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An Audiologist Is… . An audiologist is a state licensed health-care professional who holds either a doctoral degree or a master’s degree in audiology from an accredited university. Audiologists perform any of the following functions: prescribe and fit hearing aids

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an audiologist is
An Audiologist Is…

An audiologist is a state licensed health-care professional who holds either a doctoral degree or a master’s degree in audiology from an accredited university.

Audiologists perform any of the following functions:

prescribe and fit hearing aids

assist in cochlear implant programs

perform ear or hearing-related surgical monitoring

design and implement hearing conservation programs and newborn hearing screening programs

provide hearing rehabilitation training such as

auditory training

speech reading

listening skills improvement

over 36 million americans suffer from hearing loss

Over 36 million Americans Suffer from Hearing Loss!

That is over 4 times

the amount of people living in New York City!

Over 18 million are under the age of 65

how we hear outer ear

How We Hear: Outer Ear

The outermost part of the ear is called the pinna. The pinna acts like a funnel directing sound waves into the ear canal.

The sound waves then travel through the ear canal to the ear drum.

The sound waves vibrate the ear drum and the vibrations are transmitted to the middle ear.

how we hear middle ear

How We Hear: Middle Ear

The middle ear is made up of the hammer, anvil, and stirrup bones.

These three bones are the smallest in the body and are collectively known as the ossicles.

The ossicles amplify and transfer the sound vibrations from the ear drum to the inner ear.

stirrup

anvil

hammer

how we hear inner ear

How We Hear: Inner Ear

The inner ear is made up of the

semicircular canals and the

cochlea.

Each part of the inner ear is very different in form and function to the human body.

semicircular canals

cochlea

inner ear semicircular canals

Inner Ear: Semicircular Canals

The semicircular canals are the portion of the ear that helps detect movement and maintain balance.

The semicircular canals are filled with fluid, and as we move, it is that fluid that allows us to detect the

movement and maintain our balance.

semicircular canals

inner ear the cochlea

Inner Ear: The Cochlea

The cochlea houses the organ of Corti.

As sound vibrations move

through the cochlea, they vibrate the microscopic hair cells found within the organ of Corti.

The vibrations of these hair cells trigger the electrical impulses sent to the brain from the auditory nerve, allowing us to hear.

auditory nerve

cochlea

From David J. Lim. Functional Structure of the Organ of Corti: A Review. Hearing Research, 22 (1986) 117-146 Elsevier

types of hearing loss

Types of Hearing Loss

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss

Mixed Hearing Loss

The safest way to determine if you have a hearing loss is to visit your audiologist for a hearing evaluation. An audiologist can then work with you to determine the best treatment option for your hearing loss.

sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural Hearing Loss:

Is permanent and sometimes preventable.

Is the most common form of hearing loss.

Can affect people of all ages.

A high frequency hearing loss, of this type can indicate aging and/or noise exposure (Noise-Induced Hearing Loss).

Does not have any medical or surgical treatment options, in most cases.

Hearing aids are the primary treatment (an audiologist should be your primary healthcare provider for testing and fitting hearing aids).

A cochlear implant may be considered for patients with severe or profound cases of this form of hearing loss.

sensorineural hearing loss11

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the microscopic hair cells within the organ of Corti are damaged.

Once the hair cells are damaged, they do not regenerate.

From David J. Lim. Functional Structure of the Organ of Corti: A Review. Hearing Research, 22 (1986) 117-146 Elsevier

do you have sensorineural hearing loss
Do You haveSensorineural Hearing Loss?

High-frequency hearing loss may be difficult to

“self-diagnose” because it occurs slowly over time.

People with this form of hearing loss often can still

hear, but they cannot hear clearly.

  • KNOW THE SIGNS:
  • Trouble hearing conversation in a noisy environment such as
  • restaurants.
  • Difficulty or inability to hear people talking to you without looking at
  • them.
  • A constant buzzing or ringing in your ears (tinnitus).
tinnitus

Tinnitus

  • Is an internal sound often accompanying hearing loss that is often described as a:
      • Ringing, buzzing, hissing, crickets, roaring, shower-like noise, ‘shhhh’ sound, or humming.
  • It can be constant or intermittent.
  • Many people who suffer from tinnitus report that it is bothersome and say that it causes a decrease in quality of life. 
conductive hearing loss
Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive losses occur when

sound waves are prevented

from reaching the inner ear.

Possible Causes:

Blockage in the ear canal from:

A foreign object.

Ear wax (cerumen) build-up.

Fluid occupying the middle ear space (often due to ear infections, otitis media)

Poor movement of the ossicles resulting from:

Otosclerosis.

Trauma separating the ossicles from one another

Atresia or Stenosis

A condition where people are born with very small ear canals or a malformed/absent pinna and ear canal. 

mixed hearing loss

Mixed Hearing Loss

Hearing loss that involves both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss components.

degrees of hearing loss

Degrees of Hearing Loss

Audiologists use general terms to characterize the degree of hearing loss.

Normal

Mild

Moderate

Severe

Profound

The category of hearing loss represents the softest level of sound (decibels) you can hear at different pitches.

the hearing evaluation

The Hearing Evaluation

Audiologists perform a hearing evaluation to determine the type and severity of the hearing problem.

There are three parts to a hearing evaluation:

Review of your medical and hearing history.

Visual examination of the eardrums and ear canals.

Testing the hearing.

the hearing test

The Hearing Test

An audiologist will place you in a sound booth to test your hearing at different pitches (frequency) and decibel levels.

You will be asked to listen to a series of specific sounds and indicate which ones you hear. 

The results are noted on an audiogram that your audiologist will review with you.

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People with untreated hearing loss (people with hearing loss who do not wear hearing aids) can experience a decreased quality of life. SadnessDepressionAnxietyParanoiaPoor social relationships

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If you think you or someone you know might have a hearing problem, visit www.HowsYourHearing.orgto find an audiologist near you.Questions???