There are many events in life that can trigger hearing and balance challenges. While many of us had our hearing tested when we were small, the hearing loss that often develops with age may creep up so slowly that we don’t realize it until we’re missing out on a lot of meaningful connections. To make sure that you’re picking up on all the sounds around you, schedule a consultation with a Lawrenceville, NJ audiologist (hearing doctor) to get your hearing tested.
How Can an Audiologist Help?
An audiologist is a primary healthcare professional who is licensed, trained, and registered. The audiologists within the Becker ENT group all have specialized training, which may include:
- Doctor of Audiology (AuD)
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
- Doctor of Science (ScD)
In addition to hearing loss, an ear doctor can also help patients to manage poor balance, tinnitus, and other conditions that crop up when there is a problem either in the ear or in the region of the brain that picks up signals from the ear.
Audiology Conditions to Consider
A common source of hearing loss is overexposure to loud noises, known as noise-induced hearing loss. The tiny hair cells inside the ear canal that pick up sound can be damaged by exposure to too much noise, and once damaged, they will not come back. Your audiology appointment can help to determine what range of hearing has been lost over time and the best way to work around the loss.
There are many medications that can have a negative impact on your ability to hear. Ototoxicity refers to chemical damage to the hearing organs. Therapies including chemotherapy and aminoglycoside antibiotics, both highly effective in treating cancer and severe bacterial infections, can damage your hearing or impact your balance over time. While undergoing these treatments, do your best to use hearing protection and stay hydrated.
Tinnitus, another common problem that involves a constant “ringing” or other repetitive sounds in the ears, is a frustrating condition that can lead to anxiety and insomnia if left untreated. Because the reasons that people hear these odd sounds, which range from beeping to static to crickets, can come from a wide variety of medical sources, the therapies for this condition are also widely varied. Getting a handle on your tinnitus is key to quality connection, rest, and relaxation; working with an audiologist can greatly improve your life.
Finally, many people struggle with chronic dizziness, or vertigo. To manage the problem, some people use anti-vertigo medications, but the risk of sleepiness makes these products difficult to use on a regular basis. Your audiologist can guide you through a program of vestibular rehabilitation. This therapy focuses on exercises and maneuvers to reduce the symptoms of dizziness and lower your risk of a fall.
Audiology Follow-Up and Maintenance
Healthy hearing and balance are critical to staying physically safe as you travel through the world. You can’t safely take a walk through your neighborhood if you can’t hear cars and you can’t safely climb stairs without stable balance.
If you’re on medications or undergoing therapy for a healthy balance, make time for your exercises and try to do them at the same time each day to allow your body to develop a centering habit. Often, dizziness and vertigo cause injuries because the world feels tilted or tipped. For others, the room will whirl. Your exercises will help you find a stable center to reduce the risk of a tumble until the dizziness calms down.
You may also be fitted for hearing aids if you are diagnosed with hearing loss. Hearing aids, like other medical devices, are tools that take some getting used to. Even if they help immediately, getting in the habit of caring for them and wearing them on a regular basis may take time. Schedule follow-ups with your audiologist to make sure that you’re getting the best benefit from your hearing aids.
Ideal Candidates for Audiological Care
For those with balance issues, connecting with an audiologist who can help you through vestibular rehab is critical. If you have a hard time standing without wobbling or walking in a straight line, or if you suffer from a sense of unexpected room-spin, it’s a clear signal that your ears need attention.
Tinnitus can start slowly. You may hear a static or slight crackling on one side only but eventually lose the ability to track conversations, listen to music or hear the television. This condition can quickly become more than a distraction, however, and can be an indication of something more serious. If you notice a constant level of noise from an unknown source, discuss your concerns with your physician and get an appointment with an audiologist.
Hearing loss over time can be very hard to notice. Do you have difficulty hearing conversations or often have to ask people to repeat things? Many people with progressive hearing loss get very good at lip reading over time without realizing it. An audiology appointment in Lawrenceville can help you get a clear understanding of what you’re missing.
Once you know you need to schedule an appointment with a hearing doctor, it’s best to make the call to our Lawrenceville office immediately. Again, hearing loss, balance problems, and tinnitus can be dangerous in your daily life.
These conditions can also lead to extreme isolation. If you can only hear half of any given conversation, you may choose to avoid talking to people. If tinnitus is making you tired or edgy, you may not have the patience to connect with family and friends. If vertigo flare-ups have you frightened of falling, you may not be comfortable leaving the house. Audiology professionals can truly give you your life back.
Why Choose Becker ENT?
In addition to the wonderful care you’ll receive from your Lawrenceville ear doctor, working with an audiology professional from the Becker ENT group can guarantee you collaborative care from other specialists if needed. Our audiologists can also put you in contact with an ENT or otolaryngologist should you need a surgical consult.
While your hearing doctor can also serve as your balance doctor, if you’re in need of surgical repair or reconstruction to the inside or outside of your ear, a consultation with an otolaryngologist will be required.
Within the Becker ENT Group, you will find professionals who can help you manage many health challenges that can impact your ears. Whether you struggle with a feeling of clogged ears from seasonal allergies or balance challenges from a hard blow to the ear, the Becker ENT staff likely has the skills to help you literally get back on your feet.
Hearing loss as we age is not an uncommon problem. If you have an older loved one who has to have their entertainment devices cranked up to hear them, the damage has probably been done. However, they may well benefit from a properly fitted pair of hearing aids after a consultation with a Lawrenceville hearing doctor.
There are many conditions that can cause vertigo, from dehydration to low blood sugar. Because a fall in the morning can affect your whole day, it’s a good idea to talk to your physician about the condition and what you can do to avoid a tumble, including an appointment with an ear doctor.
Tinnitus can quickly become debilitating and good quality sleep is critical to your mental and physical health. Schedule a consultation with a Lawrenceville ear doctor so you have a better idea of the cause of your tinnitus and a way to deal with the condition.
Schedule Your Consult
Hearing loss and dizziness can make even simple activities hazardous. Getting on top of your hearing loss will make you a safer pedestrian and a more focused driver. Contact the Becker ENT & Allergy team of audiologists for information on the best way to address your personal challenges.