What Does an Audiologist Do?
An audiologist is a trained professional who is licensed to diagnose and treat hearing loss and related issues. They offer a wide range of services to help those with hearing loss, tinnitus and balance disorders. They can also assist patients in improving auditory processing. An audiologist will work with patients from a range of ages, from children to the elderly. They provide help and advice along with various audiologic rehabilitation services.
What does an audiologist do?
As experts in all hearing aspects and disorders of the ear, audiologists perform a wide range of services from diagnosis, to treatment and counseling. An audiologist will often carry out an otoscopic examination of the ear to assess the condition and provide the best solution. Audiologists are specialists in the custom fitting of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. They also treat other issues such as ear infections and remove the build-up of earwax. Many audiologists also diagnose and treat inner ear issues such as tinnitus and balance disorders.
An audiologist can recommend the best solution to patients with hearing loss. They can provide custom designs for hearing protection using ear impressions, and assist with the fitting and programming of hearing aids and assisted listening devices. They are familiar with all types of hearing aids. These include various models of behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids and in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids. These are both custom-fit to each patient’s ear.
Patients with hearing loss will also often undergo audiologic rehabilitation. An audiologist can offer services to help with this such as auditory skill development, communication management, language development and speech reading. They also provide counseling to both children and adults to help them adjust to their new cochlear implant or other devices.
Tinnitus is a fairly common condition where the patient experiences ringing in their ears. An audiologist can diagnose and treat tinnitus. Common treatments can include tinnitus masking hearing aids, biofeedback and relaxation therapy. An audiologist will assess each patient to find the most suitable solution for them. They also offer counseling and advice to help the patient cope with and manage their tinnitus.
As well as hearing conditions, an audiologist will also offer treatment for other inner ear issues such as balance disorders. The cochlea is where our sense of balance comes from and this is why issues such as vertigo are ear-related. Damage to the inner ear or cochlea can cause dizziness and lack of balance. An audiologist will work closely with physicians or physiotherapists to provide treatments for patients with balance disorders. These can include various medications such as steroids or water pills to reduce inflammation and fluid build-up or vestibular rehabilitation with a physiotherapist.
An audiologist is trained in identifying, assessing, and managing disorders of hearing, balance and other neural systems. They treat those with hearing loss and work to prevent related damage. If you or anyone in your family experiences these issues, then an audiologist can provide help and advice.