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What Hearing Experts Are Saying About Your Ears

Experts in the hearing profession have some important points that can promote the overall well being of your ears. Read on for more information about topics from cotton swabs to tinnitus.

what-hearing-experts-are-saying-about-your-earsEarly Detection of Hearing Loss Matters

The earlier that hearing loss is detected, the better, which doesn’t just apply to screening newborns and children. Hearing impairments can affect development of communication skills and cause children to fall behind in school. Detecting hearing loss at a young age is critical. However, hearing loss can happen no matter a person’s age, and research shows that finding it as soon as possible can make a big difference in the patient’s quality of life. Untreated hearing loss – and the resulting social isolation that occurs – has been linked to a decline in mental health and dementia, according to a study by John Hopkins University.

Dealing with Tinnitus

If you think that ringing or buzzing sound in your ears is something you’re just going to have to live with, Louise Hart, Senior Audiologist at Action on Hearing Loss, wants to correct your misperception. She says that recent research has improved our understanding of tinnitus, including the discovery of new interventions to treat the problem. If hearing loss is present along with tinnitus, hearing aids can help. Sound enrichment also benefits patients who suffer from tinnitus. In addition, Hart claims that stress reduction and cognitive behavior therapy help many tinnitus sufferers regain their quality of life.

Properly Cleaning Your Ears

You might want to put down that Q-tip, especially if you’re using it to try to clean your ear canal, according to doctors from the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Cotton swabs tend to push wax further into the ear rather than removing it. The best way to deal with ear wax is to just let the wax take care of itself, says Jeffrey Martin, an Associate Director of Family and Community Medicine. However, if you wear earbuds or hearing aids all day, you can block the wax from coming out of the ear naturally. Also, a small percentage of the population produces an excessively large amount of ear wax. These people should have their ears checked more frequently for wax buildup and have their ears professionally cleaned if needed.

The Difference Between an Audiologist and a Hearing Aid Dispenser

Not everyone who sells hearing aids is an audiologist. Nola Aronson, writer of an Ask the Audiologist column, explains that hearing aid dispensers can test your hearing in order to match you up with a hearing aid, but they don’t necessarily have a degree in hearing health because it’s not required in their profession. On the other hand, audiologists have advanced university degrees. They are hearing health care professionals whose focus is on the care of hearing, not the selling of hearing aids. They evaluate, diagnose, and treat hearing loss and can provide a wide range of treatments: fitting hearing aids, facilitating auditory training, fitting cochlear implants and counseling patients and families.

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