3 Reasons to See an Audiologist
It might surprise you to know that, next to heart disease and arthritis, hearing loss is one of the top three most common physical problems in the U.S. At the same time, it can take up to seven years for those with gradual hearing loss to seek treatment from an audiologist. While part of that delay is just the average person’s natural tendency to avoid medical treatment, some of this waiting period is caused by a lack of information about when and why you should seek treatment from an audiologist. To help you understand more about what audiologists treat and the signs that point to the need for their care, here are three of the top reasons you should see an audiologist.
1. You haven’t had a hearing exam in over a year
Just as you might have your vision tested every year to check for eye conditions and fine-tune your glasses or contact prescription, it’s a good idea to have your hearing tested every few years even if you don’t show any obvious signs of hearing loss. The preventative care an audiologist can provide, as well as early detection of conditions that don’t have symptoms, can be crucial to keeping your hearing healthy for years to come.
2. You have a child whose behavior could be pointing to a hearing problem
Sadly, children are not immune to hearing disorders. Every two or three out of 1,000 infants are born with hearing loss, and many show signs of mild hearing loss in the developmental years. A common problem is that hearing disorders are often misdiagnosed as learning disabilities. The earlier hearing loss is detected and treated in a child, the better they’ll be able to develop good language skills and avoid getting behind in school.
If you have young children, learn the signs of hearing loss and watch carefully, even if you’re child participates in regular screenings. If learning problems or behavior with listening devices points to possible hearing loss, a full exam with an audiologist will provide a much more accurate diagnosis.
3. You have sudden or gradual hearing loss
Either sudden or gradual hearing loss need to be treated by an audiologist. Sudden hearing loss is more noticeable and usually caused by trauma or exposure to very loud sounds like gunshots or explosives. Gradual hearing loss, like the age-related hearing loss that happens over time, is often the hardest to detect and seek treatment for because you may not recognize it right away. A few of the most common signs are difficulty hearing women or children, struggling when background noise is present and turning up your personal devices beyond others’ comfort level.
If you can answer yes to any of these three, it’s time to see an audiologist.