While many individuals think hearing loss is tied to age, the fact is many people of all ages suffer from hearing loss. In fact, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports that approximately 15 percent of American adults — 37.5 million — age 18 and older report some trouble hearing.
Moreover, one in eight Americans 12 and older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing tests. The likelihood of the condition does increase with age, however; the NIDCD states that nearly 25 percent of Americans ages 65-74 and 50 percent of Americans 75 and older have disabling hearing loss.
Because hearing loss is so widespread among the population, audiologists are essential in examining, diagnosing and treating individuals. Unlike a primary care physician, an audiologist has gone through extensive specialized schooling and training to understand the auditory system. In fact, audiologists have graduate-level degrees and continuing education requirements, making them the top experts in their field. As such, audiologists are equipped to determine what type of hearing loss an individual has and, more importantly, how to treat it.
What does an audiologist do?
A visit to an audiologist is an important step in the life of someone who thinks they suffer from hearing loss. During the initial appointment, an audiologist will collect a patient’s hearing history, overall health record and talk with the patient to better understand what daily life is like with the perceived hearing loss. Next, the audiologist will perform hearing tests. These hearing evaluations are completely painless, but can be extensive and lengthy in time. From those tests, the audiologist will obtain a wealth of information that enables them to diagnose the type of hearing loss an individual has. The diagnosis will then allow the audiologist to provide treatment solutions, such as hearing aids or other assistive listening devices.
It is important to an audiologist that a patient gains the most benefit from the therapeutic solutions. As such, audiologists provide ample follow-up care and support, ensuring a patient understands how hearing aids work, how to care for the devices and what to do if repair or maintenance is needed.
To schedule your consultation with one of our audiologists please call us at (651) 770-1363.