October signifies a change in season. The air is crisp, the leaves are changing and thoughts of the holidays are on our minds as pumpkins begin appearing on doorways. One thing you might not be thinking about is your hearing, but audiologists want to change that. October is officially designated as Audiology Awareness Month.
Audiology is the study of hearing and balance disorders. The goal of this national month-long observance is to raise awareness of audiology and the importance of hearing protection in preventing hearing loss.
An estimated 48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. Many view this condition as an inevitable part of aging, but in reality more than half of all patients are otherwise healthy adults under the age of 65. Regular hearing screenings are an invaluable tool in identifying problems early and taking steps to prevent further hearing damage before it is too late. We encourage you to heed the call and schedule an appointment for a hearing screening with our audiologist during the month of October. The good news is, even if hearing loss is detected, nearly all types are treatable by an audiologist.
Hearing loss can be caused by a wide range of factors. Common causes include noise exposure, trauma, diseases of the inner and middle ear, ear infections, excess earwax and certain medications. It can happen so gradually you may not be aware of a problem until it has progressed to an advanced stage. Signs and symptoms of hearing loss include difficulty understanding others when they speak, speech that sounds muffled or garbled, asking others to repeat themselves, the inability to understand speech over background noise, turning up the volume to levels that others find too loud and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Audiologists are licensed and certified professionals with advanced degrees in the hearing and balance sciences. They evaluate, diagnose and treat hearing and balance disorders in children and adults; prescribe, fit and dispense hearing devices; and provide hearing rehabilitation training and counseling to patients and their families. They also treat individuals of all ages with tinnitus and central auditory processing disorders, and are often involved in developing hearing conservation programs and newborn hearing screenings.
If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, take advantage of Audiology Awareness Month and schedule a hearing screening. Remember, just because you may not be aware of a loss in hearing ability does not mean you aren’t experiencing an impairment. With hearing loss linked to a number of social, emotional and physical disorders that can negatively affect your quality of life, it’s better to err on the side of caution and get your hearing tested.
Call (408) 540-7128 to receive a complimentary hearing screening* during the month of October!
*Hearing screening is not a substitute for a comprehensive diagnostic hearing evaluation.