In hearing care clinics up and down the country, October is a special time, as it’s National Audiology Awareness Month.

At Pacific Hearing Service, this means that our audiologists will be letting more people know why their expertise is essential for diagnosing and treating hearing issues.

This is important, as recently there’s been a rise in websites offering very basic hearing tests and treatments, often facilitated by those without extensive training in audiology.

As a result, many people are investing in products that have no clinical benefits. These are some of the reasons why audiologists are the only people you should trust with your hearing concerns.

A wealth of experience

Like those at Pacific Hearing Service, most audiologists have the professionally recognized doctorate of audiology degree, which gives them the title of “Au.D.”

They complete these qualifications over four years, and usually, participants will have already acquired bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hearing-related fields.

During these courses, which occur at prestigious universities up and down the country, students receive a complete understanding of health issues and treatments relating to ears.

Their study is both practical and theoretical, and normally, they’ll choose to specialize in certain areas – such as pediatric hearing problems or balance disorders.

This means that when you book an appointment with us at Pacific Hearing Service, you’ll be benefiting from experts with years of knowledge and experience.

Comprehensive Hearing Assessments

When it comes to diagnosing patients, this knowledge allows audiologists to carry out what is known as a “comprehensive hearing assessment.”

This is an extensive evaluation of your auditory system, which lets your audiologist accurately determine the cause of your hearing loss.

It begins with them inquiring after your day-to-day hearing experiences – and why you felt this was the right time for a professional hearing examination.

Next, they’ll conduct a thorough visual inspection of your ears, allowing them to view if anything is blocking your ear canal or clear signs of damage.

Finally, they’ll take you through a series of hearing tests, where they’ll measure your capacity to understand and respond to certain sounds and frequencies.

Following this, they’ll have a thorough understanding of any potential hearing loss problems you might be experiencing.

Treatments and solutions

Once your audiologist has carefully diagnosed your hearing loss, they’ll then be the best person to prescribe you a personally tailored solution.

These can be wide-ranging, as most hearing losses are unique to individuals. In short, there’s no “one size fits all” approach, as you might find at online stores and big-box retailers.

For example, some may not need any form of long-term hearing intervention, and instead, just require a thorough clean of their ears to remove wax and other types of blockages.

Others may benefit from a referral to an ENT physician – especially if an audiologist finds that you have an ear infection or issue requiring surgical intervention.

Finally, there will be those who do need hearing aid treatments. Importantly, your doctor of audiology will work with you to find the right piece of technology.

And once you know the device that will offer you the most benefit, they’ll tune and program it for you to fit your exact requirements.

If you have any concerns about a hearing loss, now is a great time to get in contact! Call us to find out more at (650) 854-1980 (Menlo Park) or (650) 941-0664 (Los Altos).

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Jane H. Baxter, Au.D.

Jane H. Baxter, Au.D.

Dr. Baxter became a partner at Pacific Hearing Service in 1986 and both manages and provides audiology services at the Menlo Park office. She completed her clinical doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) at Salus University, received her graduate training at San Francisco State and UC Berkeley, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and certified by the American Board of Audiology.