October 21, 2019
Every October, the American Academy of Audiology reminds us that more than 48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. While this condition is often viewed as an inevitable part of aging, over half of all patients are otherwise healthy adults under the age of 65. Regular hearing screenings are an invaluable tool in identifying problems early and taking steps to prevent further hearing damage before it is too late.
Fortunately, nearly all types of hearing loss are treatable by an audiologist. We encourage you to schedule an appointment for a hearing screening with Fort HealthCare’s audiologist, Cheryl Kinney, Au.D. at one of her clinic locations in Fort Atkinson, 512 Wilcox Street (920) 563-6667, or Whitewater, 1461 West Main Street (262) 473-5888. For more information about Dr. Kinney, visit FortHealthCare.com/audiology.
Audiology is the study of hearing and balance disorders. The goal of this national month-long observance is to raise awareness of audiology and the importance of hearing protection in preventing hearing loss. Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors including noise exposure, trauma, diseases of the inner and middle ear, ear infections, excess earwax and certain medications. It can happen so gradually; you may not be aware of a problem until it has reached an advanced stage. Signs and symptoms of hearing loss include difficulty understanding others when they speak (speech may appear to be muffled or garbled), asking speakers to frequently repeat what they have said, the inability to distinguish speech from distracting background sounds, turning up the volume to levels that others find too loud and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Audiologists are licensed and certified professionals with advanced degrees in the hearing and balance sciences. They evaluate, diagnose and treat hearing and related disorders in children and adults; prescribe, fit and dispense hearing devices; and provide hearing rehabilitation training and counseling to patients and their families. They may also treat individuals of all ages with tinnitus and central auditory processing disorders and are often involved in developing hearing conservation programs and newborn hearing screenings.
Dr. Kinney notes, “At Fort Healthcare, we pair a physician and audiologist together for a team approach toward evaluating and treating hearing loss. This ensures you receive the most comprehensive medical care, diagnosis and management for your hearing loss, regardless of the severity. Our aural rehabilitation program is designed to assist you in learning about measures you can take to improve your communication skills while developing a personalized hearing treatment plan that will provide you with strategies for effective communication. We want to reconnect you with your world and improve your quality of life! Your hearing is crucial to your well-being.”
Fort HealthCare participates in most insurance plans, including Dean Care, Dean Care Gold, Unity, Physicians Plus, MercyCare, Humana, United Healthcare, and more. For a complete listing, visit FortHealthCare.com/Insurance.