Our audiologists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have more than 170 years of collective clinical practice. Our philosophy is simple: To provide individuals with quality, state-of-the-art audiological services while maintaining a caring, understanding patient atmosphere.

We continue to expand the scope of our practice as technology moves forward and, as a result, offer many services related to the diagnosis and rehabilitation of the auditory system.

Hearing loss is a common problem caused by many factors, including heredity, noise exposure and aging. Hearing is a complex sense involving both detection (the ear's ability to recognize sounds presence in the environment) and intelligibility (the brain's ability to interpret or understand those sounds). The types of hearing loss are conductive, sensorineural and mixed. 

Hearing loss affects about 20 percent of adults in the United States. At age 65, one out of three people has hearing loss. Hearing loss is a major public health issue that is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease. 

Hearing loss signs:

  • Your family members say that you turn the volume on the television or radio too loud.
  • You ask others for repetition often.
  • You have difficulty hearing when there is noise in the background or in large groups of people.
  • You experience difficulty when talking on the telephone.
  • You hear conversation but are having difficulty understanding.
  • You have ringing or buzzing in your ears (tinnitus).

Take the hearing check challenge at the Better Hearing Institute website.

Factors that determine how much hearing loss will negatively affect a person's quality of life:

  • The degree of the hearing loss
  • The pattern of hearing loss across different frequencies (pitches)
  • Whether one or both ears is affected
  • The areas of the auditory system that are not working normally — such as the middle ear, inner ear, neural pathways or brain
  • The ability to recognize speech sounds
  • The history of exposures to loud noise and environmental or drug-related toxins that are harmful to hearing
  • Age

Types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss - an interference to the transmission of sound in the outer or middle ear. Some of the most common causes of conductive hearing loss include otitis media (ear infection), otosclerosis and cerumen impaction.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss - damage to the hair cells in the cochlea or the auditory nerve. The most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include aging and excess noise exposure.

How We Hear

Normal Hearing

Sound enters the auditory canal and vibrates the eardrum. The three smallest bones in the body, the ossicles, are sent into motion by the vibrating eardrum. The motion of the stapes bone displaces fluid within the cochlea. Fluid displacement results in the movement of tiny hair cells, which turn sends a neural impulse up the auditory nerve to be interpreted by the brain.

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Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss is an interference to the transmission of sound in the outer or middle ear. Some of the most common causes of conductive hearing loss include: 

  • Otitis media (ear infection)
  • Otosclerosis
  • Cerumen impaction

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is damage to the hair cells in the cochlea or the auditory nerve. The most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include aging and excess noise exposure.


Tests

OSU hearing professionals offer these advanced diagnostic tests and treatments:

  • More +

Ear Protection

Ear protection

CustomListeningMold

Custom Listening Molds

Custom molds can be made to couple to earpieces for listening devices. Custom listening molds increase the retention of the earpieces. These molds can also have a vent, to increase comfort by allowing air to enter the ear canal.
Hearing Protection Mold

Hearing Protection Molds

Hearing protection molds come in a variety of types, and are made from a custom earmold impression. They can be made as solid molds, or with a variety of damped vents. Venting options include Musician’s Earplugs, which change tonal quality minimally while damping intense sound levels.
Swim Plug

Swim Plugs

Swim plugs are soft custom molds that may be recommended for those with a history of ear surgery or chronic ear infections. An earmold impression must be made in the office. Swim plugs can be made in a solid color, or with dots or stripes. Swim plugs can be made from floating material, and can have handles and a cord.

Hearing Devices

Importance of having hearing loss evaluations


From mild to severe, Dr. Aaron Moberly explains why all individuals with any level of hearing loss should see an audiologist.

Our Audiologists

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Julie Colaianni, AuD

Audiologist

Julie Colaianni, AuD, earned her bachelor's degrees in Speech and Hearing Science and Psychology from Case Western Reserve University in 2017. She later earned her Doctor of Audiology degree and Animal Audiology certificate from the University of Cincinnati in 2021. Her clinical interests include vestibular assessment, diagnostic audiology, and hearing aid fittings. She's a member of the American Academy of Audiology and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
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Laura Feeney, AuD

Audiologist

Laura Feeney, AuD, earned both her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science and her doctoral degree in Audiology from The Ohio State University. She has been with the Ohio State Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery since 2007. She is board certified by the American Board of Audiology and is a member of the American Academy of Audiology and the Ohio Academy of Audiology. Her interests include basic audiological testing and working with patients with hearing aids and cochlear implants.

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Laura Garish, AuD

Audiologist

Laura Garish, AuD, earned her bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University in 1992 and master’s degree from the University of Akron in 1994. She completed her doctorate degree in 2001 at the University of Florida. She worked as the director of Audiology in the Huntington Ear Clinic in Huntington, West Virginia, from 1994-1996 and joined the Ohio State Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery in 1997. Laura is a founding member, board member and treasurer of the nonprofit foundation, Project EAR, Inc. 

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Brenda Hall, AuD

Audiologist

Brenda Hall, AuD, graduated from the University of North Carolina with a master’s degree in Audiology. She received her doctoral degree from Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2010. She has been a member of the Ohio State Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery since 1991. Her interests include working with patients with cochlear implants and hearing aids.

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Meghan Hiss, AuD

Audiologist

Meghan Hiss, AuD, received her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science and her Doctor of Audiology degree from The Ohio State University in 2008 and 2012, respectively. She worked as a clinical audiologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Columbus Speech and Hearing Center before joining the Ohio State Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in 2018. Her clinical interests include diagnostic audiology, cochlear implants and the fitting of hearing aids and assistive technology. Dr. Hiss is a research audiologist at the Ohio State Buckeye Center for Hearing and Development. She is board certified by the American Board of Audiology and is a member of the American Academy of Audiology and the Ohio Academy of Audiology. 

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Lauren Johnson, AuD

Audiologist

Lauren Johnson, AuD, earned her bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Ohio University in 2016. She later earned her Doctor of Audiology degree from Ohio University in 2020. Her clinical interests include cochlear implants, bone-anchored implants, hearing aids and diagnostic testing. She's a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 
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Debby LaPrete, AuD

Audiologist

Debby LaPrete, AuD, received her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and her master's degree from the University of Cincinnati. She graduated from the Arizona School of Health Sciences with her doctoral degree in Audiology in 2009. Dr. LaPrete has worked at Ohio State since 1994, and specializes in providing services to recipients of cochlear implants and auditory brainstem implants.

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Cari Mickelson, MEd

Audiologist

Cari Mickelson, MEd, graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Audiology. She has worked in a variety of medical settings for the past 25 years. Her interests include diagnostic audiology and hearing aid dispensing. Cari is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

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Kara Schneider, AuD

Audiologist

Kara Schneider, AuD earned a BS in speech and hearing science from The Ohio State University in 2012 and her Doctor of audiology from the Northeast Ohio Au.D. Consortium in 2016. Her clinical interests include diagnostics, cochlear implantation, hearing aid fitting and assistive devices. She's a research audiologist at the Ohio State Buckeye Center for Hearing and Development. She's a member of the American Academy of Audiology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Ohio Academy of Audiology.

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Melissa Schnitzspahn, AuD

Audiologist

Melissa Schnitzspahn, AuD, received her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science from The Ohio State University in 1998 and her master’s degree in Audiology from Ohio State in 2000. She obtained her doctoral degree in Audiology from the Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2008. Melissa joined the Ohio State Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery in 2001. Her interests include hearing aid dispensing and cochlear implants.

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Saul Strieb, AuD

Audiologist & Vestibular Laboratory Coordinator

Saul Strieb, AuD, obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and his master’s degree in Audiology from the University of Maryland. He received his doctoral degree in Audiology from the University of Florida in 2009. He served as an audiologist at the Washington Hospital Center from 2001 through 2011, before joining the staff of the Ohio State Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery in 2011. His clinical interests include hearing aids, BAHA, vestibular assessment and treatment of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

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Gretchen Waggoner, AuD

Audiologist

Gretchen Waggoner, AuD, earned her bachelor's degree in Speech and Hearing Science from Ohio University in 1994 and her master's degree in Audiology from Bowling Green State University in 1996. She earned her doctoral degree in Audiology from the Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2006. She has been an audiologist in the Ohio State Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery since 1996. She is a founding member and secretary of Project EAR, Inc. She has participated in seven mission trips and provides diagnostic services and hearing aid fittings. 

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