When Should You Visit an Audiologist?

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If you experience any symptoms of diminished hearing ability or ear-related issues like dizziness or ear pain, it is important to see an audiologist. An audiologist is a hearing healthcare professional who can evaluate your hearing, diagnose specific problems, and recommend solutions. Getting your hearing tested regularly and addressing problems early is key to preserving your hearing health.

Difficulty Hearing Conversations

If you frequently ask others to repeat themselves or need to turn up the TV volume louder than those around you, it could indicate hearing trouble. We often don’t notice a gradual hearing decline in our own ears, while friends and family can hear the difference. If loved ones comment on your inability to hear them, pay attention. See an audiologist to determine whether hearing aids could help. The price of hearing aids may deter you, but it shouldn’t. There is no price you can put on your hearing. 

Tinnitus

Tinnitus involves ringing, buzzing, roaring, or clicking sounds in the ears. It can be intermittent or constant. An audiologist will evaluate the symptoms to identify any underlying condition and provide tinnitus management options.

Ear Pain

Ear pain when there is no infection present can signal health issues requiring medical intervention. Continuous discomfort should not be ignored. An audiologist can inspect the ear canal and eardrum for abnormalities. Possible problems like bone growths, cholesteatoma, or eustachian tube dysfunction will be discovered and addressed.

Ear Drainage

Fluid draining from the ears warrants prompt audiological attention. It may result from a perforated eardrum, ear infection, or other condition requiring treatment. Left unchecked, drainage can lead to conductive hearing loss. An audiologist will examine the ears and recommend solutions.

Dizziness/Balance Problems  

Dizziness often coincides with inner ear troubles. An audiologist will perform tests to determine whether you have an inner ear disorder affecting equilibrium. If hearing loss is also present, correcting it may improve symptoms. Custom vestibular therapy can also help resolve imbalance issues.

History of Ear Problems

Those with a history of recurrent ear infections, ear tubes as a child, or ear trauma have an increased risk for hearing loss. Routine audiological checkups enable early detection and treatment. An audiologist will monitor ear function to help preserve the remaining hearing. Be sure to disclose any prior ear conditions.

Hazardous Noise Exposure

Prolonged loud noise from machinery, concerts, hunting, etc. damages inner ear structures. Audiologists recommend protective earwear in noisy environments. They can monitor hearing ability in those exposed to ensure noise-induced hearing loss is caught early. Noise-blocking or limiting devices may also help.

Cognitive Problems 

Hearing loss can mimic dementia, as it worsens communication ability. Cognitive screening is part of a comprehensive audiology exam, especially for seniors. Addressing hearing deficits will improve cognitive function. The audiologist will determine if hearing aids, cochlear implants, or other interventions are warranted.

Family History 

Since many hearing disorders have a genetic basis, a family history raises risk. Audiologists recommend more frequent surveillance for these patients, often beginning in childhood. Periodic evaluation can facilitate quick response to any problems detected down the road.

Speech/Language Delay

Hearing difficulty might affect speech and language development in infants and toddlers. Pediatric audiologists are specially trained to assess hearing in babies and young children. Early identification of hearing impairment enables timely treatment through hearing aids or cochlear implants to foster normal development.

With technology like digital hearing aids advancing all the time, there are more options than ever to correct hearing impairments. Don’t neglect your hearing. Schedule a hearing assessment so you don’t miss out on all the sounds of life.