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

Audiology Awareness Month: Important Differences Between Hearing Loss & Vision Deterioration

Obviously, there is a difference between your hearing and vision—hearing involves your ears while vision revolves around your eyes.

But what we here at Hearing & Balance Doctors would like to focus on for October’s Audiology Awareness Month is how caring for your hearing impacts you differently than caring for your vision.

How Hearing Loss And Vision Loss Differ

While there are many minor ways hearing loss and vision issues differ, there are four main essential ways that these two medical problems are different.

Underlying Causes Of Vision Problems Are Simpler Than Hearing Loss

In general, vision loss is a mechanical issue due to changes to the eyeball shape. But, as long as your optic nerve is healthy, being fitted with a pair of corrected lenses is all that is needed. However, hearing loss is a bit more complicated.

Hearing loss can be caused by a number of issues, from issues with the middle ear bones to inner ear problems. Often, when hearing loss is acquired later in life, it is sensorineural hearing loss, which means there is an issue with sound transmission in the inner ear.

With this type of hearing loss, hearing aids can help recover lost hearing. But even then, an in-depth diagnostic hearing evaluation—which involves several different tests—is needed to properly program your hearing aids.

More Prevention Tools Exist To Prevent Hearing Loss Than Vision Loss

In many cases, hearing loss can be prevented, as it is often due to loud noise exposure, poor diet, and other health complications. Sometimes hearing loss is inevitable, such as hearing loss due to aging, but for the most part, taking simple preventative steps such as wearing ear protection and managing your health can prevent hearing loss.

As for vision deterioration, that is far more dependent on genetic factors and uncontrollable issues such as age-related macular degeneration, refractive errors, and cataracts. While these problems are treatable, no amount of carrot consumption or reading in bright light is going to stop them.

Hearing Loss Can Be Halted, Vision Degradation Continues

By using corrective glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision, you are only compensating for your vision loss—these devices don’t halt further degradation. That’s why you need yearly eye exams to check for further vision loss.

But when you use hearing aids, your auditory system gets put to work again. What was once atrophying from lack of use is now actively sending messages and interpreting the world around you again. So, by using hearing aids, you keep your auditory system more active and can halt further hearing loss.

Vision Issues Can Be Fixed, Hearing Loss Is Permanent

With surgeries like laser eye surgery and cataract removal, many vision problems can be permanently fixed or left with minimal vision loss. But with sensorineural hearing loss, the loss is permanent. Some types of hearing loss—such as conductive hearing loss due to issues with the eardrum or middle ear—can be corrected with surgery. But, as a whole, there is no permanent solution to hearing loss.

Who Cares For Your Hearing vs. Vision

When it comes to your vision care, most people will work with an optometrist. An optometrist can provide vision tests, basic eye exams, and fit you for corrective lenses and glasses. While an optometrist is a doctor of optometry, they are not a medical doctor. When you need medical intervention with your vision, an ophthalmologist is who you would see.

There is more diversity with the professionals who can help you take care of your hearing loss needs. There are hearing instrument specialists, audiologists, and doctors of audiology who you can work with you to care for your hearing loss.

The more educated and experienced your hearing health care provider, the better care you can receive. That’s why Hearing & Balance Doctors is operated by doctors of audiology so that you can have the best hearing help possible.

Hearing & Balance Doctors Can Help With Your Hearing Loss

Along with our experienced doctors of audiology, here at Hearing & Balance Doctors, we use cutting-edge hearing diagnostic technology. That way, you can receive a precise diagnosis for your hearing needs, and be properly fitted with the right hearing aids.

If you are ready to take care of your hearing with the help of our experienced audiologists, feel free to contact us today to set up your appointment.

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