Hearing is Believing


For comprehensive audiological care that brings a better quality of life, Hearing & Balance Specialists of Kansas City could be music to your ears.

Story by Ann Butenas   |   Sponsored Content
Intro Photo Pictured left to right: Lainey Lake, Au.D., Hearing and Auditory Processing Audiologist, Samuel Bittel, Au.D., Vestibular Audiologist, and Laura Flowers, Au.D. Tinnitus and Sound Sensitivity Specialist

If you are suffering from hearing loss, tinnitus and sound sensitivity, dizziness and imbalance, concussion, and/or auditory processing disorders, Hearing & Balance Specialists of Kansas City is the place to go. A premier specialty clinic in Kansas City with offices in Overland Park and Lee’s Summit, its specialty-trained providers/practitioners will definitely lend you a compassionate and caring ear.

Clinician-owned by audiologists Samuel Bittel, Au.D., Lainey Lake, Au.D., and Laura Flowers, Au.D., the mission of Hearing & Balance Specialists of Kansas City is to provide compassionate patient care and education through unsurpassed customer service and comprehensive diagnostic knowledge. Passionate about helping patients, this team of expert professionals delivers top-notch care by utilizing state-of-the-art technology and best practices, creating a successful rehabilitative plan for each patient and their family.

The Hearing & Balance Specialists of Kansas City Difference

There are myriad reasons why you should choose to consult with Hearing & Balance Specialists of Kansas City. In addition to being recognized as the most experienced audiology specialists in the region, they are highly focused on the best patient care and are equally passionate about the services they provide. With five Doctors of Audiology, one speech-language pathologist, one physical therapist, and a dyslexia specialist, this skilled and experienced team of experts is ready to offer a higher quality of life for each patient they treat.

Meet the Owners/Clinicians

Samuel Bittel, Au.D. – Vestibular Audiologist

A specialist in evaluating and treating vestibular disorders, dizziness, disequilibrium, and vertigo, Dr. Bittel is a nationally recognized lecturer and author within his field of expertise. When patients come to Dr. Bittel, they have often visited with several other specialists but have not met with satisfactory results.

“Some patients may see four or more doctors before they get diagnosed, having bounced from sub-specialty to sub-specialty,” he explained. “It is my job to come up with a solid diagnosis and get intervention treatment plans in place.”

Dr. Bittel indicated that dizziness is the number one complaint for which 70+ year-old adults seek medical attention.

“Dizziness is related to an aging system, as well as to certain physical conditions and medications,” said Dr. Bittel.

Dr. Bittel also referred to vertigo, which creates the sensation of spinning, as the hallmark of an inner ear problem.

Laura Flowers, Au.D. – Tinnitus and Sound Sensitivity Specialist

A specialist in identifying, evaluating, and managing hearing loss, tinnitus, and sound sensitivity conditions, Dr. Flowers’ passion for providing excellence in hearing health care is clearly evident.

“Thirty-five million Americans struggle with tinnitus,” she indicated. “It is commonly a symptom of changes in hearing or hearing loss. Although most patients say they hear just fine, most are not aware they have experienced these changes in hearing.”

According to Dr. Flowers, the first step in treatment is to provide a diagnostic audiologic evaluation, which helps detect potential causes and form a more successful management plan.

“It’s very manageable, despite what you hear, and we can help lessen the impact it has on the quality of the patient’s life through the tools we give them to deal with it,” she said.

Additionally, sound sensitivity is often an issue for people who suffer from tinnitus. Referred to as hyperacusis, or a reduced tolerance to everyday sounds.

Misophonia is also a common sound sensitivity issue. “This usually begins in the pre-adolescent stage and causes a rage-like reaction to certain sounds, such as lip smacking or eating,” she explained. “This can lead to isolation and the avoidance of certain situations, affecting relationships and even the ability to work.”

“It’s a life-changing experience when patients learn they don’t have to live with these issues,” she stated.

Lainey Lake, Au.D. – Hearing and Auditory Processing Audiologist

A specialist in diagnosing hearing loss, tinnitus, an auditory processing disorder, Dr. Lake provides the most advanced hearing aid technology and fitting procedures available, improving the lives of her patients through better hearing and auditory rehabilitation.

Dr. Lake is extremely passionate about treating hearing loss through best practices. ‘Real ear verification is the gold standard in fitting hearing aids. It is the only way to verify that the hearing aid is fit appropriately for the individual patient and is only performed at roughly 20% of hearing aid practices.’ For someone looking for a successful hearing aid experience, the patient should ask their provider if they perform real ear verification in their fitting procedure.

Auditory processing is a passion of Dr. Lake’s, which focuses on what the brain does with what it hears. Regarding auditory processing, “Some adults and kids may have a hearing test indicating their hearing sensitivity is normal, but they may find it difficult to hear due to background noises,” said Dr. Lake. “For kids, it is often around the age of six or seven when they begin having difficulties in school due to auditory processing deficits. For adults, head trauma can often time cause processing issues.” Auditory processing is a treatable condition.

Hearing Aids

“Hearing aids are a big part of our practice,” indicated Dr. Lake. “However, we set it up quite differently from other practices through our unique approach to the cost of hearing aids. We are one of the only clinics in the region that follows an unbundled pricing structure. This allows many key advantages to patients, which results in increased transparency, better pricing, and ultimately better access to help our patients need.”

In most hearing aid clinics, a bundled pricing structure is followed. In other words, a patient pays a high dollar amount for the hearing aids, but that initial price includes the device and the services provided by the clinician over a set period of time.

“The problem with that is the patient may not need all of the follow-up services they paid for upfront, the patient could move or change to a different audiology practice,” said Dr. Bittel. “We believe in the most ethical and transparent way to price our hearing aids through our unbundled, or itemized, approach. This separates the cost of hearing aids from the related services, giving the patient more control. Our costs are transparent, which can save the patient a significant amount of money. Patients only pay for services when and if they need them.”

Better Service Throughout the Years

In the five years since Hearing & Balance Specialists opened its doors, the practice has doubled in size, even through a global pandemic, and also enjoys a close network with the medical community in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area.

“Highest level of service, transparency and accessibility are our focus, so we will always strive to be honest and fair to any patient that enters our practice,” noted Dr. Bittel. “We also follow best practice protocols in all that we do.”

Overland Park, KS 6650 W. 110th St., Suite 330, Overland Park Kansas 66221

(913) 521-9090    |    info.op@handbkc.com

Lee’s Summit, MO 458 Northeast 291 Highway, Lee’s Summit, Missouri 64086

(816) 507-8885    |    info@handbkc.com