Hearing and balance problems are often interrelated conditions. Part of the inner ear interacts with other body systems like the eyes, nervous system, muscles and joints of the body to process hearing and maintain balance.
Approximately 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss and an estimated 50 million Americans experience tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Hearing loss is in the third most reported health concerns plaguing the U.S. following arthritis and heart disease. It can affect people of all ages and cause social and emotional concerns for the people who have hearing loss. Hearing loss is largely affected by age and noise exposure.
To find out if you are experiencing hearing loss, take our 3-minute, online hearing screener and get started to your journey to better hearing health.
Hearing loss is generally a prInsert shoebox audiologyogressive condition that worsens over time. Symptoms typically appear gradually and may take the person some time to notice the affliction. Once hearing loss is suspected it takes a person with hearing loss an average of 7 years to seek medical help. Family members and friends are often the first to notice a hearing problem.
Any of the following might indicate hearing loss:
- Frequently asking people to repeat what they have said.
- Thinking that others mumble.
- Having difficulty following conversation especially when background noise is present.
- Turning up the volume.
- Ringing or noise in your ears.
Treatment for hearing loss is most effective when started early. If you suspect you have hearing loss or suffer from diminished hearing, please call 321-632-6900 to schedule an appointment with one of our audiologists.
Problems within the vestibular (ear) system can causes balance problems, which affect over 2 million people each year. A balance disorder is a complex condition that causes feelings of unsteadiness, wooziness and sensations of spinning, moving or floating. Some of the most common balance disorders include:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo – feelings of vertigo after specific position changes of the head
- Labyrinthitis – dizziness and loss of balance caused by an infection or inflammation of the inner ear
- Meniere’s disease – vertigo, hearing loss and ringing in the ears caused by an inner ear fluid imbalance
- Vestibular neuronitis – vestibular nerve infection
Treatment for balance disorders involves treating the underlying cause of the condition, for example, balance training exercises, lifestyle changes, physical therpy and medications can help relieve symptoms. Surgery may be recommended for patients whose symptoms cannot be controlled by more conservative methods. Managing these complex conditions requires staying informed and working together with your doctor in order to receive effective treatment.
If you are experiencing dizziness, please contact our office and 321-632-6900 to make an appointment with one of our medical providers.
What is an Audiologist?
Audiologist are health care providers who identify, address and manage disorders of hearing and tinnitus. Audiologist can assist in diagnosing hearing and balance disorders in all age ranges from infants to older adults.
Duties of an audiologist include:
- Fittin and dispensing hearing aids and other listening devices.
- Prevent hearing loss by educating and providing properly fitting hearing protection.
- Assessing and treating vestibular/balance problems.
- As well as much more.
Audiologists must have at least a master’s degree in Audiology from an accredited university but many audiologists today have a Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.). Audiologists must complete fellowship and externships and must pass clinical boards to receive licensing and accreditation. Audiologists must hold a state license in the state they practice, and many audiologists achieve certifications through national organizations such as American Audiology Association (AAA) and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) as well as other state organizations.
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America, H. L. (2018, May). Hearing Loss Facts and Staticstics . Retrieved from Hearing Loss Assocaition of America: https://www.hearingloss.org/wp-content/uploads/HLAA_HearingLoss_Facts_Statistics.pdf?pdf=FactStats#:~:text=Approximately%2048%20million%20Americans%20have%20some%20degree%20of%20hearing%20loss.
Organization, W. H. (2021, April 1). Deafness and hearing loss. Retrieved from World Health Organizaiton : https://www.who.int/news-room/...