Feeling intimidated or nervous about visiting an audiologist is perfectly normal, but you’re in good hands. This guide to audiology and hearing loss treatment will help you understand what to expect when you begin your journey toward better hearing.
What Does an Audiologist Do?
An audiologist is a doctor who evaluates, treats, and manages auditory conditions like hearing loss and balance disorders. Most audiologists have a doctorate and must complete several months of clinical experience and be certified and licensed to practice. They can work out of hospitals, private practices, and clinics.
Audiologists can diagnose hearing and vestibular conditions, including:
- Sensorineural hearing loss
- Conductive hearing loss
- Noise-induced hearing loss
- Acoustic neuroma
- Autoimmune inner ear disease
- Vestibular neuritis
- Meniere’s disease
What Services Do Audiologists Offer?
Hearing testing: Audiologists are expertly trained to administer and evaluate hearing tests, such as basic comprehensive audiometry tests and otoacoustic emission testing. Hearing Associates provides thorough hearing evaluations that consist of several hearing evaluations to ensure our audiologists get a complete picture of your hearing health. We also have a free online hearing test you can take before scheduling your appointment.
Hearing aid services: Your type and degree of hearing loss may require hearing aids, cochlear implants and assistive listening devices. Your audiologist will recommend the best option based on your finances, lifestyle and cosmetic preferences. Hearing aid services include regular visits to ensure your devices fit comfortably and are programmed to address your specific hearing needs.
Aural rehabilitation: This service involves therapies to help you cope with hearing loss. Our aural rehabilitation classes educate you on communication best practices, relearning sounds and hearing aid care. Aural rehab is also open to family and friends interested in learning how to support you.
Custom hearing protection: An important part of hearing healthcare is protecting your remaining ability. Audiologists offer different hearing protection to suit your work and recreational activities. Hearing Associates sells musician earplugs, custom hearing protection, custom earbuds, digital hearing protection and swim molds.
Tinnitus treatment: There isn’t a cure for tinnitus, but there are treatment options to help you manage the ringing in your ears. Because tinnitus is usually a symptom of hearing loss, hearing aids are one of the best methods of treating your symptoms. Some devices even have tinnitus sound therapy programs to mask the noise.
Earwax removal: Excess earwax can affect your hearing, but you should never stick anything in your ears to get rid of it. Audiologists have the expertise and equipment to safely remove earwax.
Balance testing: Diagnostic testing identifies how your hearing loss can affect your balance. The audiologists at Hearing Associates administer videonystagmography testing, a non-invasive, four-part test used to determine the cause of your condition.
When Should I See an Audiologist?
Here are some signs it’s time to meet with an audiologist:
- You frequently ask people to speak up or repeat themselves.
- Others complain that you turn the TV or radio up too loud.
- Women’s and children’s voices are hard to hear.
- You struggle to hear conversations in places with lots of background noise.
- You avoid social situations because you can’t keep up with conversations.
- You’re 60 or older and haven’t had your hearing tested.
Other reasons to visit an audiologist include:
- Ear pain
- Frequent ear infections
- Head or neck trauma
- Excess earwax
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Come to Hearing Associates for Your Hearing Health Needs
It’s important to find an audiologist near you. Visit Hearing Associates if you’re looking for an audiologist in northern Iowa or southern Minnesota. You’ll find comprehensive hearing services provided by caring, friendly staff who want to get to know you as a person before you become a patient.
During your first appointment, you’ll complete a medical history review and physical ear exam before taking hearing tests. Our evaluations are non-invasive and will be completed at your pace to ensure you feel comfortable.