Don and Zina Cornwell opened their stores to provide the best technology, best service and best prices in Southwest Virginia. They have over 30 years’ experience in all aspects of the business, from layout and design to traveling around the country training other specialists in fitting and programming hearing instruments.

Our Hearing Professionals

Donald Cornwell, ACA-BCHIS


Bristol, VA 276-466-HEAR (4327), Wytheville, VA 276-228-5800

Zina Cornwell, ACH-BCHIS


Marion, VA 276-783-HEAR (4327)

Normal Ear Functions

Hearing is an important sense to your everyday life. From alarms to important conversations throughout the day, our sense of hearing is important to communicating information. The way the auditory system works is incredibly complex and requires a number of functions to work properly, including:

1. Sound is transmitted through the air as sound waves from the environment. The sound waves are gathered by the outer ear and sent down the ear canal to the eardrum.

2. The sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, which sets the three tiny bones in the middle ear into motion.

3. The motion of the three bones causes the fluid in the inner ear, or cochlea, to move.

4. The movement of the fluid in the inner ear causes the hair cells in the cochlea to bend. The hair cells change the movement into electrical impulses.

5. These electrical impulses are transmitted to the hearing (auditory) nerve and up to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.

The Outer Ear

The visible part of the outer ear is called the pinna, or auricle. The pinna, with its grooves and ridges, along with the ear canal provide a natural volume boost for sounds in the 2000-3000 Hz frequency range, where we perceive many consonant sounds of speech.

The ear canal, also called the external auditory meatus, is the other important component of the outer ear. The ear canal is lined with only a few layers of skin and fine hair, and is a highly vascularized area. This means that there is an abundant flow of blood to the ear canal. Wax (cerumen) accumulates in the ear canal and serves as a protective barrier to the skin from bacteria and moisture. Earwax is normal and varies in amount based on the person. It only becomes problematic if it completely blocks the ear canal.

The Middle Ear

The eardrum, or tympanic membrane (TM), is the dividing structure between the outer and middle ear. Although it is an extremely thin membrane, the eardrum is made up of three layers to increase its strength.

The ossicles are the three tiny bones of the middle ear located directly behind the tympanic membrane. These three bones form a connected chain in the middle ear. The ossicles take mechanical vibrations received at the tympanic membrane, increase the strength of these vibrations and transmit them into the inner ear.

The Eustachian tube is the middle ear’s air pressure equalizing system. The middle ear is encased in bone and does not associate with outside air except through the Eustachian tube. This tubular structure is normally closed, but it can be involuntarily opened by swallowing, yawning or chewing. It can also be intentionally opened to equalize pressure in the ears, like when flying in an airplane. When this happens, you might hear a soft popping sound.

The Inner Ear

The inner ear is an organ located deep within the temporal bone, which is the bone of the skull on both sides of the head above and to the sides of the outer ear. The inner ear has two main structures: the semicircular canals and the cochlea.

The semicircular canals do not contribute to hearing, but assist in maintaining balance as we move. The cochlea is the hearing organ of the inner ear, which is a fluid-filled structure that looks like a snail. The cochlea changes the mechanical vibrations from the tympanic membrane and the ossicles into a sequence of electrical impulses. Sensory cells, called hair cells, bend in the cochlea as the fluid is disrupted by the mechanical vibrations. This bending of the hair cells causes electrical signals to be sent to the brain by way of the auditory nerve. The cochlea is arranged by frequency, much like a piano, and encodes sounds from 20Hz (low pitch) to 20,000Hz (high pitch) in humans.

Serving the Tri Cities and SW Virginia

102 Bonham Road Suite 5 Bristol, VA 24202

(276) 466-4327

1575 N. Main Street Marion, VA 24354

(276) 783-4327

Audiology And Hearing Aid Services

Bluetooth Hearing Aids

Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids can be wirelessly connected to devices such as televisions, cell phones, FM systems, GPS systems, and PDAs, with the use of Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth technology works similarly to wireless Internet, where sounds are sent through an invisible electronic signal.

Cerumen Removal

Cerumen, or ear wax, can be removed from the ear canal so that it does not interfere with listening or comfort, especially for individuals who wear hearing aids.

Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations

During your examination you will be tested using a series of low & high frequency words to determine your ability to understand verbiage within a conversation. We will also give you several words to repeat. The results will help us determine your percentage of hearing loss, your ability to understand speech and how hearing aids will improve your ability to hear.

Ear Impression

Since the various systems produce different hearing impressions, it is important for you to make a comparison yourself. For this purpose we will produce custom-made earmolds based on the exact contours of your ears. We can then ensure that your hearing aid fits perfectly

Hearing Aid Dispensing & Fitting

At the hearing aid fitting, you will receive the hearing aids you selected. They are programmed based on a prescription that is specific to each person’s hearing loss. The hearing professional may make adjustments after you try the hearing aids to make sure the settings and fit are ideal for you.

Hearing Aid Repairs

Some minor hearing aid repairs can be done in the office setting in a short period of time; others will need to be sent to the manufacturer for repair. Your hearing professional can help determine what kind of a repair is necessary if you feel your hearing aid is not working properly.

Hearing Aid Evaluation And Selection

During a hearing aid evaluation, you will meet with a licensed professional who will discuss with you the different styles, colors, technologies, and benefits to wearing hearing aids. You may be shown different styles or have the opportunity to try different hearing aids in the office. Custom impressions may be taken of your ears, depending on the style of hearing aid chosen.

Hearing Aids

Basic digital hearing aids generally require the wearer to make some manual adjustments in certain listening environments such as turning a volume control up or down, or pushing a button to change listening programs. In contrast, a premium or more advanced hearing aid responds automatically to changes in the listener’s environment, making changes based on the signals being detected by the hearing aid. The hearing aid wearer is not required to make any manual changes. As the level of the technology increases in hearing aids, so do the availability of advanced features.

· Hearing Aid Styles

· Hearing Protection

· Electronic Shooters Protection

· Hansaton Hearing Products

· Oticon

· Phonak

· Resound

· Rexton

· Signia

· Starkey

· Unitron

· Widex

Styles Of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are available in many different sizes and styles thanks to advancements in digital technology and miniaturization of the internal components. Many of today’s hearing aids are considered sleek, compact, and innovative – offering solutions to a wide range of hearing aid wearers.

Various Hearing Aid Styles We Offer:

· In-The-Ear

· Invisible in-the-Canal (IIC)

· Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC)

· In-the-Canal (ITC)

· Full Shell or In-the-Ear (ITE)

· Behind-the-Ear (BTE)

· Mini BTE with slim tube and tip

· Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE)

· BTE with earmolds

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