When Should You See an Audiologist?
When it comes to all issues with hearing, balance and the ears, the audiologist is the comprehensive source of information and treatment that you need. But when, exactly, should you make an appointment with them? Here, we’re going to look at when it’s time to see your audiologist.
You’re concerned about hearing loss
The most common concern an audiologist helps with is hearing loss. If you notice your hearing has changed or symptoms such as finding it hard to understand people when they’re speaking or having to turn the volume on your TV up higher and higher, you may need a hearing test. Audiologists learn more about your medical history and your lifestyle, as well as using visual examinations of the outer ear to understand the risks to your hearing and potential physical causes of hearing loss. A more in-depth hearing examination then records the full spectrum of your hearing to see if you’re suffering from hearing loss, which they can recommend treatment for, such as the fitting of hearing aids.
You think you might have an earwax problem
Sudden experiences of hearing loss or muffled hearing, when combined with a “full” feeling in your ear is an indication that you might have a problem with earwax. Not only is it unpleasant, but it can also lead to an ear infection if left untreated. All methods of cleaning earwax at home have associated risks. Certain methods such as candling or using cotton buds are particularly dangerous and can hurt your ear severely. Audiologists are qualified to see if you have an earwax blockage and to use sophisticated tools to safely and effectively remove the earwax.
It’s been a while since your last check-up
Everyone needs a routine checkup for their hearing. However, many adults haven’t had one since they were in grade school. Adults over the age of 21 should have their hearing checked to make sure it hasn’t changed and should make it a part of their annual physical every three to five years. If you’re over 65, you should have an annual hearing exam, as our hearing tends to become more vulnerable as we age. A hearing exam can address any loss and find the right treatment for it.
You have any other hearing or balance issues
Although hearing loss and earwax are the two concerns audiologists help with most frequently, they are hearing and balance specialists equipped to diagnose and treat a wide variety of concerns. This includes tinnitus, which is the experience of unexplained sounds that no-one else hears, which is a condition that can affect not only your hearing but mental health. Similarly, vertigo is a symptom of spinning or imbalance that can be related to a whole host of different inner-ear conditions, many of which the audiologist can help you treat. For any trouble with hearing and balance, your audiologist is your best ally.
Whether any of the examples above apply to you or you simply want to get a better understanding of your hearing and balance health, make an appointment with your audiologist today.