Assessing and Treating Hearing Loss
Maybe you already know you or a family member is dealing with hearing loss. Then again, it may be happening so gradually that you aren’t quite aware that it’s even an issue. Unlike many conditions, hearing loss is often difficult to detect in its early stages. By visiting your ENT, you can have your hearing properly assessed and treated. Even a slight hearing loss can have an impact on your daily life. Hearing loss is treatable. There is no reason for anyone to miss all of the important sounds in life.
Hearing loss often occurs slowly and has many causes, such as exposure to noise or aging. Since this type of hearing loss is entirely preventable, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) strongly advises people to use noise-canceling headphones or earplugs when they are in noisy environments or activities.
What is a Hearing Assessment?
If you have less than normal hearing or suspect hearing loss, a visit to a hearing specialist will help to determine the extent of hearing loss and provide a consultation for the best solution. Your Newton hearing doctor will conduct a complete scientific hearing evaluation to evaluate your hearing. Your results will be combined into a report known as an audiogram, which is a standard way of representing a person’s hearing loss. Most audiograms cover the limited range of sound, which is most important for a clear understanding of speech. Your audiogram results will be reviewed with you in detail to help you decide what options would deliver optimal results.
Who Should be Assessed for Hearing Loss?
People of any age can be screened for hearing loss. Newborn infants are now routinely screened before leaving the hospital and most preschoolers and school-age children are screened periodically at their schools or doctor’s offices. Hearing loss increases as a function of age. While more than 30% of people over the age of 65 have some type of hearing loss, 14% of those between 45 and 64 have hearing loss. For those between the ages of 18 and 44, close to 8 million have hearing loss. Adults should be screened at least every 10 years through age 50 and at 3-year intervals after.
Anytime you have a concern about your hearing or your child’s hearing, you should ask your doctor about getting a hearing screening. If you or your child fails the screening, your audiologist will provide a proper hearing assessment. The assessment will accurately diagnose your hearing loss and allow your ENT to provide the best treatment available.
Why Should I Get a Hearing Assessment?
Hearing loss can interfere with your quality of life, restricting your ability to interact with others, causing misunderstandings and fatigue, heightening stress and filtering out the myriad of sound experiences that give pleasure and meaning to life. It may be a natural part of the aging process, but few of us want to admit that we are growing older. Research shows that untreated hearing loss can:
- Increase stress, exacerbating other health issues, including anxiety and depression
- Reduce income, in some cases, by up to 20 percent
- Isolate individuals and keep them from enjoying friends, family, and other activities
Hearing loss is a medical condition that requires consultation, comprehensive testing, and treatment by qualified professionals. No matter the cause of your hearing loss, it is a serious condition that disconnects people from the world around them. Contact your ENT for an assessment, and take a step towards better hearing.
If you are having trouble hearing, schedule an appointment at Tan Head & Neck Clinic in Long Beach, CA by calling (562) 988-8818.