How Audiologists Can Help with Age-Related Hearing Loss
An Audiologist is a medical expert who can evaluate, diagnose, and treat hearing issues. Audiologists are experienced at screening patients for hearing disorders and recommending appropriate treatments to address the cause and severity of symptoms.
Age-related hearing loss happens gradually over time. Early intervention is important to identify and address the cause, prevent further deterioration (if possible), and improve your quality of life.
If you or someone you love is experiencing increased hearing loss, it’s important to see an Audiologist for an evaluation.
At what age does hearing loss start?
Many people don’t recognize progressive hearing loss because it can happen so gradually over time. One in three adults over the age of 65 suffer from some degree of hearing loss, but the age at which onset occurs can vary depending on the cause.
It’s important to be aware of common signs and symptoms of age-related hearing loss so you can address concerning issues as early as possible.
Signs and Symptoms of Age-related Hearing Loss
Some common signs and symptoms of hearing loss include:
- difficulty hearing voices over the phone
- ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus
- trouble hearing due to background noise
- sensitivity to loud noises
- muffled hearing that makes you think others are mumbling
- inability to follow a conversation with two or more people
- continually turning up the volume on the TV or phone, louder than normal
- general changes in sound perception
These symptoms can be confusing and frustrating for the person experiencing them. Hearing loss may also contribute to decreased social activity which can affect mental health and self-esteem.
If you recognize some of the symptoms mentioned above, ask your healthcare provider for a referral to a WWMG Audiologist for further evaluation and diagnosis, and ongoing support.
Causes and Diagnosis of Age-related Hearing Loss
As mentioned above, age-related hearing loss (known as presbycusis) occurs gradually over time. Often the diminished hearing loss is experienced equally in both ears. If you have a family history of hearing loss, onset can be hereditary.
Health conditions that may exacerbate age-related factors of hearing loss include high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or changes within the inner ear and along the nerve pathways to the brain.
Sometimes auditory impairment is the side effect of a medication or a combination of medications, or environmental factors such as prolonged exposure to loud noises (for example, concerts or machinery).
In some cases, hearing loss requires further medical or surgical management. Our Audiology team works closely with our Ear, Nose & Throat department to ensure appropriate patient care for all types of hearing loss.
If you have concerns about your hearing, an Audiologist can help identify the problem and the specific cause, then recommend appropriate treatment options.
What does an Audiologist do?
Audiologists are medical experts who prevent, diagnose, and treat hearing problems. They can screen for hearing disorders, conduct necessary tests to diagnose the root of your hearing loss, and advise on hearing aids, apps, assistive technology, or referrals to other specialists if needed.
Not all patients with hearing problems need hearing aids. Multiple interventions are available depending on the cause and severity of your symptoms. The Audiologist can recommend a customized treatment plan with the ultimate goal of improving your quality of life.
When should I see an Audiologist?
If you hear a ringing in your ears, are having sudden issues with balance, need to frequently turn the volume up on your phone, radio or television, or are having difficulty understanding and communicating with others, consult with an Audiologist to determine the cause of these changes.
In addition to addressing age-related factors, the provider can recommend treatment methods and preventative measures to slow the progression of your hearing loss.
Treatments Used by an Audiologist
WWMG Audiology follows a medical model for diagnosis. We follow the most current research in the industry and do more than just standard screenings before developing a treatment plan for your individual needs.
Types of treatment recommended by an Audiologist:
- If hearing tests are normal, no significant intervention may be recommended.
- For a range of hearing loss, hearing aids, apps, or assistive devices may be recommended or prescribed.
- For more progressive cases, or when the cause is structural, medical or surgical intervention may be necessary.
Concerned about possible hearing loss?
At WWMG’s Audiology department, you’ll receive a comprehensive hearing evaluation that takes into consideration your health history, current symptoms and concerns. Our Audiologist will assess and diagnose the cause of your hearing loss, and recommend the best treatment options to improve your hearing and quality of life.
Concerned about age-related hearing loss? Request an evaluation with WWMG’s Audiologist today. For more general inquiries contact us here. We look forward to supporting you in lifelong health.