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Guest Post: Allison and Audiology

Before I give the blog over to Allison, I need to share some fun facts about her.  She is seriously awesome and the most supportive person in the world.  Actually if I could pin point the exact person who convinced to me to start a blog it would be her!  Seriously.  She is the bomb.com and has listened to my rambles to close to a year now (holy moly does time fly!).  Anywho-as promised I’ll leave until tomorrow.  🙂

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If I told you I was studying audiology, would you know what I was talking about? Most people don’t.

They might have an idea of what it is (“something with ears?”), but there’s a lot to it!

me at my white coat ceremony in August 2009

To be all technical, audiologists are the primary professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss and dizziness/balance disorders. In addition to prescribing and fitting hearing amplification, we can help with cochlear implant programs, monitor auditory nerve function, perform hearing rehabilitation training… and it doesn’t even end there!

Right now I’m in my second year of getting my doctorate of audiology and love it. I thought I wanted to study speech-language pathology, so switched my major to speech and hearing in my sophomore year of undergrad. When I took my first hearing science class, I was hooked. How our ears work is SO COOL – that blog can come another time 😉 I finished up my degree in speech and hearing science in 2009 and am halfway through my graduate program. There are 23 students in my class, which is huge for audiology, but it’s great. We have spent a lot of time in the classroom learning about things like anatomy, noise, counseling, hearing aids, and research, but now that we are getting into clinical settings it’s becoming a lot more fun to do what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life!

Our generation loves noise – we listen to music at concerts, through our mp3 players, on the radio… some people spend a lot of time mowing lawns or using other power tools, riding motorcycles, on the phone, using hair dryers… and these sounds can be dangerous.

Over half of the 36 million Americans with hearing loss are under age 65 – and a third of those people have it because of noise exposure. It could be you!

[There are many other things that can also cause hearing loss, including genetics, ear disease, some medications, and head trauma.]

These hair cells are in the cochlea (the organ of hearing in your inner ear) – if you are exposed to loud noise, they will bend and break and won’t work – leaving you with hearing loss. BAD NEWS!

So, here’s my soapbox moment: PROTECT YOUR HEARING!You only get ONE set of ears. It is possible to keep them in good shape by wearing appropriate foam earplugs, earmuffs, or custom hearing protection devices when listening to sounds louder than 85dB for a long period of time. When you can, turn down the volume on your TV, mp3 player, and radio. If you can’t protect yourself either of these ways, just walk away from the noise.

good foam earplugs

noise-cancelling headphones can work too!

**Hollie is back for a second to let you know my noise canceling headphones are the best thing to avoid screaming babies on the airplane since the invention of birth control. 

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How do you know if sound is too loud?

If you have to shout to be heard, if the noise is painful or makes your ears ring, or if you have decreased or muffled hearing for several hours after exposure, you’ve probably damaged your ears.

Hearing aids can help people with hearing loss, but won’t ever restore normal hearing. Don’t let yourself get to the point that you need hearing aids if you can prevent it! Untreated hearing loss can affect your ability to understand speech and can negatively impact your social and emotional well-being!

If you have any questions at all, check out: http://howsyourhearing.org/index.html or leave it in the comments below

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6 responses

  1. I am happy their are people who study ears/hearing — my dad needed to start wearing hearing aids last year and since he’s had them he has a much better time having a conversation! He can hear what the other people are saying! 🙂

  2. This was such a cool post! I’m deaf in one ear thought to be caused from a virus so I try to be super good to my ears as much as I can. Thanks for sharing all this!

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