Audiology

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All about cochlear implants

June 29, 2016
Cochlear implants may be the next step when hearing aids no longer help a person understand speech well. They also can be the first step for infants born with little or no hearing. But these implants are much different than hearing aids, and so is the process of determining whether someone is a good candidate for a cochlear implant.

Don't let loud noise damage your hearing

June 10, 2016

Loud noise. The lawnmower, the vacuum cleaner, your motorcycle. Loud noise is all around us, yet much of the time we are so used to it that we don’t give it much thought.  But at high levels, the force of sound vibrations can damage tiny cells inside our inner ear. Here’s how to protect your ears.

Newborn hearing screenings and early intervention

May 13, 2016
Some newborns pass their hearing screenings just fine but also have risk factors for developing hearing loss. 

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In these cases, it’s important for an infant to be seen by an audiologist for a diagnostic hearing evaluation. Catching a hearing problem in infancy could keep a child on track to reach important developmental milestones.

I’m having a hearing test. What should I expect?

February 24, 2016

As an audiologist, I spend a lot of time diagnosing hearing problems. Unfortunately, many of the people I see for hearing tests are worried first and foremost that they will be pressured to buy a hearing aid. That’s not the case.

What to expect from a vestibular balance assessment

August 14, 2015
Vestibular assessments, or balance assessments, are recommended for people who have dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, and other related symptoms, because the vestibular portion of the inner ear contributes largely to our ability to stay upright. Visual input, somatosensory input and the central nervous system also contribute to our balance. Vestibular assessments are usually done by an audiologist. Because several body systems contribute to our balance, a patient who has dizziness may also be evaluated via clinical exam with an otologist or neurotologist or with imaging and blood work.

Here’s what happens during a vestibular assessment or ‘balance test’ and how to prepare:

Sudden Hearing Loss: What You Need to Know

May 28, 2015

Sudden hearing loss is considered a medical emergency that annually affects about 4,000 people in the United States (Gianoli and Lee, 2001). Sudden hearing loss happens in a specific way: It generally affects only one ear and occurs within a period of 72 hours. It is frequently accompanied by tinnitus (ringing in the ear), vertigo, or a combination. The hearing loss may be partial or complete. 

What Hearing Aids are Right for Me?

April 29, 2015

If you have been identified with a hearing deficit and have been told you could benefit from amplification (hearing aids), you’re probably asking "how do I decide what is right for me?"

Move over Angry Birds and Words with Friends… make room for hearing apps!

March 20, 2015
Smartphone technology has led to an explosion of cell phone apps.  Originally created as games and entertaining diversions, hearing assistance technology is climbing on the app bandwagon with the creation of helpful apps to assist those with hearing loss. 

Many hearing assistance apps exist, ranging from traditional amplifiers and tinnitus maskers to devices designed to control hearing aids.

Health Consequences Associated With Untreated Hearing Loss

February 23, 2015
As research continues in the area of untreated hearing loss more and more findings show that it is not worth it to wait to do something about hearing deficits.  Current research is showing correlations between untreated hearing loss and dementia, depression, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as increased mortality.

A study published in the Archives of Neurology on February 14, 2011 found that hearing loss was associated with dementia (all causes).  They noted that the greater the hearing loss the more at risk a person was for dementia.  Additionally, they noted that for individuals in their study over the age of sixty, more than one-third of the subjects with risk of dementia had associated hearing loss.  One reason that may support these findings would be the exhausting of cognitive reserves; in other words more brain power goes into straining to listen for comprehension of speech than other cognitive processes, like working memory.

Another study ...

Heart health and hearing loss may be connected

February 18, 2015
Could hearing loss be an indicator for cardiovascular disease? February is American Heart Month so it is a perfect time to bring up this question. More and more research has been showing that there is a link between people’s cardiovascular health and their hearing. This is yet another important reason for middle-aged and older adults to get their hearing tested.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and it accounts for nearly 30% of all deaths worldwide. Fortunately, early intervention and identifying important risk factors for cardiovascular disease has decreased its incidence. Despite the medical advances in recent decades, there is still a need for more sensitive screening techniques to identify heart disease sooner.

This is where hearing testing could come in:
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