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Chad Ruffin, MD



Hearing Loss

From Dr. Ruffin:

Hearing Aids:

General Sites

Simulations of What Hearing Loss Sounds Like

  • These simulators are useful for demonstrating the loss and distortion of acoustic information. They are also useful to demonstrate the mental work required to understand speech with hearing loss. This simulation of mild and moderate hearing loss is similar to the degree of hearing loss that is associated with noise exposure and aging.

Advocacy Organizations

Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants (CIs) are surgically implanted devices that bypass the damaged structures of the inner ear to create a sense of sound. They provide a sense of hearing for those with severe and profound hearing losses.

While results are very variable, CIs typically provide good speech perception in quiet. However, the poor clarity makes it difficult to hear in background noise and appreciate music. This simulation and a more in-depth simulation demonstrate the poor pitch perception provided by cochlear implants. CIs have 16-24 electrodes. These electrodes provide more information than patients can actually use. Most patients can only perceive about 16 “channels” of sound provided by an implant.



NIDCD Balance Disorders Center provides an overview of balance disorders.

The most common type of dizziness, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a type of dizziness that lasts seconds. It is most often provoked by turning over in bed. It is diagnosed with the Dix-Hallpike maneuver. This maneuver determines the affected ear and which Epley maneuver to perform. is a great resource for vestibular disorders for both patients and providers.

Falls can be deadly in older patients with dizziness or imbalance issues. This article from the New York Times has great fall prevention strategies.

Trusted Partners in Seattle


Cascade Dizziness & Balance Physical Therapy in Leshi specializes exclusively in the rehabilitation of balance disorders. They are delightful group. They particularly enjoy helping older patients recover from the fear of falling. Their indoor “obstacle course” is a testament to their innovation. Cascade also hosts the patient support group, Seattle Dizzy Group.


Clear Hearing & Audiology was established by Dr. Shivani Patel in South Lake Union adjacent to REI. Dr. Patel is a very skilled audiologist and is passionate about cochlear implants. She and Dr. Ruffin are teaming together to bring cochlear implants to patients with single sided deafness.


Northgate Hearing Services is led by audiologist Dr. Melanie Hecker. Dr. Hecker is a leader in the field and is the current President of the Washington State Academy of Audiology. While her comprehensive clinic treats all audiological issues, she is particularly passionate about tinnitus management.