When most people think about October in Alaska, they imagine the fall colors and the shortening of days.

However, when hearing care experts think of October, they have something else on their minds: the fact that it’s National Audiology Awareness Month!

This is a time to spread the word about why audiologists are the best in the business at diagnosing and treating hearing-related issues. In 2020, this message is particularly important!

That’s because, increasingly, websites are offering online hearing tests that aren’t comparable to the comprehensive approach that specialists offer.

Consequently, people are investing in technology that isn’t likely to assist them. So I wanted to set the record straight and explain why you should always go to an audiologist first!

Vast Amounts of Experience

Most practicing audiologists, including me, hold what’s called a doctor of audiology degree or Au.D. for short.

This academic course was developed in the late 1990s and provides participants with a full education on all issues and treatments related to hearing loss.

In addition, audiologists conduct residencies (a fancy word for a placement) at a hearing clinic, where they develop real-world experience of complex issues.

In contrast, most “hearing aid providers” don’t have this background. Instead, they require only a high school diploma, and some limited further study to prescribe devices.

So whether you’re witnessing a ringing sound in your ears or a lack of clarity in your hearing, you’ll always be benefiting from my extensive knowledge of audiological care and treatments.

Comprehensive Hearing Assessments

One of the best ways to accurately diagnose a hearing loss is via a comprehensive hearing assessment. This procedure is something that only a trained audiologist can carry out.

It starts with a conversation where I’ll ask you how your hearing loss impacts your life and when you first noticed your symptoms.

Next, I’ll make a visual inspection of your ears. This will let me understand whether there’s anything clearly affecting your hearing – such as a punctured eardrum or fluid build-up.

Lastly, I’ll bring you to the hearing booth and take you through a series of tests to measure your overall hearing capacity.

This process’s net result will be that I’ll have a complete understanding of any possible hearing issues. Today, this process can also take place via our Curbside Appointments service.

An Excellent Hearing Solution

After I have your results, the next step will be to prescribe a fantastic hearing solution.

Importantly, a hearing loss won’t automatically mean that you require one form of treatment, as there are several different ways of making sure someone achieves an excellent outcome.

Someone might simply require a thorough clean of their ears to remove wax and debris, for example, and in most cases, our team can facilitate this rapid procedure.

In addition, there will be those who require medical attention, and in these cases, I’m happy to provide referrals to ENT doctors who can offer surgical procedures.

Many will also benefit from incredible hearing aid treatments. But crucially, if these don’t accurately fit your prescription, they won’t provide you with the assistance you need!

I work with all those who are great hearing aid candidates to ensure their devices are tuned and programmed to meet their exact needs.

Are you concerned about a hearing loss or know someone else who is? Contact the office now at (907) 522-4357 to find out more information.

Appointments can take place in person or via our no-contact curbside and telehealth options!

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Dr. Emily McMahan

Dr. Emily McMahan

Dr. McMahan attended the University of Cincinnati where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2009. She furthered her professional education by obtaining her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in Philadelphia in 2013. She completed her residency in Anchorage and has been applying her expertise to her patients in the Pacific Northwest for several years. Whether you need hearing testing, hearing aids, or assistance with managing tinnitus in your daily lives, Dr. McMahan is qualified to assist you!