Audiology is the branch of science and medicine that studies sense of hearing, balance and related disorders. Audiologists are the health-care professionals who evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with hearing loss and balance disorders. Audiologists can be found working in many different settings, such as ENT offices, schools, and hospitals.
Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States, after heart disease and diabetes. There are approximately 36 million Americans who currently suffer from hearing loss, and more than half of these people are under the age of 65. Most hearing loss can be treated by an audiologist with hearing aids or hearing rehabilitation. Unfortunately, only a quarter of people suffering from hearing loss recognize that they have a problem and seek help. If hearing loss goes untreated, it can quickly decrease your quality of life by negatively impacting your social and emotional well-being, and affecting your ability to understand speech.
What causes hearing loss?
Exposure to excessive loud noise
Ear infections, trauma, or ear disease
Harm of the inner ear and ear drum from contact with a foreign object (cotton swabs, fingers, bugs)
Illness or certain medications
Deteriorating hearing due to the normal aging process
There are many signs that you may have a hearing loss. The signs include:
Difficulty hearing people talk in noisy environments
Constantly thinking people are mumbling
People needing to repeat themselves for you
Tinnitus (ringing, buzzing or hissing sounds in your ears)
Taking steps to protect your hearing can help prevent hearing loss. For adults and children, some ways to protect hearing are:
Lower the volume on all electronic devices
Create distance between yourself or your children and loud noises to reduce the impact on your ears
If you can’t distance yourself from loud noises, wear hearing protectors, such as earmuffs or earplugs
October is a great month to get your hearing checked, or encourage a loved one to do so. At ENT Specialists, our certified and experienced audiologists offer comprehensive testing and work up of all forms of hearing loss in both pediatric and adult patients. We perform testing in our insulated sound-proof audiology booths which are equipped with the most up-to-date testing and technique capabilities. We also perform specialized testing techniques required for young children and infants who may be having excessive ear infections. Make an appointment with us today to get your hearing checked.