What Can an Audiologist do for You?
Whatever the disorder, there’s a specialty doctor ready and able to help. For those suffering from hearing loss, the type of professional who can help is called an audiologist. An audiologist is a hearing healthcare provider who can diagnose and treat hearing issues and other balance disorders. Audiologists have undergone extensive training and schooling, receiving a graduate-level degree.
What does an audiologist do?
At the most basic level, an audiologist examines a patient with suspected hearing loss, comes up with a diagnosis based on test results and recommends a solution that will help improve a patient’s hearing.
The tests used by audiologists measure the volume at which a patient can hear, as well as the patient’s ability to distinguish between different sounds. The results from these hearing tests are usually in graph form. The graphs, called audiograms, enable the audiologist to determine the best course of treatment for a patient.
Treatment options will also take into consideration an individual’s mental or psychological state to determine the negative impact of hearing loss on an individual’s life. It is important to audiologists that their patients lead happier, more fulfilling lives with hearing loss treatment than they did before. This typically means that patients try to engage in social activities and conversation more than they did before.
Treatment options for hearing loss vary, as they depend on the degree and severity of an individual’s condition. The most common form of treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids and other assistive listening devices. While hearing aids do not fully “restore” hearing, they do improve the listening experience.
Additional audiologist skills:
In addition to the above skillset, audiologists also help the following:
- Fit and dispense hearing aids
- Counsel and educate patients and their families on how to listen and communicate more effectively
- See patients regularly to ensure the treatment plan is being followed and that there are no major changes in the patient’s hearing
- Keep a patient’s records of progress and regression
- Continue to engage in research activities to better understand causes and treatments of hearing and other balance disorders
When to see an audiologist
It often isn’t difficult to determine if you or a loved one is suffering from hearing loss. Common signs include a blaring television, asking people to repeat themselves, failing to understand certain voices (like women and children) and avoiding social situations. If these examples sound familiar, contact your local audiologist today.