In an effort to raise public awareness for the growing number of Americans suffering from hearing loss, May has been designated Better Hearing Month.
On average, most Americans consider hearing loss a condition that is simply associated with aging, and don’t know how to recognize the condition or who is qualified to diagnose and treat it. “Hearing loss can be caused by all kinds of things: loud noises, ear infections or disease, certain medications, and just normal aging,” explains Dr. J. Douglas Green, Jr.. founder of Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute. “It can affect patients of all ages—children, teens, adults, and the elderly.”
The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is a hearing evaluation by an audiologist. An audiologist is a highly educated and clinically experienced health-care professional who specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people with hearing loss and balance disorders. JHBI’s audiologists have areas of expertise that include, but are not limited to:
- Performing hearing evaluations
- Prescribing and fitting hearing aids
- Conducting cochlear implant programming and counseling
- Providing hearing rehabilitation training such as:
- Auditory training
- Speech reading
- Listening skills improvement
- Assistive listening device fitting and dispensing
You may need to see an audiologist if you have trouble hearing conversation in noisy environments, are unable to hear people talk without looking at them, or have constant ringing or pain in your ears. Although most hearing loss is permanent, an audiologist can determine the best treatment, which may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and hearing rehabilitation.