Audiologists are doctors specializing in hearing loss. They are trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients with hearing problems. Audiologists in Naperville use specialized equipment to determine the extent of a patient’s loss of hearing, inspect the condition of the eardrums, and conduct other diagnostic tests. Medical problems only account for about 10% of hearing impairment. Patients whose hearing loss is determined to be medically related are typically referred to an otolaryngologist, but it can be hard to determine which of these specialists can most effectively treat any given problem.
Patients experiencing hearing loss due to an excessive buildup of earwax should see an audiologist in Naperville to have it safely removed. Tinnitus is another condition these doctors frequently handle. This buzzing, or ringing, in the ears is typically high pitched, can be either constant or intermittent, and can decrease the patient’s ability to hear and impede daily functioning.
Age-related hearing is typically not treated with either medical or surgical intervention, so its treatment is usually comfortably situated in the realm of audiology. In cases where the progression of hearing loss has occurred slowly over their lifetime, most patients find that hearing aids are an effective solution. Audiologists can fit patients for hearing aids, ensuring that they can be worn comfortably and the sound levels are adjusted appropriately.
People of any age who have difficulty understanding conversations in loud places or hearing high-pitched voices and other sounds should also be referred to a specializing doctor. One notable exception is in the case of acute hearing loss following head trauma. An otolaryngologist should be consulted instead.
The causes of hearing loss in children are much more likely to be medically treatable than those experienced by adults, so an otolaryngologist should first evaluate most pediatric hearing problems. Conditions such as ear infections, allergy problems, and sinus infections can all cause acute hearing loss. Unlike age-related hearing impairment, all of these conditions can be treated medically. If the condition is determined not to be medically treatable, an audiologist should then be consulted for a more thorough evaluation. Contact Hearing Specialists of DuPage for more information or to schedule an appointment.