Albany ENT is the only practice in Southwest Georgia where a patient can see a physician specializing in treatment of the ear, nose, throat, sinuses and allergies, or a board-certified audiologist and purchase a hearing device - all in the same place,
often on the same day.
often on the same day.
What is Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss is a sudden or gradual impairment in the ability to hear sounds. This can occur due to aging, congenital or hereditary factors, exposure to loud noises, certain medications, infections or diseases, and head or ear trauma, as well as a number of other causes.
Common Signs of Hearing Loss
- You hear people speaking but you have to strain to understand their words.
- You frequently ask people to repeat what they said.
- You frequently complain that people mumble.
- You play the TV or radio louder than your friends, spouse and relatives.
- You cannot hear the doorbell or the telephone or environmental sounds, such as birds.
- You find that looking at people when they speak to you makes it easier to understand.
Common Types of Hearing Loss
- Conductive Hearing Loss occurs when sound cannot travel through the outer ear to the eardrum and tiny bones of the middle ear. This type of hearing loss can often be treated medically or surgically.
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss not only involves a reduction in sound level, or ability to hear faint sounds, but also affects speech understanding, or ability to hear clearly. Sensorineural hearing is a permanent loss and is best treated with the use of hearing aids.
- Mixed Hearing Loss is a combination of a conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. In other words, there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear or auditory nerve.
Today, hearing devices are available in a variety of sizes and styles. Many of the current devices are considered sleek, compact, and full of features, due to advancements in digital technology. There are now multiple options to fit your personal hearing loss configuration, degree of hearing loss, manual dexterity abilities, budget, lifestyle and communication needs.
Once you have completed an audiometric evaluation, our Hearing Center staff can work one-on-one with you to choose the hearing device that best suits you. Whether it is a virtually invisible in-the-ear style, a full or half-shell style allowing for longer battery life, or a behind-the-ear model, there is something for everyone at the Hearing Center. We also offer custom headphones, creating a perfect fit every time you listen to music; swimming earplugs, helping to avoid ear infections and other water-related ear problems; and noise earplugs, including for use while hunting and working in high-noise environments.
The Hearing Center's resident audiologist, specializes in the evaluation and treatment of individuals with hearing and balance disorders. They work with everyone from infants through adults to determine medical referral to physicians when a hearing problem needs medical or surgical intervention. Our Doctor of Audiology is trained to offer comprehensive hearing evaluations, hearing aid consultations, hearing rehabilitation, tinnitus management counseling, balance and dizzy testing and rehabilitation. We also offer a hearing aid lab that is always available for walk-in appointments. All of our patients have the convenience of stopping by the lab to see our wonderful audiology assistant, Laura, for hearing aid cleanings, minor repairs and troubleshooting. To hear more information about any of our services, we welcome you to stop by and talk with us at your convenience.
- Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations and Consultations coupled with speech testing are used to rule out any medically treatable causes of hearing loss.
- Otoacoustic Emissions measures sounds produced by the components of the inner ear.
- Middle Ear Evaluations (Acoustic immittance measures) - determines if a middle ear problem may be contributing to or causing your hearing loss and whether you need medical refer or not.
- Balance and Dizziness Testing (Videonystagmography) is used to determine if a patient's dizziness or balance disorders is caused by the inner ear or other factors such as the brain, medical disorders, or psychological problems.
- Electrophysiology Studies (Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and Electrocochleography (EcochG)) are used to diagnose possible problems involving the hearing nerve and to examine electrical potentials in the ear.