Approximately 48 million Americans suffer from some type of hearing loss – that’s about 20 percent of the population. It’s one of the most common health concerns, affecting people of all age. Hearing loss can be hereditary or it can happen gradually with age. But you don’t have to let hearing loss slow you down! We’re glad you’re here, perhaps referred to our expert audiologist by your primary care physician or an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist.
Riverside Medical Clinic features top hearing health care professionals and state-of-the-art testing to get you on the path to better hearing. The first step will be to get to know you, your medical history and any concerns you may have. Genetics, your work environment, injuries, allergies, ear infections and ear wax can all contribute to the cause of your hearing loss. After that, we’ll set up a hearing test. It’s easy and totally painless. You’ll sit in a quiet room and wear headphones. Then your hearing care professional will ask you to listen to tones at different pitches and volumes. We might also use recorded or live speech in addition to pure tones (speech audiometry). To measure how well your eardrum is moving, we can test the acoustic reflexes of the middle ear muscles.
Early intervention is key. Children with hearing loss that goes undiagnosed may have difficulty learning. It can also lead to delayed speech development and emotional problems. The sooner a child gets help, the better. We can perform hearing tests designed specifically for children as young as 6 months. The tests are painless. For example, using child-size ear plugs, our OAE screening will record tiny sounds that the inner ear makes in response to clicks or chirps. The good news is that there has never been more hope for children with hearing loss. There are a variety of hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive listening devices and speech therapy treatments available.
There are many reasons that hearing loss may occur. Two of the most common types are age-related and noise-induced.
Age-related hearing loss occurs over time. The main symptom is difficulty understanding conversations, especially when there is background noise. You may feel as if other people are mumbling. Or you may find that others ask you to turn down the TV quite often.
Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by excessive exposure to loud noise – either from audio equipment such as headphones and concert speakers or work equipment (lawnmowers, leaf blowers, machinery). Even your choice of recreational activities (motorboats, snowmobiles or target practice) can put you at risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 10 million American adults have already suffered irreversible hearing damage from noise.
Approximately 30 million adults suffer from persistent tinnitus. This condition is part of noise-induced hearing loss. It’s often described as a constant buzzing, ringing or hissing sound. It can have a direct influence on your sleep, concentration and even your emotions.
For more information we have brochures available in our office and we recommend the following websites: