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Hearing Resources

Useful Links

Aging Information Center
Alexander Graham Bell Association
American Tinnitus Association
HealthyHearing.com
Hearing Aid Tax Credit
Independent Living
The American Academy of Audiology
The Better Hearing Institute
The National Institute on Deafness & Other Communication Disorders


What is an Audiologist?

Audiologists:
• prescribe and fit hearing aids
• assist in cochlear implant programs
• perform ear- or hearing-related surgical monitoring
• design and implement hearing conservation programs and newborn hearing screening programs
• provide hearing rehabilitation training such as
• auditory training
• speech reading
• listening skills improvement


Tinnitus

Tinnitus (ringing in your ears) refers to the perception of sound in the ear when no external sound is present.

There are two broad types of tinnitus:
1. Middle-ear tinnitus is produced in the middle ear behind your eardrum.
2. Sensorineural tinnitus is produced in the inner ear and possibly in your nervous system.

Tinnitus is often accompanied by hearing loss. Middle-ear tinnitus is rare and results from hearing your muscles twitch or hearing the sound of blood vessels. Middle-ear tinnitus may be medically or surgically treated. Sensorineural tinnitus has no proven medical or surgical therapy.

Tinnitus has many possible sources including noise exposure, the natural aging process, medications, head injury, ear diseases (such as Ménière’s disease), allergies, and certain autoimmune, neurologic and psychiatric disorders. For many, the underlying cause of tinnitus is unknown.

There is no known cure for tinnitus. However, research studies are being conducted to find a cure for tinnitus. Based on controlled research studies, there are no medications or dietary supplements that have been shown to effectively or consistently treat tinnitus. Hearing aids may help tinnitus three ways:

1. By improving your hearing and reducing stress from having to listen very carefully.

2. By amplifying background sound (which can help partially mask the tinnitus).

3. By stimulating your hearing nerves.


A Discussion of Dizziness

Dizziness is a term people use to describe a variety of sensations. Symptoms such as vertigo, disequilibrium, lightheadedness, and spatial disorientation can all be described as dizziness.

However, each symptom and their description offer unique insight into the problem as well as the possible cause.

Before treating your dizziness, it is important to determine the cause of your dizziness.

It is often best to contact your family physician and describe your symptoms to him or her. Your description may include how long the symptoms last, as well as movements, positions, situations, or times that seem to cause the symptoms to start, or to make them worse.

Pay attention to new or associated symptoms that occur around the same time as the dizziness such as headache, ringing in the ear(s), changes in hearing, pressure in the ears, or increased sensitivity to light or sound.

The majority of dizziness complaints are the result of inner ear (vestibular) disorders. Typical complaints of vestibular disorders include vertigo, nausea, unsteadiness, and visual blurring with head movement. Vascular (blood flow) disorders such as blood pressure changes are another common cause of dizziness.

Typical symptoms of vascular disorders causing dizziness include feeling faint or lightheaded and transient loss of balance, often made better by lying down and sometimes made worse by standing quickly.

Some causes of dizziness resolve on their own, and others can be easily treated. For example, the most common cause of dizziness is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

BPPV can often be effectively treated in one office visit. There are many sensitive tests and effective treatments for most causes of dizziness. Find an Audiologist


Hearing and Hearing Loss

As of 2009, there are some 315 million people in the United States. Of those, it is estimated about 36 million have hearing loss. Although hearing loss is often associated with aging, hearing loss is clearly present in newborns, children, teenagers, young adults and adults.

Healthy human ears can perceive an enormous range of sounds in terms of pitch and loudness. Hearing is the primary sense through which we learn speech and language.

The ability to hear clearly from birth is extremely important with regard to normal development of speech and language skills, auditory processing skills, a sense of self, as well as normal emotional and psychological well-being and more.


Common Causes of Hearing Loss

As we age, our ears are exposed to a lifetime of noises such as lawnmowers, telephones, industrial machinery, leaf blowers, chain saws, industrial noise, hair dryers, weapons, and recorded and live music.

Many of these sounds occur at loud and potentially injurious levels.

Although some people are born with hearing loss, most acquire hearing loss later in life.

Causes for acquired hearing loss include a genetic predisposition, ear disease, noise exposure (including music, industrial, military and more), ototoxic medicines, head trauma, and others.