Without respect for age, location, or social status, hearing problems are widespread. In fact, 15% of American adults have hearing problems, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH) statistics. This percentage includes approximately 37.5 million people. Almost 80% of these can benefit from hearing aids, and most of the other 20% can benefit from other forms of treatment for their hearing loss. As an audiologist, it is my commitment to provide whatever kind of treatment is necessary to eliminate hearing loss issues for each individual. To encourage those with a hearing loss to seek help from an audiologist here is some background of what I do and seven reasons you should visit me for a hearing assessment.

What Is an Audiologist?

An audiologist is a doctor specially trained to diagnose, treat, and manage issues related to hearing health and balance disorders. A few examples of the hearing health issues managed by audiologists include:

  • Hearing Loss
  • Dizziness and Balance
  • Tinnitus

Although hearing aids are often a primary tool used by audiologists for treating hearing loss, they are only a portion of the range of preventive measures and treatments provided. There are several healthcare issues, which should prompt you to schedule an appointment with an audiologist. Here are seven of the most common reasons to visit an audiologist for a hearing assessment.

Better Assessment of Hearing Health

Because hearing aids are not the only solution to hearing health issues, it is best to skip hearing aid vendors and get a full assessment of your hearing from an audiologist. Various types of obstructions and problems can lead to hearing loss. In some instances, investing in an expensive hearing aid is neither the best answer nor the most cost-effective one. A hearing assessment from a doctor of audiology will provide you with the best picture of your overall hearing health.

Treatment Options for Hearing Loss

A better diagnosis leads to better treatment. Fully qualified to provide the best and most comprehensive range of treatment options, audiologists conduct in-depth professional tests to pinpoint the cause of hearing health issues. Audiologists look at hearing healthcare as a part of overall healthcare, designing the best treatment to fit the specific problem.

Tinnitus Management

Ringing, buzzing, whooshing, and roaring are descriptions of tinnitus offered by my patients. Tinnitus results from a variety of causes and requires a range of treatments to manage it. Audiologists engage in ongoing studies of various tinnitus management options and work to match up the right treatment to fit your unique circumstances.

Wax Removal

One of the causes of conductive hearing loss includes a blockage in the ear canal between the outer and middle ear. Wax buildup is among the leading causes of this form of hearing loss. Removing earwax by yourself can damage your eardrum or cause other hearing health issues. An audiologist has the equipment and expertise to remove earwax without causing any other issues.

Hearing Aid Fitting and Adjustments

As professionals, trained in the various technical and functional aspects of hearing aids, audiologists have the best qualifications to assist you with hearing aid fittings and adjustments. In addition to their overall expertise, audiologists focus on the benefits provided by hearing aids and your hearing health rather than the business side of selling them.

Preventive Hearing Care

Changes to your environment often produce issues related to hearing health. Identifying those changes, such as frequent or continuous exposure to loud noise, prescription drugs with ototoxic risks, and other health-related issues with the potential to damage your hearing is an objective of audiologists as well. With risks identified, audiologists can provide their patients with a variety of options designed to prevent further damage and hearing loss.

Ongoing Hearing Healthcare

If the ultimate goal was selling you a hearing aid, it is likely that you would never require any further interaction with your audiologist once you have purchased the device. However, audiologists are not hearing aid distributors. The focus of an audiologist is to provide ongoing hearing healthcare, which can but does not always include a hearing aid. An audiologist offers treatment for your hearing problems to improve your lifestyle, making use of the full range of tools and treatment options in their commitment to your hearing health.

Hearing is a critical part of living an independent life in the lifestyle you choose. As an audiologist, my focus is on providing whatever form of care is necessary to help you to realize the best level of hearing care to match your specific circumstance. The Berkeley Hearing Center team and I are eager to meet or exceed your expectations when it comes to the hearing healthcare we provide. Contact us to learn more about how Berkeley Hearing Center can serve your hearing healthcare needs, or request a callback for specific questions and to set up an appointment.

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Jessica Muscio Traylor Audiologist

Jessica Muscio Traylor Audiologist

Dr. Traylor earned her B.A. degree in Spanish and communicative disorders and her M.S. degree in audiology in 2005 from San Francisco State. She began practicing at an established audiology private practice in Oakland immediately after graduation. Dr. Traylor went on to earn her doctorate in audiology in 2010 from Salus University in Pennsylvania while continuing her private practice work. In 2011, she took a position at Herrick Hospital, diagnosing & treating hearing loss and balance issues. In 2016, Dr. Traylor joined the Berkeley Hearing Center team.