Hearing loss currently affects more than 36 million Americans today. Although hearing problems are commonly associated with the normal aging process, more than half of all hearing-impaired persons are younger than 65. With the increased use of personal music players (MP3s) and earbuds, the number of Americans experiencing hearing loss at a younger age is growing.
 
On average, most Americans consider hearing loss a condition that is simply associated with aging, and don’t know how to recognize the condition or who is qualified to diagnose and treat the condition. In response to this growing number of Americans suffering from hearing loss, Fort HealthCare Audiology is recognizing October as National Audiology Awareness Month and offering free hearing screenings to adults over 18.  
 
An audiologist is a highly educated and clinically experienced health-care professional who specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people with hearing loss and balance disorders. Audiologists treat patients of all ages—toddlers, children, teens, adults, and the elderly. The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is a hearing evaluation by a licensed audiologist.
 
“Hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud noises; ear infections, trauma, or ear disease, harm to the inner ear and ear drum, illness or certain medications, and deterioration due to normal aging process,” explains Fort HealthCare Audiologist, Lori Fish, M.A., CCC-A. People who have trouble hearing conversations in a restaurant, are unable to hear without looking at the speaker, or have a constant ringing or pain in the ears are candidates for a hearing screening. Hearing loss caused by nerve damage may be permanent, but an audiologist can determine the best treatment, which may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and hearing rehabilitation.
 
To learn more about solutions to hearing problems such as prescription hearing aids, assistive listening devices and hearing rehabilitation, schedule a free hearing screening at Fort HealthCare Audiology in Fort Atkinson, Whitewater, or Edgerton. Call 920-563-6667.