An audiologist is a licensed healthcare professional who holds a doctoral degree in audiology and is trained to evaluate problems relating to ears and hearing including hearing loss, balance disorders, and ringing or noise in the ear.
Our audiologists perform comprehensive hearing exams in a high-tech sound-treated booth to ensure accurate testing results. There are also testing options available for young children that may not be able to cooperate with a traditional hearing examination.
Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), more than 36 million Americans have some type of hearing problem, and 30-40% percent of people over age 65 have hearing loss. Approximately 90% of those suffering from hearing loss can be helped by the use of hearing aids.
Hearing loss is particularly problematic because it usually develops gradually. As hearing loss continues unnoticed, eventually sounds that are critical to communication become compromised. Over extended periods of time, the brain will become accustomed to not hearing those sounds, meaning that it will take longer for the brain to understand those sounds again. Many people dismiss or ignore their hearing loss, sometimes for years — this is a bad decision, because putting off the inevitable only makes it more difficult to rectify the problem. Regular hearing aid use helps maintain the brain’s ability to interpret sounds, increases communication, and improves the user’s quality of life.
In the inner ear, there are thousands of hair cells that allow us to hear by detecting different frequencies, stimulating the auditory nerve, and sending sound signals to the brain. In 90% of all hearing loss cases, these hair cells are damaged, meaning that the brain is not receiving all of the sound that it needs to form a complete auditory soundtrack. The damage of those hair cells may result from trauma, disease, noise exposure, aging, or be hereditary in nature.
What other people are saying can be heard, but not actually understood.
Dr. Abbott received her B.S. from Eastern New Mexico University and her Masters and Doctor of Audiology from Texas Tech University, Health Sciences Center. She is a member of the American Academy of Audiology, Texas Academy of Audiology, and the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association. She has been a practicing Audiologist in Texas for 13 years. Her specialization is hearing aids, combining physics, mechanics, and biology to help people hear. Learn More...