Thirty-seven and a half million adults in America have hearing problems, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) statistics. Out of this 15 percent of the population, about 28.8 million of those with a hearing impairment can benefit from hearing aids. This number has created an alarming trend in OTC hearing aid sales and the rise of hearing aid distributors. Many of these individuals are finding help through hearing aids, but are they receiving quality hearing care?
Although I advocate the use of hearing aids for those with a hearing loss, they are only a portion of the full spectrum of hearing healthcare needs. To create a greater awareness of the overall care offered by an audiologist, I have compiled a list of 5 reasons to see an audiologist for your hearing healthcare, including when to see an audiologist and what an audiologist does. Before I present that list, let me explain what I do.
What Does An Audiologist Do?
An audiologist is a doctor, specially trained in hearing health. Audiologists specialize in diagnosing any and all types of health issues related to hearing, offer treatment plans and provide necessary follow-up care. Our role reaches beyond hearing care to the management of other hearing-related conditions and balance disorders. Conditions we help to manage, include:
- Hearing loss
- Dizziness and balance
- Hearing screening and testing
- Hearing loss prevention
- Recommendations for hearing aids and other assistive technology
Essentially, an audiologist has an interest in your overall hearing health rather than simply selling you a hearing aid. Here are those five reasons I promised.
1. Screening For Hearing Loss
Audiologists offer a complete examination of your ears along with screening and testing for hearing loss. Our examination can identify structural issues, which might impede or obstruct the hearing pathway, while further testing assesses your capacity to hear different pitches and volumes of sound. An audiologist screening can provide the necessary information to diagnose and treat hearing loss or other potential hearing-related issues.
2. Provide Appropriate Treatment
Our assessments and diagnoses help us identify a specific treatment, specifically designed to address your condition. In some cases, the treatment might be as simple as removing earwax or a small growth blocking the ear canal. We provide therapeutic treatments for tinnitus, advice for protecting your hearing, and sometimes recommend and fit our patients with hearing aids and other auditory assistive instruments.
3. Your Hearing Health Companion
Because our interests in your hearing health reach beyond selling you a hearing aid, we become your hearing health companion for life. As you age, your environment and your needs change and new hearing health challenges pop up. An audiologist continues to provide follow-up care by evaluating the effectiveness of treatment options in relation to these changes and challenges. This might involve a wide range of therapies and treatment options, including, but reaching beyond adjustments to your hearing aids.
4. Hearing Aids Adjustment
Those whose treatment options include hearing aids enjoy significant advantages from hearing aid care provided by an audiologist. Because our focus is on your hearing health care, rather than the device, we use our high-level expertise to evaluate and adjust your hearing aids to meet your specific needs, but we go beyond that. Most patients fitted with new hearing aids have to go through a difficult adjustment period, which leaves them overwhelmed and discouraged. A major part of our hearing aid adjustment includes providing the counseling, support, and encouragement our patients need in order to get the most benefit from their hearing aids.
5. Enhancing Your Lifestyle
We want you to live the highest quality of life possible and enjoy the independence you desire. As an audiologist, I provide treatments meant to enhance your lifestyle, providing you with the most benefits with the least amount of disruptions and discomforts possible. The hearing healthcare audiologists provide makes it easier for you to enjoy conversations with family and friends, minimizing misunderstandings and reducing the frustration caused by miscommunication.
Audiologists focus on all aspects of hearing healthcare. Regardless of the treatment plan, our focus on our patients’ hearing remains the same. Consider annual hearing care checkups with an audiologist in order to assess your hearing health, recommend preventive care, and provide the best therapies and treatment options available. The Aim Hearing and Audiology family invites you to take your hearing healthcare seriously.
Contact me online to schedule a hearing assessment, or call the Aim Hearing and Audiology office in Greensboro, NC at (336) 295-1064.