The statistics are shocking. More than half of the 36 million Americans with hearing loss are under the age of 65 – over four times the population of New York City.
Hearing loss is an increasing health concern that is often preventable. In response to the growing number of Americans experiencing hearing loss, the American Academy of Audiology established October as National Audiology Awareness Month.
“Hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud noises, ear infections, trauma, ear disease, harm to the inner ear and eardrum, illness or certain medications, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or deterioration due to the normal aging process,” explained Tricia Nechodom, AuD, PASC, a clinical audiologist with Trinity Health. The amount of noise Americans are exposed to today plays an important role in the recent increase of hearing loss across the nation. It is no longer just a health concern for seniors.
Taking time to see an audiologist for regular hearing screenings, as well as knowing the signs of hearing loss, can protect your hearing. National Audiology Month is a perfect time to make an appointment with an audiologist.
Signs of Hearing Loss
Have you stopped going to restaurants and social gatherings? Do you keep to yourself when in noisy environments? If you answered yes, you may have a hearing problem.
Some telling signs of hearing loss are:
- Trouble hearing conversation in a noisy environment such as restaurants
- Difficulty or inability to hear people talking to you without looking at them
- A constant pain or ringing in your ears
On average, most Americans don’t know how to recognize the first signs of hearing loss or which health professional is qualified to diagnose and treat the condition. If you think you may have a hearing loss,you should see an audiologist,a licensed and clinically experienced health-care professional who specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people with hearing loss and balance disorders.
The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is a hearing evaluation, which will determine the degree of hearing loss and what can be done. Although most hearing loss is permanent, an audiologist can determine th ebest treatment, which may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and hearing rehabilitation.
Trinity Health’s audiologists have a variety of specialties to include, but not limited to:
- Hearing evaluations
- Hearing aids and assistive listening devices
- Cochlear implant services
- Communication needs assessments with speech-in-noise testing
- Balance testing
Trinity Health Audiology includes: Kylie Harris, AuD, CCC-A; Jerrica Maxson, AuD, CCC-A; and Tricia Nechodom, AuD, PASC. They are based at Health Center – West, 101 3rdAve SW, Suite 203, Minot.
Please call 701-857-5986 for appointments or consultations. For more information, click here.