Unless you’ve had hearing aids for a while, an audiologist probably isn’t in your regular rotation of healthcare providers. But do you ever wonder if you could benefit from an appointment too? Chances are, yes!

There are many reasons why someone would need to visit an audiologist, and they aren’t all necessarily related to hearing loss. Understanding when to visit your local hearing care professional can save you time, money, and years of discomfort. Here are 7 reasons anyone might need to visit the audiologist:

1.  You’re Having Difficulty Hearing

The number one, and easiest way to determine if you should go to an audiologist is to determine if you have hearing loss. Some tell-tale signs to look for are:

  • People sound muffled or mumbly
  • You have difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds such as birds, doorbells, your phone, or alarm clock
  • It’s challenging understanding conversations in noisy places, like a restaurant

But don’t let this list define your hearing loss—many people believe they don’t have to see an audiologist until they’ve reached a certain age or their hearing decreases to a level where they can’t complete everyday tasks. However, you can (and should) visit an audiologist before you even have signs of hearing loss. This will ensure that if you do develop hearing loss over time, it’s caught as soon as possible and prevents disruption to your life.

2.  Your Hearing Aids Need Cleaning

Your audiologist and their staff can perform a variety of tasks related to the upkeep of your hearing aid. If your hearing aid has a receiver in the canal, they may clean out wax blocking the tube, remove moisture from the device using a special vacuum chamber, or even use delicate tools to clean out dirt and debris.

Regular cleaning, whether by yourself or your audiologist will keep your hearing aids working longer and more effectively.

3.  You’re Experiencing Pain or Excessive Itchiness

Most of us are familiar with the pain of an earache or ear infection. It can be extremely uncomfortable and even downright painful. This is usually a sign of an infection or inflammation in the middle or inner ear.

Your audiologist can complete testing to rule out or confirm basic ear infections, but may refer you to a specialist if there are more serious issues.

4.  You Need Ear Wax Removed

If you’re struggling with discomfort from a build up of ear wax, an audiologist can help you clear it up.

Sometimes ears that produce more ear wax can become built up and impacted. Impaction can cause hearing loss, itchiness, and general discomfort, so you’ll want to remove the built-up wax.

Audiologists have special tools they are trained to use to remove ear wax from your ears. Going to a hearing care provider to clear up excessive wax is also much safer for your ears, eliminating dangerous tools like Q-tips or untested home remedies.

5. Your Hearing Aids Aren’t Working

If you have hearing aids, chances are you’ve already been to the audiologist or some type of hearing care professional. But hearing aids, like any piece of technology, can degrade over time.

Many times, if a hearing aid isn’t working, there’s a fixable issue like a dead battery or blockage in the receiver. Some other common problems are under-amplification (too quiet), over-amplification (too loud), and charging or connection issues. Your audiologist can help you determine what the problem is and provide guidance on if you need a new hearing aid or just a simple fix. Either way, it’s always better to get a professional opinion before you give up on wearing them.

6. It’s Been Over a Year Since Your Last Appointment

Just like the dentist or eye doctor, you should see your audiologist on average once a year. This may vary person to person depending on your level hearing loss (if any) and the other needs you may have.

In an annual appointment, your doctor can perform a standard hearing exam to see if there are any visual anomalies or if your hearing has declined. For those already with hearing loss, they can guide you through purchasing your first hearing aids or clean and test the hearing aids you already own.

Dr. Amanda Kluzynski: Your Local Audiologist

Dr. Kluzynski from the MedRx Hearing Center is a board-certified audiologist located in Largo, FL. If you recognize any of the signs above give us a call at (727)584-9696 to book an appointment today!