Something you didn’t understand?Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions and let us clear things up for you. If you still find yourself with concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our team.
Audiologists are doctoral level healthcare professionals who diagnose hearing and balance disorders. Audiologists provide patient-centered care for all ages from infancy to the elderly using specialized, diagnostic tests to determine the integrity of the auditory and vestibular mechanism. The role of the audiologist is to prevent, identify, and diagnosis using evidence-based practices unique to each patients needs.
Anyone, of any age, who suspects they may have a hearing loss should see an audiologist. Signs and
symptoms of hearing loss and/or balance disorders can be subtle and gradual over time, while others
may experience a more sudden onset. The following are some common signs of hearing loss and
1. Asking for others to repeat themselves, especially in noisy environments.
2. Feeling others around you mumble or do not speak clearly.
3. Increased volume on personal devices such as the television or the cell phone.
4. Dizziness or lightheadedness.
Hearing loss is classified by type and degree. The ear is made up of three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Depending on where the problem is determines the type of hearing loss a person may have. Degree of hearing loss refers to the severity, which ranges from mild to profound. There are three types of hearing loss: Conductive, sensorineural and mixed.
1. Conductive- A conductive hearing loss happens when sound cannot get through the outer and middle ear. Typically, softer sounds are more difficult to hear and louder sounds may be muffled. Causes of conductive hearing losses include: ear infections, or fluid in the middle ear from colds or allergies, a hole in the eardrum, impacted ear wax or foreign objects in the ear canal. Medications and surgery can often times correct this type of hearing loss.
2. Sensorineural- Sensorineural hearing loss is caused when there is damage to the inner ear itself, or the hearing nerve that sends sound to the brain. Soft sounds and conversational speech, especially in background noise, makes it difficult to communicate with others. Exposure to loud sounds, illnesses, certain drugs, head trauma, or inner ear malformations are linked to sensorineural hearing loss.
3. Mixed- Mixed hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the outer ear and damage to the inner ear. Essentially, it is a combination of a conductive and sensorineural hearing loss occurring at the same time. Anything that causes a conductive hearing loss or a sensorineural hearing loss can lead to a mixed hearing loss.
Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are a new category of hearing aids that consumers can buy directly, without visiting a hearing health professional. These devices are intended to help adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. Like prescription hearing aids, OTC hearing aids make sounds louder so that some adults with difficulty hearing are better able to listen, communicate, and participate fully in daily activities. In addition, OTC hearing aids are regulated as medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Conductive hearing loss. American Speech- Language-Hearing Association. Retrieved October 6, 2022, from https://www.asha.org/public/ hearing/conductive-hearing-loss/
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Mixed hearing loss. American Speech- Language-Hearing Association. Retrieved October 6, 2022, from https://www.asha.org/public/ hearing/mixed-hearing-loss/
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Sensorineural hearing loss. American Speech- Language-Hearing Association. Retrieved October 6, 2022, from https://www.asha.org/public/ hearing/sensorineural-hearing-loss/
Signs and symptoms of hearing loss in children. Cochlear. (2021, July 17). Retrieved October 6, 2022, from https://www.cochlear.com/us/en/home/diagnosis-and-treatment/diagnosing-hearing-loss/ signs-of-hearing-loss-in-children
What is an audiologist. The American Academy of Audiology. (2022, August 12). Retrieved October 6, 2022, from https://www.audiology.org/consumers-and-patients/what-is-an-audiologist/