Why is Hearing Grouped with Ophthalmology?
Here at SightMD, we value the time of our patients. We also strive to provide high-quality healthcare that’s easy and accessible to all of our patients throughout Long Island. That is why, in addition to top-notch ophthalmology services, we offer comprehensive hearing services.
How Your Senses Are Related
Our five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell – seem to operate completely independently, but this is far from the case. Your senses collaborate to help you navigate and perceive the world. By using all five senses together, we are able to get a complete picture of the world around us. From our senses, we glean important information that helps our brains better understand the world and how it works. From the time we are infants, our senses build the foundation that allows us to grow and learn.
In some cases, one sense may covertly influence another. When one sense drops out, another will step in to pick up the slack. This is why deaf people are still able to navigate the world normally; their sight is able to pick up where their hearing left off. Blind people can train their hearing to do double duty. In blind and deaf people, touch and smell may take over as their primary methods of perceiving the world around them. Sensory deprivation from hearing loss or vision loss doesn’t have to mean a life that isn’t fulfilling or refined.
A person whose five senses work properly may experience this covert sensory influence as well, especially in terms of seeing and hearing. When driving, have you ever had to turn down your radio so you could see the street signs better? This is just one example of seeing and hearing influencing each other.
Sensory disorders can severely alter the way we perceive the world. This is seen in people with a condition called synesthesia, where an apple tastes like triangles, a song smells like fresh baked bread and words may bask in a halo of green, red or purple. To people who have been diagnosed with sensory disorders like synthesia, this is their version of a normal world, perceived through their eyes. The human brain is incredibly resilient, especially when the 5 senses are concerned.
Your senses regularly meet in the brain to give you an accurate image of what is happening all around you. When one sense is lowered or unavailable, the others will work even harder to make up for it.
Hearing and sight are two of your most important senses. They work together to help you navigate social situations, warn you of potential danger and enrich your life. The two are closely related in that when one becomes unavailable, your brain will favor the other in its place.
How Hearing and Eyesight Are Related in Pediatrics
Children with hearing or vision problems often do not exhibit any signs until they are old enough to start hitting important milestones. This is typically where parents realize something is wrong. In infants and children, genetic and fetal conditions can often cause both hearing and vision problems. This is why it’s important to make sure your child is attending regular vision and hearing exams at SightMD. The sooner a problem is identified, the sooner we’ll be able to come up with a solution to treat it.
Conditions in children that affect both the eyes and the ears include:
- Usher syndrome. This is a recessive genetic condition that causes hearing loss and an eye disorder called retinitis pigmentosa.
- Down syndrome. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that can affect vision and hearing.
- Rubella Syndrome. If a pregnant woman contracts rubella, the virus can cause vision and hearing problems in the fetus.
Children should start getting vision and hearing exams early on, as early diagnosis of hearing and vision loss can make a big difference in how the child develops. This will help parents and doctors provide hearing and vision-impaired children with the tools they need to succeed.
Hearing and Ophthalmology at SightMD
It is not uncommon to see practices offering eye and ear services, even though at first glance the two are unrelated. Now we know how closely the two are related in terms of how they help us receive information and how the two compliment each other. Here at SightMD, we are dedicated to helping our patients live richer lives, whether it be by helping them see better or helping them hear better. With better vision and hearing, your whole world is enriched.
We make taking care of your hearing and sight easy by combining experts in both the ophthalmology field and the audiology field. SightMD makes taking care of yourself and your family easier by providing more comprehensive services under one roof.
If you are interested in visiting one of SightMD’s skilled Doctors of Audiology, call us or schedule your appointment online. Our expert audiologists are here to help you preserve your hearing and give you the tools you need to navigate life with hearing loss. With 23 expert locations to choose from, there’s an office that will be perfect for you!