What Does an Audiologist Do?
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An audiologist is a healthcare provider who specializes in the identification, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of issues with the auditory and vestibular parts of the ear. Audiologists are medically trained to be able to quickly and correctly diagnose a wide range of hearing problems, from tinnitus and age-related hearing problems to balance issues. The most common duty that audiologists focus on is to certify hearing issues and prescribe courses of treatment for them, such as the use of hearing aids.
How do audiologists work?
The day-to-day duties of an audiologist include the process of examining patients who are suffering from hearing or balance-related problems. Often, balance-related issues are linked to the inner ear, which is what makes them a vital part of an audiologists job. Audiologists have been highly educated in the medical sector, correctly placing them to test a patient’s symptoms and diagnose a condition relating to them.
To diagnose a hearing problem, a range of tests are performed. These tests not only diagnose the condition but also determine what treatment there is that will be useful for helping to manage it. There are a range of devices and therapies that can be used to determine which problem a patient is suffering from. As part of the diagnosis process, audiologists also offer some counseling to the patient and their family about the difficulties they may face and solutions that modern gadgets can provide.
As part of the service that audiologists offer, each patient is given a treatment plan that they should follow, which includes notes regarding how often they should attend checkups with their audiologist. Patient progress is maintained in records, so that the audiologist can refer back to them as and when they need to do so.
What conditions can audiologists help with?
Audiologists can help with a range of disorders in people of all ages, from infants and children to adults and the elderly. Audiologists can help with a wide range of hearing and balance problems; these include the following:
- Hearing Disability - How severe this condition may depend on the hearing issues faced. Using a tool called an audiometer, the audiologist can determine the extent of the hearing problems the person is facing. They should then be able to determine the exact reason for hearing loss.
- Amplification - The main way that hearing loss is dealt with is via wearing a hearing aid which can amplify the sounds that you hear. There are various types of assistive devices available so audiologists can help patients to determine which one is the best fit for them and their needs.
- Auditory Processing Disorders - Another cause for hearing problems are auditory processing disorders, which is where the brain cannot process sounds properly. An audiologist will measure the frequencies of sounds that you are able to hear.
- Tinnitus - This is a condition where you can hear ringing sounds in your ears, such as a ringing sound that is continuously present. There are many causes of tinnitus, but the good news is that an audiologist can help to make managing them easier.
- Balance Disorders - Balance disorders are caused by an issue with the inner ear - normally this is when it is disturbed in some way. This can cause dizziness and vertigo; often this is caused by infection or ear trauma. Your audiologist can reveal which of these things is causing your balance issues and suggest treatment routes to go down.