Dr. Krystal will hear you now: New audiology clinic comes to Dickinson
Dr. Krystal Mann has been practicing as an audiologist in Dickinson for 10 years, but until recently had never owned her own practice. In June, Mann launched the aptly named Krystal Clear Hearing Center. Learn more about her story, and the latest in hearing loss technology.
DICKINSON — Dr. Krystal Mann recently opened her independent audiology practice, cleverly named Krystal Clear Hearing Center. During her time as an undergraduate student at Minnesota State University - Moorhead, she began working in the office of an audiologist.
“I just kind of fell in love with it. Then I started taking courses in audiology, and the professor saw that I had a real knack for it,” she said. “I went to (graduate) school in Arizona. But I'm a native to Gladstone, North Dakota, and I graduated from Dickinson High. So I always knew I wanted to come back and serve the Dickinson community. So after grad school, I came back here and I've been working here in Dickinson for 10 years. And then in June of 2022, I decided to open up this private practice.”
Her practice provides hearing evaluations and hearing loss solutions, mostly in the form of hearing aids, but also tinnitus management and custom protection. For custom products, she uses puddy to make an ear mold impression which is sent to a manufacturer.
“We can do those filtered or unfiltered, because some people still like to hear speech, but they want to protect themselves from the blast of a gun, for example,” she said.
They also have models to amplify subtle sounds for those with hearing loss who still want to hear subtle sounds like leaves crunching when they’re out hiking or hunting.
Mann explained that hearing aid technology has advanced substantially over the past decade, with improvements in batteries and hands free media connectivity.
“We're always going to provide the latest in technology. Right now, a really big trend is the rechargeable hearing aid so you no longer have to change the batteries, which are expensive… It also helps people with dexterity issues where they can't pick up a battery,” she said. “If they have bluetooth with their cell phones, they can stream phone calls. And they can stream other media sources such as music, Netflix or whatever they want.”
The elimination of wires in hearing aids has been a major breakthrough, she emphasized. Industry professionals have taken strides in fine tuning the way they address hearing loss. This means improved clarity and sound quality from devices that can now automatically adjust to background noise.
She noted that the most fulfilling aspect of her work is reconnecting individuals with the world around them, especially children.
“The most rewarding part of my job is when I can help a person, a resident of Dickinson, improve their quality of life by enabling them to hear the people they love,” Mann said. “The first time you put a hearing aid on a little one and you can see them react to their parents' voice, there is nothing more rewarding than that.”
The dynamic duo
All of these services are provided by a two woman operation consisting of Mann and her Audiology Assistant, Megan Masters, who also worked with her at a previous practice.
“We actually have been best friends since first grade. Then we just kind of lost touch for our college years,” Mann said. “It's been a great partnership. So I couldn't do it without her.”
A chance visit to the doctor presented an opportunity.
“My son and I went to a doctor's appointment, and he was born super early. So we had hearing tests that we had to do often. And we had the option to see Dr. Mann in Dickinson. We went to the appointment. She asked if I knew anybody looking for a job and I was like, ‘Me!’ I actually accepted the job that day on my daughter's birthday,” Masters said. “When you come in, we're a family because Krystal and I are such a family, every patient that walks through this door is family to us.”
The office even has a few individuals living there full time, under water. They have three Mexican salamanders, officially known as axolotls. Mann said she first got one at home when her son kept asking. She told him yes if the pet store had any, thinking such exotic amphibians wouldn’t be available in North Dakota. But they were, and her son later gave sage business advice, assuring that the critters would be a hit with customers.
“They’re really popular amongst the kids because axolotls are featured in games like Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnight,” she said. “So the kids come and they're pretty excited that we have them. Then the adults are fascinated.”
Their names are Malleus, Incus and Stapes — a nod to the three middle ear bones.
Krystal Clear is located at 1674 15th St. W. Suite A in Dickinson. Their office can be reached at 701-483-6500 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.