Audiologists are health care professionals that evaluate hearing and how the ear functions. Most audiologists have trained for 8 years and achieved a Doctorate degree making them specialists in evaluating hearing disorders. When is the right time to see an audiologist?
Hearing is a vital sense that connects us to our outside world. We use our ears and hearing for communication with each other, for safety in locating sounds around us, and the balance portion helps us orient ourselves in space. Recent research studies have found that the brain actually changes and ages faster when we are not hearing as well due to a lack of consistent stimulation to the brain. Since hearing is such an important part of our lives and well-being, it is important to seek medical advice if there are any changes to our hearing and balance systems.
Hearing Issues to See Your Audiologist About
Some clues that your hearing might not be as acute as it used to be:
- – You find yourself asking “what” or “huh” more often
- – Your ears are ringing or buzzing
- – Background noise has become increasingly difficult, and you may even start avoiding them
- – You feel as though you can still hear people’s voices, but just not understand the words they are saying as well
- – Your ears have a sensation of fullness, or you feel as though you have pressure in your ears
- – You have drainage coming from your ears
- – You are more sensitive to loud sounds than you were before
Balance Issues to See Your Audiologist About
The ear is also responsible for helping us keep our balance and if this part of the ear experiences any disturbances, it can cause dizziness or balance related issues.
Some clues that your balance system might not be as acute as it used to be:
- – You experience vertigo, or dizziness
- – You feel as though you drift to one side when walking
- – Dizziness occurs with positional changes like turning your head or looking up to the sky or rolling over in bed
- – You experience a drunk-like feeling when not drunk
These are just a limited group of symptoms that can be related to changes in your ears, hearing, and balance system. Symptoms are even more alarming if they are isolated to one ear or one side. The above list would not be considered emergent items. If you experience a sudden change in hearing, you should seek medical help immediately as there is a critical window of 48 hours to seek treatment in these cases.
If you are experiencing any of the hearing or balance issues above, an audiologist is a great place to start to get more information. Audiologists are trained to make appropriate referrals if warranted. Most audiological testing is fast, covered by insurance, and easy to perform in a routine clinical environment. Call 651-888-7888 to arrange evaluation with one of our Doctors of Audiology today!