What to Expect When Visiting an Audiologist in Pretoria. 2019-03-13
Hearing loss has now reached an all-time high and is no longer restricted to our more senior citizens, but has become commonplace among subjects of all ages, even affecting some pre-teenage children. Where, traditionally, deafness has mainly been associated with heredity, perinatal problems, chronic ear infections, and exposure to ototoxic chemicals, including, paradoxically, certain antibiotics, today, the main culprit has become excessive noise.
Furthermore, while noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) was once mainly encountered among miners, factory workers, and military personnel exposed to gunfire, the average audiologist in Pretoria is increasingly dealing with young subjects deafened by noisy rock concerts, night clubs, car stereos, and portable music devices played at full volume through earbuds.
Most of us have experienced temporary deafness, possibly combined with a phantom ringing in the ears, following a sudden loud noise, such as an exploding firework. However, after a day or two, our hearing simply returned to normal. By contrast, eight hours of exposure to a sound level of 85 decibels is enough to cause irreversible hearing loss and the more often a subject is exposed, the worse his or her hearing impairment will become. Whatever its cause may be, an audiologist in a city such as Pretoria will need to conduct some tests in order to determine the extent of the impairment and its nature, as well as to decide on the best way in which to assist the patient to manage it.
Currently, there is no way to reverse hearing loss, so the main focus remains on preventing it from becoming worse and helping patients to function effectively despite their condition. To do so, the patient will require some form of assisted hearing device and the various tests carried out serve as a guide as to which particular device is likely to be most effective for any given individual.
After a preliminary examination to rule out an infection or a blockage due to some foreign body or excess earwax, an audiologist in Pretoria will then proceed to conduct an audiogram. This is a sort of graph that indicates at which frequencies hearing loss is evident and its extent. The process is quite painless and involves the subject listening to a tone played through earphones and indicating when he or she is first able to hear it.
It is also important to determine whether the loss of hearing is the result of a problem with the conduction of sound waves by the outer and middle ear or due to a diminished ability to sense them upon reaching the inner ear. An audiologist from Your Hearing in Pretoria will perform the Rinne and Weber tests to differentiate these.