Did you hear?

by Dr. Clint Keifer, FLT Columnist

May is Better Hearing Month and here are 5 important reasons to schedule your audiology check-up:

1.      Prevention and early detection of hearing loss: The beginning stages of hearing loss are difficult to recognize and the signs are often ignored. Early detection of hearing loss and potential causes (e.g., noise exposure, diabetes, ototoxic medications) can lead to counseling and treatment to help slow or prevent progression. Certain conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, significantly increase hearing loss risk making routine hearing checks more important.

2.      Identification of underlying medical conditions: Audiologists are uniquely trained to conduct diagnostic evaluations and are skilled at determining the need for referral and further medical consultation for potentially harmful underlying conditions.

3.      Obtain the highest quality comprehensive hearing services: A high school diploma or GED is the only educational requirement to obtain a hearing aid sales license. The focus on sales without quality health care is not in your best interests. Doctors of Audiology (Au.D.) have attained specialized education and clinical training to provide comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, and management for ear and hearing disorders. When hearing aids are recommended, audiologists ensure proper selection and prescriptive fitting as part of the rehabilitative process to ensure you achieve maximal benefit.

4.      Improve and extend quality of life: Untreated hearing loss is linked to depression, anxiety, social withdrawal/rejection, decreased job performance and earning power, and even increased risk of developing dementia. Treating hearing loss helps keep you socially and environmentally connected, improving your overall health and quality of life.

5.      Set a positive example for friends and family: People often neglect their hearing or are misinformed about what can help. Your positive influence can motivate others to seek out the beneficial audiology services they need.

Did you know? The vast majority (80-90 percent) of people with hearing problems need only audiology services for proper diagnosis and successful treatment. [Zapala, D., et. al. (2010). Safety of Audiology Direct Access for Medicare Patients Complaining of Impaired Hearing. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 21(6), 365-379]

Take care of your ears by scheduling a visit with your audiologist!

Dr. Clint Keifer is the owner of Great Lakes Audiology in Toledo. You can contact him at 419 327-2273; email at ckeifer@glaudiology.com; or visit http://www.GLAudiology.com.