A variety of negative mental and physical health conditions and a reduced quality of life are among the untreated hearing loss problems.

The impact of hearing loss on your overall health and that of your family decreases with a professional audiologist’s hearing care.

As we celebrate National Audiology Awareness Month, we want to help residents of Camarillo and nearby communities understand why an audiologist is a right choice for your hearing healthcare.

What is Audiology?

In the simplest terms, audiology is the study of hearing but includes other areas related to the study and treatment of your ears’ issues. Along with hearing problems, audiologists also diagnose and treat individuals suffering from balance disorders.

Interest in how humans process sound dates back to the 4th century BC. The development of modern audiology arrived in the late 1940s as scientists worked on treating service members with noise-induced hearing loss after WWII.

Doctors of audiology were first licensed in the late 1970s, and the field of audiology has steadily expanded in the decades since.

What is an Audiologist, and How Can One Help You?

Doctors who practice audiology receive their licenses from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or the American Board of Audiologists.

Doctors of audiology or audiologists are healthcare professionals involved in evaluating a person’s ability to hear sounds along with treating ear-related disorders.

Common healthcare concerns treated by audiologists include:

  • Language learning and speech issues
  • Anatomy of the ear and auditory nerves as well as sound processing by the brain
  • Causes of hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders
  • Aural rehabilitation for the hearing impaired (lip reading, sign language, etc.)
  • Hearing instruments and technology for correcting or preventing hearing loss

An appointment with an audiologist includes a hearing assessment designed to detect the type and severity of hearing loss, additional health issues related to the problem, and occupational or lifestyle activities that pose an increased risk for future hearing problems.

Why Is It Important to Partner With an Audiologist for Hearing Care?

Similar to an audiologist, an otolaryngologist or ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to the ears, nose, and throat.

ENT doctors tend to enjoy a reciprocal relationship with audiologists for consultation purposes, but ENT doctors do not usually work with hearing aid technology. To the other extreme, hearing aid specialists focus on using hearing aids and hearing technology to fix all hearing-related issues regardless of the cause.

Although they are state certified to conduct testing and hearing aid fitting, they are not doctors with the capacity to evaluate additional health issues related to your hearing.

Due to the increasing capacity for individuals to test, self-diagnose, and purchase hearing instruments online, most do further damage to their hearing or spend money on devices that do not provide the best solution for their condition.

These individuals miss out on the proper diagnosis, treatment, and best practices designed for their specific type and severity of hearing loss. Also, hearing loss or a hearing impairment often covers up more serious medical issues, which are left entirely undetected without a proper hearing assessment by a licensed audiologist.

Partner with West Coast Hearing and Balance Centers for Top-Level Hearing Care

The mental and physical health problems and a reduced capacity to live an independent and rewarding lifestyle can be prevented.

Early detection and treatment of hearing loss by a doctor whose primary focus is on your ears are your best bet for ensuring ongoing hearing health.

By partnering with the team at West Coast Hearing and Balance Centers, you will receive proper diagnostic testing designed to identify the source, type, and severity of your hearing loss as well as treatment customized to fit your specific condition.

If you or a loved one in Ojai or one of the nearby communities is struggling to hear well, contact us at the location nearest you for a hearing assessment, which includes proper protocols to protect the health and safety of you, other patients, and our staff.

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Lance Nelson, AuD, CCC-A

Dr. Lance Nelson graduated with his AuD from Purdue University in 2010. He worked at Spokane ENT Associates, Lafayette ENT Associates, and at the Lafayette Otolaryngology Associates. Dr. Nelson is experienced in working with infants, children, and adults is Board Certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a Fellow of the California Academy of Audiology. His research on Digital Noise Reduction was published in 2009. He is fluent in Spanish. His hobbies are ocean sports, running, and music.