Star and the citation was revised in June 2019, as he was honored with one of seven Operation Iraqi Freedom Medals of Honor. He is the only living recipient from the Iraq War with this honor.

Like many Veterans that we see at the offices of Hearing Evaluation Services, Mr. Bellavia experienced hearing loss as a result of the loud noises related to his service.  Veterans of all ages, including those newly home from deployment are encouraged to get their hearing tested and the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

We are honored to have such a decorated Veteran advocate for better hearing, while also showcasing the services we provide at Hearing Evaluation Services.

You can hear more about his life, and his journey to better hearing on his talk show from 9:00am – 12:00pm on WBEN 930AM.



Important Reminders for At-Home Care

No matter what the conditions are like outside your home – it’s always important to have great home-care tools and practices to help maintain your hearing health. Here are some important reminders for your at-home care:

1 – Wear your hearing aids every day! Even if you are home alone, it is important for your brain to have consistent input. Regular hearing aid use can improve your brain function and cognitive abilities, and reduce your risk of depression.

2 – Clean them every day. Even if you didn’t leave the house – your hearing aids have been exposed to sweat, oil, wax guard.

Clean hearing aids are not only more sanitary, but they will also help keep your hearing aids working well.

3 – Hearing Aid Disinfection Machines. Speaking of cleaning your hearing aids…many people also like to use a hearing aid disinfection machine. These devices use UVC light to completely sterilize your hearing aids. Now is a great time to consider purchasing one due to the COVID crisis.

They are currently on sale to call today to get yours.

4 – General Maintenance. We have worked hard to set up on-line tutorials for at-home care of your devices. From changing the wax guards or domes, changing a battery, and even syncing up your devices with fantastic accessories – we’ve made it easier for you to get the most out of your hearing aids.

5 – Audiologist Assistance. We are very happy to be able to still help you during this difficult time. Our offices are open for essential appointments, we have curbside service available, and we can even offer tele-service if you need further help. You can also order supplies or connect directly with an audiologist if you have any questions or concerns.

6 – Be Careful with Face Mask Removal. We have noticed an uptick in the number of lost hearing aids in the last month as people inadvertently pull their hearing aid off when they remove their face covering. Please be careful when removing any face coverings. If you have hearing aids that have a Find My Lost Hearing Aid app feature, make sure you open the app every morning to ensure they are connected to and tracking your hearing aids. If you cannot find your lost hearing aid, please call us. Many hearing aids have a loss warranty and we can check that for you and help facilitate replacement.

Always remember…It’s good to hear!

HES Executive Director, Dr. Anne Orsene, Storms Capital Hill!

She is fighting for you! On November 14, 2019 our Executive Director, Dr. Anne Orsene, along with 175 other Audiologists from across the country, stormed Capitol Hill to gain support for the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act of 2019 (H.R. 2276, S.2575).

This act, introduced by Rep. Tom Rice, [R-SC-7], would enhance the Medicare benefit by providing beneficiaries critical direct access to both diagnostic and rehabilitative services provided by an Audiologist. It would remove unnecessary barriers, allowing patients to receive appropriate, timely, and cost-effective care. The goal of Lobby Day was to secure co- sponsors to help push this act forward.

Dr. Orsene, along with several other Audiologists from New York, met with five legislators and their staff to educate them on how this act would benefit Medicare recipients. Our NY team was extremely proud to have secured a co-sponsor for the act, Rep.Max Rose ,of StatenIsland.

Passage of the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act would dramatically improve audiology care for Medicare recipients.  It would enable them to have their choice of a qualified audiologist and would eliminate the need for a physician order to receive coverage of medically necessary audiology and vestibular services. It would also allow for Medicare coverage of treatment services such as vestibular rehabilitation, cerumen removal, and aural rehabilitation provided by audiologists.

Medicare’s archaic referral requirements must be modernized to allow seniors direct access to efficient, effective care.  All other federal programs as well as Medicare Advantage plans and most private health insurance plans already allow direct access to audiologists without first requiring a physician referral. Medicare patients should have the right to choose among all recognized providers for all Medicare-covered services as this comprises the majority of hearing health issues for the older adult population.

As a result of Lobby Day, 16 new co-sponsors were secured and the act now has 56 co-sponsors and has bipartisan support in the House and Senate.  Rest assured that HES will continue to fight for the rights of Medicare patients until this act is passed and will push forward to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries with a hearing or balance disorder receive timely treatment from an Audiologist.



DENT Dizziness, Balance and Tinnitus Center Celebrates 10 Years of Service

On September 19th, 2019 Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our collaboration with Dr. Lixen Zhang’s Dizziness, Balance and Tinnitus Center at DENT Neurologic Institute. Since this partnership, DENT, Hearing Evaluation Services and Susan Bennett’s Rehabilitation Institute have helped thousands of patients receive treatment and solutions to help with these debilitating disorders.

We are proud to be part of this amazing interdisciplinary team that Dr. Zhang has assembled and look forward to working with DENT as their program continues to grow.

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