Hawthorn Medical’s Audiology/Hearing Aid Services offer the highest professional level of audiological services including complete diagnostic hearing and vestibular evaluations and hearing aid fittings. Audiology services relate to prevention, evaluation and rehabilitation of hearing and balance impairments. Our goal is to provide each patient with the best possible care based upon individual needs and to provide the quality of life that our patients’ desire.
The first step for anyone who suspects hearing loss is to have a hearing evaluation performed by an audiologist. Francine Mitchell, AuD, is board certified by the American Board of Audiology and has more than 25 years of experience to assess hearing and balance disorders using the latest specialized equipment.
Working with the otolaryngologists (ear, nose, throat physicians), a decision can made about the evaluation and treatment of each patient’s hearing needs. Most people with hearing impairment can benefit from the use of hearing aids. Our audiologist is knowledgeable about the latest hearing aid technology. She is able to help patients select the best suited solution for their lifestyle and listening needs.
A physician referral may be required for evaluations. It is best to check with your individual plan before scheduling an appointment. For more information about hearing loss and hearing health care, call 508-996-3991.
Facts about noise-induced hearing loss
You can permanently lose your hearing from prolonged exposure to noise! Twelve million American have hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise.
Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells that are found in our inner ear. Hair cells are small sensory cells that convert the sounds we hear into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, our hair cells cannot grow back, causing permanent hearing loss.
The loudness of sound is measured in units called decibels (dB). Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by prolonged exposure to any loud noise over 85 (dB), such as:
- 60 dB—Normal conversations or dishwashers
- 80 dB—Alarm clocks
- 90 dB—Hair dryers, blenders, lawnmowers
- 100 dB—MP3 players at full volume
- 110 dB—Concerts, car racing and sporting events
- 120dB—Jet planes at take off
- 130 dB—Ambulances
- 140 dB—Gun shots, fireworks, and custom car stereos at full volume
Noise is dangerous if:
- You have to shout over background noise to be heard.
- The noise is painful to your ears.
- The noise makes your ears ring.
- You have “muffled” hearing for several hours after exposure.
Hearing loss not only affects your ability to understand speech but it also has a negative impact on your social and emotional well-being. Noise-induced hearing loss can occur gradually over time, and people don’t often realize they are changing the way they live to make up for the disability.
Protect your hearing, by:
- Wearing hearing protection when around sounds louder than 85dB for a long period of time.
- Turning down the volume when listening to the radio, the TV, MP3 player, or anything through ear buds and headphones.
- Walking away from the noise.
If you think you may have hearing loss, set up an appointment with Hawthorn Medical’s audiologist to get your hearing checked.