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What is an Audiologist?
The profession of Audiology is dedicated to the diagnosis and rehabilitation of hearing loss.
Why is it important to seek the care of an Audiologist for a hearing problem?
The management of hearing loss has ramifications on a person’s self-image, family relationships, work performance, academic achievement, and employment security. From providing a quality hearing test to selecting the best sound processing in hearing aids; from choosing the optimum telephone amplifier or cell phone to educating the family methods to optimize communication, the Audiologist is the professional of choice.
In general, there are two main types of hearing loss, conductive and sensorineural. When an individual has both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, they are said to have a “mixed” hearing loss.
- Affects more than 22 million Americans
- Tends to be gradual
- May go undetected until it reaches an advanced stage
Conductive Hearing Loss
This type of hearing loss is a condition of the outer and/or middle ear. It occurs when sounds from the outside world cannot be transmitted normally through the ear canal and/or middle ear to the nerve cells of the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss can be temporary or long term. The most common causes of this type of hearing loss can be a build-up of wax in the ear canal, fluid in the middle ear space (common in children), perforated eardrums, or damaged or defective ossicles (middle ear bones).
Most conductive hearing losses can be medically or surgically treated. If the conductive hearing loss for some reason cannot be alleviated, hearing aids can do a lot to compensate for the loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
This type of hearing loss is the most common form of hearing impairment. It happens when some of the hair cells inside the cochlea (inner ear) get damaged and are unable to transform the sound vibrations into electrical signals. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by long-term exposure to loud noise, exposure to certain medications, disease, infection, heredity, or most commonly, by the aging process.
Once sensorineural hearing loss sets in, the condition may continue to worsen and will, in most cases, be permanent. Typical symptoms are a loss of loudness, and difficulty in understanding speech clearly. Fortunately, advanced hearing aid technology is available that can effectively treat sensorineural hearing loss.
Common Signs of Hearing Loss
- Difficulty understanding certain voices
- Trouble understanding in crowds
- Hearing but not understanding
- Hearing on the telephone is difficult
- Social functions that were once fun are no longer enjoyable
- Irritability, withdrawal from friends and family
- Others notice your hearing difficulty
A Hearing Evaluation is recommended if you answer YES to one or more of the following
Do you find yourself:
- Piecing together the meaning of conversations
- Complain that people mumble
- Turning up the volume on the TV
- Having difficulty understanding dialogue on TV
- Having trouble understanding speakers at meetings
- Avoiding doing things you used to enjoy because it is hard to understand people
A Comprehensive hearing evaluation will assess the type, degree, and causes of your hearing loss.
During your consultation, we will explain your results and answer any questions. If you need hearing devices, we’ll choose them based on your individual needs from world renowned hearing aid manufacturers. If your hearing loss can be medically treated, we will discuss that with you also. For unbiased details on the types of hearing loss, you can go to the Better Hearing Institute Website, then come back here.
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