Our commitment to educating our neighbors throughout Hardin County sets Big Thicket Hearing Aids & Audiology apart from hearing centers who limit their educational efforts to their patients. Our goals are to help the people of Hardin County prevent hearing loss and know what to do if they have trouble hearing.

As an audiologist, I’ve seen how important our educational outreach is because misinformation is widespread. In particular, we work hard to combat the myth you can diagnose and treat your own hearing loss with online resources. The expertise of a professional audiologist is necessary to properly manage your hearing loss. Here’s why.

Audiologists Are Hearing Specialists

An audiologist has spent years training to become a healthcare professional specializing in ear-related problems like hearing loss, balance issues, and tinnitus. Since this hearing professional must hold a doctoral degree in audiology, an audiologist has in-depth knowledge of the connection between the ear, the brain, and sound. Audiologists need this knowledge because hearing is primarily a function of how our brains process sound.

Why Online Hearing Tests Aren’t the Answer

Diagnosing and treating hearing loss isn’t a do-it-yourself project. Tests on the internet are supposed to measure hearing loss. Yet, the home environment cannot meet the standards required to get an accurate result from a hearing test. For example, a hearing test must be conducted in a sound-treated room to prevent background noise from affecting the outcome.

Accuracy isn’t the only problem. Online hearing tests can’t tell you what type of hearing loss you have or the cause of your hearing loss. We need to know the type and cause of hearing loss to treat it properly. Without that information, it’s easy to misdiagnose the problem. If an underlying medical issue such as an infection or a tumor is causing hearing loss, the online test isn’t going to detect those conditions.

How Audiologists Help People with Hearing Loss

The possibility of having an underlying medical condition isn’t the only reason it’s critical to seek an audiologist’s assistance for hearing loss. At hearing centers like Big Thicket Hearing Aids & Audiology, we have the appropriate equipment and environment needed to administer an accurate hearing assessment.  A professional audiologist will perform a far more advanced hearing assessment than those problematic online hearing tests.

Also, examining the ears is part of the audiologist’s comprehensive hearing assessment. We look for obstructions of earwax or a foreign object, symptoms of infection, and other problems. After your hearing evaluation is complete, the audiologist can explain what your test results mean. If a treatment plan is necessary, the audiologist follows best practices to create one.

For someone experiencing hearing loss, a comprehensive hearing assessment completed by a professional audiologist is the key to getting the best possible results. Are you or a loved one struggling with hearing loss? Our team at Big Thicket Hearing Aids & Audiology can provide the high-quality care you need. Contact us to schedule an appointment or a tele audiology consultation.

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Dr. Joni A. Ruiz AuD

Dr. Joni A. Ruiz AuD

Dr. Joni Ruiz is the owner and doctor of audiology at Big Thicket Hearing Aids and Audiology. She earned her doctorate of audiology in 2009 from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. Selected for a prestigious fourth-year externship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dr. Ruiz has more than ten years’ experience as an audiologist. She has a heart for patient-centered care. At her hearing care practice, she performs comprehensive diagnostic audiological evaluations, provides aural rehabilitation to her patients and their loved ones, dispenses state of the art hearing aids, and manages the care of said devices for their life. Dr. Ruiz is dedicated to patient education regarding hearing loss, hearing protection, and hearing aid selection.
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