Are you having a hard time hearing? If so, you could be one of 48 million people in the U.S. affected by hearing loss. Hearing loss is quite common – in fact, it’s the third most common health problem in the U.S., the number one birth defect and the topmost reported work-related injury.

For people who suspect they have hearing loss, it is important to visit an audiologist. An audiologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and other balance related disorders, such as tinnitus. Audiologists are capable of examining, diagnosing the type and degree of hearing loss one has and providing solutions, such as hearing aids, to help the individual hear better.

Even though audiologists can help a person hear better and live a more enjoyable life, many individuals suffering from hearing loss don’t make an appointment for a check up. Often times, people are scared or anxious to visit an audiologist; other times, they simply don’t want to admit they have hearing loss. Consider visiting an audiologist if you are dealing with one of the following situations.

Annual check up

An annual check for your hearing health is just as important as the yearly physical that checks your overall health and wellbeing. However, unlike a physical, a hearing exam will provide a more complete evaluation of your auditory system’s health and wellbeing.

Excessive earwax

While earwax, also called cerumen, is normal, sometimes people’s bodies produce too much. What too much earwax is formed or the earwax fails to self-clean, it can become impacted. Impacted earwax can lead to many issues, including hearing loss.

Poor behavior in children

While the phrase “poor behavior” is somewhat subjective, it can be an indicator of hearing loss in a child. Childhood hearing loss can be difficult to detect. If you or a teacher suspects your child has hearing loss, it is vital to see an audiologist. Undetected hearing loss in children can lead to developmental issues and social isolation.

Tinnitus

If you hear a ringing, buzzing, whooshing or clicking in your ear or ears that is inaudible to others, you likely suffer from tinnitus. Tinnitus is a health condition that is usually caused by other health issues, such as hearing loss. The constant noise can be debilitating to one’s overall health and wellbeing; as such, it is important to visit an audiologist, as well as your primary care physician, to establish what is causing the tinnitus. If the culprit is hearing loss, an audiologist will prescribe hearing aids, which usually provides much-needed relief.

Audiologists are your partners in hearing care. Don’t put off scheduling an appointment any longer; start your journey to better hearing today!