Hearing loss is the most common work-related injury, the number one birth defect in the US, and the third most common health problem. However, it can be difficult to tell when you need to visit an audiologist. This guide will help you understand when you should see a hearing health professional.
Sudden Hearing Loss
There are lots of ways sudden hearing loss can occur. Sometimes it’s as simple as sneezing, while other times there has been some sort of trauma to the ear. Even if there is no pain when the event occurs, that does not mean it is not an emergency. On the contrary, no matter what is going on, when you suddenly lose your hearing it is an emergency. Do not wait for the problem miraculously to heal itself. Instead, you need to seek the help of a professional immediately.
Tinnitus is a medical condition in which you hear a buzzing, ringing, or whistling in the ear. Sometimes it can sound more like a whine or a screeching sound. No matter what the actual sound, there is no corresponding action present to make the offensive noise. Over 20 million Americans suffer from some form of this medical condition. While it is not always sudden, it often is a persistent annoying sound, which is treatable with the help of a professional. Often it is a symptom of a bigger problem and treatment can help alleviate that problem. An audiologist may suggest you wear a hearing aid to combat the ringing, which may sound like the opposite of what you need. However, it does work.
A hearing healthcare professional is the only person who should remove excessive earwax buildup. The items on the market today can actually imbed the earwax further into your ear. Cotton swabs can also cause damage to the inner ear if you are not careful. It is important to understand, however, that earwax is a good thing. It keeps germs out, moistens the ear canal, and protects the very sensitive inner ear.
Just like your eyes, your ears need routine checkups. A yearly evaluation allows you to ensure you are hearing at your best. It also gives you an opportunity to catch problems before they become worse. While some hearing loss cannot be reversed, keeping the problem from getting worse is important. Your hearing healthcare provider can help you stall the degradation of your hearing and even give you tools to make it better.
Over time, you will probably notice that you do not hear as well. If you have any signs of loss, including the inability to hear female or child voices clearly, having problems hearing high-pitched sounds, or have a hard time understanding what someone says when you are in a crowd, it is time to see an audiologist. In addition, if you find that these things are keeping you from going places or you begin to feel isolated or depressed due to your inability to hear, you really should seek help.