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Utah: 435-688-8991 Nevada: 702-896-0031

Determine The Treatment for Hearing Loss With Diagnostic Audiologic Evaluations

Hearing loss can be a devastating blow to those suffering from it. For anyone who is born with such conditions, it may feel like nothing will ever give them the gift of sound. But times are changing, and the treatments for hearing loss are improving by the year. We are now in a time where incredible leaps are being made that are giving hearing loss sufferers of any age the ability to hear once more (or for the first time).

Treatment begins not with an ENT, but with diagnostic audiological evaluations from an audiologist.

determine_the_treatment_for_hearing_loss_with_diagnostic_audiologic_evaluations-1What Is An Audiologist?

A doctor of audiology is someone who has gone to school to obtain an advanced degree in hearing sciences. While an ear, nose and throat doctor has some expertise in treating conditions like chronic ear infections or eardrum blowouts, they are medical doctors. An audiologist is a hearing doctor, with special training in the treatment of long term conditions related to the subject. You would see an audiologist for hearing loss, tinnitus, balance problems due to inner each damage, and other continuous issues related to the ear.

In addition to examinations and hearing loss treatments, audiologists can assist with the purchase and fitting of hearing aids, or help you decide in cochlear implants or other surgical interventions may be best for you and your situation. If programs are necessary to correct speech and hearing impairments – a common problem with those suffering hearing loss, in particular children who are born with partial or complete deafness – an audiologist will work to manage that program and assist with regular progress. They may make recommendations to your child’s school for specialized tutoring, as well.

Infant and Children Audiological Screenings

Children are particularly at risk of complications due to hearing impairment early in life. While neonatal screening can be helpful, studies have shown that it isn’t enough. Unfortunately, children who have impaired hearing struggling with a number of additional problems. Some of those include poor academic performance, difficulty with speech, problems connecting with peers, and missing social milestones critical to their development. At times emotional instability may also result.

Maladjustments can be countered with early intervention, but children must be monitored at every stage. Studies have shown that by extending evaluations to multiple points through a child’s development, problems can be spotted and dealt with early on. This will lead to better development moving forward, and early decisions related to implants, hearing apparatuses, and sign language learning.

An audiological screening can help prevent lifelong struggles in your child, and help them to grow into a more positive and prepared adult, ready to face the challenges of hearing impairment.

Adult Audiological Screening

Children aren’t the only ones who need regular audiological evaluations. A study took a randomized selection of patients and exposed them to hearing tests, basing results on environmental noise they are exposed to on a daily basis. They found that more than 18% suffered from significant hearing loss based on nothing more than sounds they were encountering day to day, such as during work.

We are surrounded by dangerous levels of sound every day. Sustained exposure to decibels of just 90 db can lead to long term damage. On the other hand, decibels of 140 can cause damage almost immediately. To put that into perspective, hearing a train whistle from 500 feet is 90 db, while a rock concert can get over 125 db. It doesn’t take much to damage our ears.

Sound pollution and exposure doesn’t take into account other causes of hearing loss, however. Genetics is another factor, and you can be susceptible to hearing loss based on your genes. Age is another leading cause, as many people lose their hearing over time as the inner chambers of the ear begin to break down, causing disruption to the delicate balance which controls sound.

Chronic ear infections or ear damage can also lead to hearing loss in adults. Using a cotton swab inside of the eat may potentially burst the eardrum, which might never fully heal. A sudden extreme sound, such as a blast, could blow them out. Once you have been injured once, the effect could be permanent.

Whether you have been experiencing problems or not, it is crucial that you are regularly checked for hearing loss. You may not even know you are having problems until they have gotten bad enough to impact your life. By then it may be too late to turn things around.

They Found a Problem…What Happens Next?

Once you have had a diagnostic audiological evaluation, your doctor will be able to point to any problems found, and their cause. Hearing loss is generally caused by three different sources:

  • Sensorineural – damage to the inner ear, or to nerves within the ear.
  • Conductive – damage to the middle ear, ear canal, or eardrum.
  • Mixed – a mix of both, which may also include nerve damage and problems with the outer ear.

Depending on what kind of hearing damage you are facing, you will have different treatment options available to your. Cochlear implants and surgery are extreme, but effective, medical interventions that may be suggested for a permanent solution. These are especially common in children.

Less intensive methods may be amplifiers, hearing aids, and special programs such as signing and lip reading to help cope with hearing loss. An audiologist will discuss these options and schedule you for a fitting, and any classes you may need. They will then monitor your progress, and help you whenever necessary to learn to cope with the changes.

If there is infection present at the time you are diagnosed, your audiologist may choose to treat it themselves. If it is serious, they may choose to send you to an ENT to handle the medical side, while they focus on the hearing side.

Get Regular Diagnostic Audiological Evaluations To Keep Ears Healthy

It doesn’t matter if you have suffered from hearing loss, or not. Regular checkups from a licensed audiologist is necessary if you want to keep ears healthy, and monitor for any changes over time. For more information, visit HearingDoctors.net.

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