What is an Audiologist?
An audiologist is a professional who diagnoses, treats, and manages individuals with hearing loss. Certified Audiologists have earned a Master’s or Doctoral degree from an accredited university graduate program, and hold certification through the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), as well as fellow status with the American Academy of Audiology. Their academic and clinical training provides the foundation for management for patients of all ages – from birth through adulthood.
Audiologists combine a complete history with a variety of specialized auditory assessments to determine appropriate treatment for their patients. Based upon the diagnosis, a variety of treatment options will be reviewed with patients who are experiencing hearing loss.
How Prevalent Is Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States. More than 31 million Americans have some type of hearing problem. Although hearing problems are commonly associated with the normal aging process, more than half of all hearing impaired persons are under the age of 65. Hearing difficulties are often unrecognized by the person involved and, as a result, most people wait seven to ten years before seeking help.
The good news is that there is help for persons with hearing loss, but the first step is to visit an audiologist who can evaluate your hearing and determine the type and degree of your hearing loss. Anyone experiencing difficulty hearing or balance problems should be tested, regardless of age.
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