Audiology & Hearing

When you have difficulty hearing or keeping your balance, turn to the audiologists at Essentia Health. You’ll appreciate a collaborative, patient-centered approach to care that helps you improve your quality of life.

When to See an Audiologist

Make an appointment with an Essentia audiologist if you:

  • Feel like people are mumbling when they speak to you
  • Frequently ask others to repeat what they say
  • Have trouble communicating in noisy areas or in groups
  • Hear ringing in your ears
  • Often turn up the volume of the television or radio

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat, and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.


Comprehensive Hearing Evaluation

Learn the extent and type of your hearing loss through a personalized hearing evaluation. Your audiologist will ask about your symptoms and hearing health history. Then, he or she will choose the most appropriate hearing tests for you.

Testing usually takes about 30 minutes. Expect to get the results of your tests at the end of your appointment.

Does My Child Need a Hearing Test?

If you’re concerned about your child’s hearing, talk to your child’s primary care provider or pediatrician. Signs that your child may need a hearing test include:

  • Chronic ear infections
  • Family history of hearing loss
  • Failure to respond to his or her name or to conversations
  • Frustration in noisy situations
  • Often seems inattentive
  • Slow or unusual speech development

Solutions for Hearing Loss

Partner with your audiologist to find ways to communicate more effectively. Depending on your condition, needs, and preferences, your audiologist may recommend:

    • Assistive listening devices, such as FM systems and personal amplifiers (like Pockettalker®)
    • Hearing aids
    • Implantable hearing devices, such as a cochlear implant or an osseointegrated implant
    • Speech therapy

Choosing a Hearing Aid

Count on the hearing aid experts at Essentia to help you select the best hearing aid for you. You’ll learn about different styles, technologies, and features. If you want a hearing aid that works with your iPhone or other smartphone, ask us for help selecting a compatible model.

Hearing Aid Trial Period

After your hearing aid arrives, you’ll be able to use it for several weeks to see if it works well for you. This is called a trial period. Depend on us to show you how to:

  • Put on and take off your hearing aid
  • Change the batteries
  • Care for your hearing aid
  • Pair and adjust your hearing aid with your mobile device, if applicable

Schedule a follow-up visit before the end of your trial period. During this appointment, your audiologist will make sure your hearing aid is helping you as much as possible. Your hearing specialist may adjust it so it works better for you.

Multidisciplinary Care for Tinnitus

Look to Essentia for strategies to cope with ringing in your ears, called tinnitus. Get coordinated care that helps you find the best ways to manage your symptoms. Your tinnitus care team may include:

Dizziness & Balance Evaluations

Your ears not only hear, but also help you keep your balance. If you experience problems with balance or dizziness, your audiologist may be part of the team that does tests to help reveal the cause of your symptoms. Essentia offers a dedicated Dizziness and Balance Care clinic in Duluth, Minnesota.

Auditory Processing Disorder Care

People with auditory processing disorders (APDs) may have trouble understanding, remembering, or acting on what they hear. In Northeastern Minnesota and Southwestern Wisconsin, you or your child can benefit from APD care from a multidisciplinary team that includes:

Hunting Ear Protection

Medical Insight - Hunting Ear Protection Video Transcript

The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Medical Insight. Two hunters are seen walking along a brush, in orange gear.


SPEAKER: Many hunters will tell you what they like about the sport is being out with friends and nature, listening to the birds and the snaps of the twigs from an approaching deer. But those sounds could disappear if you're not careful.

Marin Almer, audiologist, speaks to the camera.

MARIN ALMER: Hearing loss can happen as quick as one gunshot. Marin Almer is an audiologist at Essentia Health in Fargo. She works with patients to get to the bottom of why they're having trouble hearing. She says she has patients who've experienced hearing loss from hunting, whether it's from one gunshot or continued exposure. MARIN ALMER: Right-handed shooters generally have hearing loss in their left ear, and that's because when you're shooting right handed, your right ear is actually protected, and your left ear gets the sound from the muzzle. SPEAKER: Almer says some hunters are reluctant to wear earplugs because they want to be able to talk to their friends or hear the sounds of nature. However, new developments in hearing protection have made it possible to hear what you want to hear, while protecting you from the damaging sounds of gunfire. MARIN ALMER: We recommend electronic shooting protection, which is sort of like wearing an amplifier, meaning that you can hear the people you're hunting with, the deer, the birds. But then when the gunshot goes off, which can be up to 140 decibels, the electronic shooting protection will compress that sound to a safe level.

Examples of hearing protection are displayed, including red over-ear headphones, yellow in-ear plugs, and a pair of corks.

SPEAKER: Hunting ear protection is available at sporting goods stores or from an audiologist who can custom make them for you. Prices range from about $200 to $3,000 and they can last a lifetime. TRACY BRIGGS: Doctor Almer says even if you already have some hearing loss, it's never too late to protect your ears. She says it's better to spend a little now on hearing protection rather than spend more later on hearing aids. With this Essentia Health Medical Insight, I'm Tracy Briggs.

The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Medical Insight.

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