Dr. Heather Hackney completed her doctorate degree in audiology (AUD) at the Arizona School of Health Sciences and is an audiologist with more than thirty-five years’ experience working with patients of all ages to improve their hearing health. She began her career as an audiologist in practice at different Ear Nose and Throat offices before opening her private practice, Treasure Coast Audiology, in Jensen Beach in December 1998. She recently opened a second office in Vero Beach to expand her services to include comprehensive vestibular (balance) testing. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, Florida American Academy of Audiology and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. Dr. Hackney is dedicated to continuing her education and study of the latest research and trends in the audiological community, in an effort to always offer her patients the most advanced information, instrumentation, testing, and diagnostic services in the field. She has experience in audiological diagnostic testing, hearing aid evaluation and fitting, tinnitus treatment and neurodiagnostic vestibular balance evaluation and testing. In addition to managing two offices, Dr. Hackney volunteers her time with Volunteers in Medicine in Martin County. Her personal and family history with audiological and balance issues gives her a unique insight into the needs of her patients.
I wanted to take this opportunity to write a brief note to those of you with hearing loss or loved ones with hearing loss. When I was an undergraduate at Mount Allison University, my father was diagnosed with Meniere's disease. The symptoms included attacks of vertigo (dizziness) and progressive hearing loss. In the process of determining the diagnosis, it was an audiologist who tested and provided information to the doctor that resulted in this diagnosis. It was at that time I was deciding what my next step in my education would be, so it was no surprise that I chose the profession of Audiology.
As my dad's hearing slowly deteriorated, I witnessed my mom’s frustration of not being able to communicate with him. It was especially difficult when noise was present.
It was my privilege to help my dad with hearing aids and see the difference it made in his quality of life. In the last few years, my mother also developed unilateral hearing loss, as well as vertigo. I now have had the perspective of two parents with various hearing difficulties.
In my experience, the best results I have seen are with patients that accept their hearing loss and are willing to take steps to obtain help. I would urge anyone who suspects that they may have hearing loss to make an appointment for a hearing test. The earlier the correct diagnosis is made, the better the outcome. There have been significant advancements in hearing rehabilitation and with hearing aids in the last few years. With the ability of hearing aids to Bluetooth, we can connect with many of the electronic devices we use every day which includes cell phones, computers, television, etc.
Recently, I had the privilege of opening a second office in Vero Beach to expand services by partnering with the American Institute of Balance to provide neurodiagnostic vestibular balance evaluations. The office has been certified as an American Institute of Balance Center of Specialty Care. The vertigo my parents experienced was the reason for my interest in the diagnosis and treatment of balance disorders. Recently, it became personal, as I suffered a severe vertigo attack that resulted in hospitalization. Being diagnosed and treated appropriately significantly improved my quality of life.
I encourage anyone suffering from hearing loss or balance disorders to seek help. It can make a difference if you are diagnosed and treated sooner rather than later.
Call our office with any questions you may have.
Heather L. Hackney, Au.D