It’s Audiology Awareness Month, so we’re breaking down all things related to audiology. Be sure to read to the end for a big announcement about our office!
What does an Audiologist Do?
Audiologists are hearing experts. They help people prevent, diagnose, and treat problems in the ear. While all audiologists aim to help people with hearing loss, not all audiologists are board certified. Board certified audiologists have gone through thousands of hours of additional, mentored training that hones their skills, making them better equipped to address your hearing needs.
When should I see an Audiologist?
If you’re experiencing any of the common signs and symptoms of hearing loss, it’s time to visit an audiologist for a hearing evaluation. While hearing loss (at first) may seem like an annoying inconvenience, it can indicate more serious issues or cause major physical and emotional strife down the road.
Risk Factors for Hearing Loss
Did you know that those with cardiovascular disease are three times more likely to develop hearing loss? Or that diabetes, loop diuretics, and a whole variety of drugs also put you at a significantly increased risk?
Effects of Hearing Loss
Once you have hearing loss, you’re likely to experience falls three times more often then those who do not face hearing loss, and those with at least moderate hearing loss frequently develop depression — especially women. All of this goes to show that what may start out as an inconvenience may turn into something debilitating. Addressing the issue at the onset will save you and your loved ones significant grief.
Sudden Hearing Loss
Sometimes, hearing loss doesn’t happen gradually. In fact, sudden hearing loss impacts 66,000 Americans a year. Time is of the essence for treatment by an ENT with either oral or injected steroids, but most ENT’s will require the loss be confirmed by an audiologist before treatment. Sharon will schedule patients experiencing a sudden hearing loss within 48 hours of your call.
What to do When Hearing Loss Happens
If a loved one is showing symptoms of hearing loss or taking medications that make them susceptible to hearing loss, talk to them about getting a hearing evaluation. If you already have hearing aids, but you’re not happy with their settings, come see us! At Elkhart Audiology, we use Real-Ear Measures that give us precise data about your specific hearing loss. We’ll do what we can do adjust your hearing aids so they pick up the sounds you want to hear.
How does Hearing Loss Happen?
Hearing loss happens in a variety of ways. In addition, not all hearing loss is equal. Ear infections, which cause bacteria build-ups in the middle ear, can create hearing loss that’s curable with antibiotics or other treatments. On the other hand, permanent hearing loss can be caused by anything from exposure to loud music, machinery, and other sounds, untreated infections, or simply long life. The good news is, no matter how your hearing loss happened, you have options for improved hearing. After a diagnostic hearing evaluation, Sharon can give you realistic expectations for successful treatment.
Who does Hearing Loss Affect?
Hearing loss is common, affecting roughly 20% of the American population. It’s also the third most common chronic health problem in older adults. While it may seem like a personal problem, hearing loss is actually a significant social issue. Because hearing loss strains communication, attending social events and even family gatherings can become a source of anxiety and stress. As a result, individuals with hearing loss often withdraw from their social circles, making them prone to experiencing loneliness and even depression. Not only is this bad for the person with hearing loss, it’s bad for their friends and family who miss their connection.
In spite of all these side effects, only 10 to 20 percent of older adults who report having hearing loss use hearing aids.
If you’re delaying treatment, you are not alone. However, you’re also delaying the joy and success individuals report once they experience the benefits of better hearing. Now is the time to take action to improve your overall health, reduce your frustration communicating, and minimize your risk for cognitive decline.
Let us Introduce You to Modern Hearing Aids
For many people, stigma and appearance are barriers to seeking treatment for hearing loss. Many people imagine others noticing their hearing aids, or worry about appearing damaged or broken. The reality is that social isolation creates far more problems than modern hearing aids that are barely detectable by the human eye!
We work with you, in person, to coach you through the maze of technology options, style benefits and limitations, and share the sleek, barely noticeable models now available. Once you try them, all your friends and family will notice is how upbeat and with-it you are rather than wondering why you don’t seem engaged in the conversation. We guarantee your hearing aids will be less noticeable than your hearing loss!
If you’re ready to examine your hearing or see what hearing aid solutions are available for you, contact us at 574-262-3277.
New Office Hours
Big news! We’ve extended our office hours to give you more options for convenient appointment times. We are available 5 days a week and primarily see patients by appointment to give you the attention you deserve.
Appointments are Available:
Monday- Thursday 8am-530pm
Friday 8am- noon.
We also have added new “walk-in” service times: Mondays and Thursdays from 10am-3pm. Services will be provided by Deb or Stefanie and include: assistance with hearing aid cleaning, batteries, review of hearing aid features and cell phone app connections.
Call 574-262-3277 to set up your next visit!