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Audiologists Offer Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss

Eau Claire, WI ─ Hearing loss is an increasing health concern in the U.S., and it is often preventable. More than 36 million American adults have some degree of hearing loss and more than half of them are younger than age 65. October is Audiology Awareness Month and the audiologists at the Sacred Heart Head & Neck Center would like to remind community members about the importance of protecting their hearing.

“When hearing loss occurs during our adult years – but long before old age – many people tend to ignore it and don’t receive the assistance they need,” said Shawna Lee, AuD, an audiologist at Sacred Heart Head & Neck Center.

Indeed, most Americans don’t recognize the first signs of hearing loss, which include: trouble hearing conversation in a noisy environment, difficulty or inability to hear people talking without looking at them, and/or a constant pain or ringing of the ears.

“Exposure to loud noises, ear infections, trauma, ear disease, harm to the inner ear and ear drum, and deterioration due to the normal aging process can all cause hearing loss,” said Nicole Smith, AuD, an audiologist at Sacred Heart Head & Neck Center. “Hearing loss is usually painless, progressive and always permanent. But oftentimes, it can be prevented.”

The audiologists at the Sacred Heart Head & Neck Center recommend the following tips to help prevent hearing loss:

  • Protect your ears. Wear ear plugs or ear muffs if you are using noisy equipment such as power drills, saws, sanders or lawnmowers.
  • Turn down the volume. Don't listen to your television, radio, or personal music player at high volumes and never to drown out background noise. Even a small reduction in volume can make a big difference.
  • Give your ears a break. Give you ears time to recover after they’ve been exposed to loud noise. Increasing this recovery time can decrease the risk of permanent hearing loss.
  • Get Treatment. Get your hearing evaluated by an audiologist. These highly-trained professionals are qualified to perform comprehensive hearing evaluations that will determine the degree of hearing loss you have. If the hearing loss is permanent, an audiologist will suggest appropriate treatment, which may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, or hearing rehabilitation.

To schedule a hearing test or to learn about available hearing loss treatment options, call the Sacred Heart Head & Neck Center at (715) 717-6885.



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