Signs of Hearing Loss
In private practice, the product is important. What is also important is the services and knowledge that goes into diagnosing, creating treatment plans, programming, and counseling from the Audiologist to ensure better patient outcomes. At Sioux Falls Audiology Associates, thorough patient education is our primary goal. Even if hearing loss has been troubling you for years, it’s never too late to receive experienced care. If you notice any of the following signs of hearing loss in yourself or in a loved one, contact Sioux Falls Audiology today, and we’ll help get you back on the path to better communication:
- Straining to hear what others are saying
- Difficulties hearing the television, and finding yourself turning up the volume
- Difficulties hearing when background noise is present
- Constantly asking people to repeat what they’ve said
- Feeling like others mumble when they speak to you
- Asking others to fill in the details of conversations because you can’t quite catch what is being said
- Missing phone calls or visitors because you didn’t hear the doorbell or telephone ring
- Notice without reading lips, conversation is difficult
- No longer noticing the sound of rain falling, blinker in the car, leaves rustling, dogs barking, traffic, etc
- Avoiding social engagements because you are not able to understand what your friends are saying
- Constant ringing or buzzing/humming in your ears, even in a quiet environment
If you experience SUDDEN hearing loss, PAIN, DRAINAGE or any other abnormality of the ear, it is necessary to make an appointment with an audiologist immediately. Explain your signs of hearing loss to our patient care coordinator and she will schedule you for an appointment on an emergency basis.
Hearing loss is a condition that sneaks up on most individuals. With more than 30 million Americans in need of hearing devices and trends showing that the number is growing exponentially, it is essential that individuals become aware of how hearing loss can affect them. Today’s view of healthcare has the goal of early diagnosis with the intention to either treat or change our behaviors to reroute the outcome. Most adults have their yearly physical and have a blood workup, women have mammograms, men have prostate exams and all individuals over 50 get their colonoscopies. How many of us get our adult hearing baseline or our cognitive health screened before we experience difficulties? Areas in cognition such as thinking, remembering, and learning are critical to keeping a healthy lifestyle well into our senior years. You may be wondering why an audiologist is talking about our brain function. The brain compensates for lack of simulation from even a mild hearing loss, and with that, there is an increase in our cognitive load. If there is hearing or even vision loss, then the brain is rerouting its energy to compensate. Sleep deprivation, depression, anxiety, unhealthy lifestyle, and diabetes are all health factors that affect our cognitive health. Since these, along with gradual eye and ear changes, are difficult to detect early on, it is important to have all the risk factors included with yearly checkups. There is a window of opportunity to intervene with treatment with your physician, neurologist, ophthalmologist, AND audiologist early to make sure you have the best brain health possible for you.
Our hearing tests include a detailed discussion of your current medical history. We take the time to determine how your symptoms are affecting your day to day life. A complete physical examination of your ear allows us to see if your ear canal is clear and healthy, or if there is an obstruction that’s causing your hearing loss. Using a series of audiometric tests, Dr. Norgaard uncovers which sounds you are able to clearly hear and what ranges of volumes or frequencies may present a challenge. She also assesses the type, source, and severity of your hearing loss.
We discuss all of our findings with you in an easy to comprehend manner, so you truly understand your own hearing loss. Dr. Norgaard prides herself on extensive patient education, and by the time your hearing test has concluded, you will be well-versed in your specific type of hearing loss and the best ways to treat it.
Risk factors of hearing loss:
- Malformation of outer, middle or inner ear structures
- Fluid in the middle ear
- Ear infection
- Poor Eustachian tube function
- Perforated eardrum
- Impacted earwax
- Exposure to loud noise
- Head trauma
- Virus or disease
- Autoimmune inner ear disease
- Aging (presbycusis)
- Some medications
What is Tinnitus?
Have you been experiencing ringing in your ears, even in a quiet room? You may have tinnitus. Tinnitus can cause low- or high-pitched ringing, or present itself as a whistling, buzzing, clicking, chirping, whooshing, hissing, cricket-like, etc. sound. It is a noise which only you can hear; it can be continuous or intermittent, vary in volume and occur in one or both ears.
Often, tinnitus is the result of a damaged cochlea, or inner ear, caused by extreme or cumulative noise exposure, injuries to the head/neck or ear infections. It may also be the first sign of hearing loss. Sometimes it can also be the result of an underlying medical condition and as such should be evaluated by an audiologist.
Tinnitus might seem harmless to someone who has no experience with it, but about 20% of the people who suffer from it find it irritating or debilitating. Tinnitus has been known to affect concentration and cause insomnia, anxiety or depression. While there is no cure for tinnitus at this time, it can be managed. We encourage you to contact us to set up an appointment to have your tinnitus addressed. We can help you develop coping skills to effectively manage the problem.
Pediatric Hearing Loss
Even though it’s essential to social, emotional, and cognitive development, hearing is often a sense that’s overlooked medically. Early identification and treatment of hearing loss in children can lessen the negative impacts it will have on a child’s development, giving them the opportunity to live up to their full potential socially and academically.
Growing up is quite the adventure, but with a hearing problem, it’s an adventure that’s hard to navigate no matter how courageous the spirit. Just ask Dr. Norgaard, she knows what it is like to grow up with hearing loss.
If you believe your child is showing signs of hearing loss, please contact us today. We can properly determine your child’s hearing ability, regardless of age, and determine if there is a hearing loss. As a family-centered practice, we encourage your entire family, as well as your pediatrician, to be involved in all aspects of this process.
Ear wax—also called cerumen—is a natural phenomenon that helps to protect our ear canals from debris. In the normal course of things, your ear wax naturally drains on its own. However, when your ear wax builds up, it can be uncomfortable and even painful, as well as cause difficulty with your hearing.
There are several signs you can look for if you are not sure that you need professional ear wax removal. Some key signs are:
- Recent onset of feeling like you are plugged up.
- Harder to hear things and needing to turn up the volume to hear properly.
- Noticing more wax buildup on your hearing aids.
- Recent ear pain that doesn’t go away.
If you are struggling with impacted ear wax or not sure your ears are occluded, contact us. Dr. Norgaard can professionally clean out your ears and give you specific advice on how to prevent future issues.
Hear. Better. Now.