As an Audiologist at Fyzical Therapy and Balance Center, I will help diagnose vestibular disorders in patients that are experiencing dizziness or imbalance. Physical Therapists and Audiologists are working closely to help people address their symptoms. But, as an Audiologist, it is also our job to care for the entire auditory system, and so many of our patients that we see everyday have hearing loss as well as symptoms of imbalance and dizziness.
Research is revealing that up to 85% of people with hearing loss do not seek treatment, or wear hearing aids. Why is that? Well that is a loaded question, and I wish I could easily answer it, but I do know that there are consequences to not treating that hearing loss.
In 2014, John Hopkins released an article that revealed a direct link between hearing loss that is untreated and cognitive decline. The greater the hearing loss, the more likely that there will be cognitive decline or possible dementia.
How can that be? Well, first of all hearing loss is not painful, and will often progress over a long period of time. You will compensate and tell yourself that others are mumbling or not speaking loud enough when the reality is it’s your hearing that is the problem. You can ask people to repeat, or turn the TV up, but in difficult listening situations, you will sit back and slowly stop participating. You will then decide not to go into those difficult situations, and eventually isolate yourself from social situations all together. In order to avoid cognitive decline and dementia, you need to stimulate your brain.
The saying goes, “if you don’t use it you will lose it”. Never before has this been more real to people with hearing loss. As Audiologists, we work hard every day to better help solve this problem. Hearing aids get a bad wrap, your friends will tell you they are expensive and they don’t work in groups of people. But, after 28 years in this hearing healthcare industry, I have seen remarkable improvements. So many of the obstacles are gone. They are digitally able to produce incredibly natural sound quality. They adjust in groups of people. They no longer whistle, they are small and discreet, and with lower pricing is becoming available it allows better availability to more people.
An important part of treating hearing loss is your relationship with the person that fits that hearing aid. Audiologists are Clinical Doctors in the area hearing and vestibular disorders. Hearing aids can be easily fit to your hearing loss in about an hour, but that is only the beginning. What happens when you go home, and they are not exactly what you expected, or you are someone that is in a group of people all of the time? That is when your Audiologist will step in, and you will appreciate their years of education and experience. Those hearing aids are so flexible and can be changed to your liking in literally thousands of ways. Together you and your Audiologist will make the changes that are needed to make sure that you wear your hearing aids and you hear well.
At Fyzical, we will work hard to provide you with the treatments that you need for any of your auditory needs, whether it is vestibular or hearing. Let us help you Love Your Life! We are here to improve your quality of life through better hearing.
If you are concerned about hearing loss, we would be happy to evaluate you! Submit a form via FYZICAL First, and we will schedule you for a free assessment!
Dr. Grace Berry, AuD