Who is an audiologist, what is his duty?
An audiologist is a professional trained to diagnose, detect and treat all forms of the hearing disorder.
Hearing loss and disorder can be detected in people of different ages and classes against the popular opinion that it’s a problem of the advanced adult. In recent times, both children and younger adults have been diagnosed and treated with various kinds of hearing problems.
The Audiologist often referred to as the hearing aid professional is saddled with the responsibility of providing specialized and personalized services to people with hearing problems. When a hearing problem is not taken care of, it can lead to depression. A hearing problem can lead to a poor quality of life. People with a hearing problem are often not fully involved in their daily activities and this can be a source of concern.
The services of an audiologist cover the following areas.
- Diagnosing a hearing problem: it is the duty of the audiologist to detect the kind of hearing problem.
- Prescribes the best form of treatment for the patient: It is the duty of the audiologist to prescribe the best form of treatment for a hearing loss. The audiologist helps to provide the best fitting hearing aids for patients. He can also prescribe other forms of amplification devices and assistive technologies.
- Cochlear implant teams: Audiologist makes up the cochlear implant team.
- Hearing issues surgical monitoring: They are actively involved in supervising ear related or hearing problem surgery.
- Design programs that will aid hearing: There are a number of programs design to improve hearing and to aid people with hearing aid problems. The Audiologist is saddled with the responsibility of designing such programs from time to time. These kinds of programs create awareness on how to take care of your ears. There are programmes also targeted at people suffering from hearing loss problem. These programmes are designed to enlighten them on the best approach to taking care of their problem.
- Offers a hearing training for those new to the hearing aid technology: For those using the hearing aid for the first time, the experience is quite different. It is the duty of the audiologist to aid them through the process of getting used to their new devices. They organize training such as listening skill training and auditory training.
- Responsible for organizing a hearing screening for newborn and children: Detecting hearing problems early is very important. This can prevent further damage to the ear. This is why the audiologist is saddled with the responsibility of organizing a screening for newborn and children to ascertain the quality of their hearing. The audiologist also diagnoses and treat children suffering from Central auditory problems.
- Take care of people suffering from tinnitus: This kind of problem is very common to new hearing aid users. A noise or ringing in the ear is popularly known as tinnitus. It is the duty of the audiologist to attend to people suffering from this problem as it can be very disturbing.
- The audiologist takes care of all kinds of hearing loss: The audiologist is saddled with the responsibility of diagnosing all kinds of hearing problem. He is also trained in providing the best solution for these problems. There are a lot of hearing loss that is caused by nerve damage. These kinds of hearing loss can be treated by an audiologist.
- Audiologist works in different environments: Audiologists can be found in hospitals, clinics, ENT units, higher institutions, government establishments, the military, K-12 institutes, and Administrative hospitals for veterans, they can even work as private practitioners.
- Audiologists must be licensed to practice: An audiologist must be fully registered with a license to practice in all states.
Identifying a hearing loss problem
When it comes to identifying a hearing loss problem, it is the duty of the audiologist. When a hearing loss has been identified to be affecting the patient’s daily life, it is the duty of the audiologist to select the appropriate kind of treatment for the hearing loss. They have the responsibility of choosing and ensuring a particular amplification system fits very well. When a hearing loss problem has been identified, the audiologist will carry out further tests. These tests will enable him to identify if the patient will be needing a cochlear implant. There is another hearing assistance technology that can be used to improve hearing loss conditions. The right approach depends on the outcome of the audiologist’s test results.
To identify the kind of hearing loss, the audiologist can adopt the subjective or objective method of diagnosis. In recent times, there is specialized testing used for identifying a hearing loss. These methods are approved and safe for all ages of patients. The audiologist can choose to apply the following methods to test a patient’s hearing loss.
- The physical examination: The first step of a hearing loss identification is through a physical examination of the ear. The audiologist examines the ear for any possible causes of hearing loss. These include earwax buildup and ear inflammation. The audiologists also watch out for physical causes of hearing loss.
- The dialogue audiometry: this test is geared towards understanding how well a person can pick up sounds. The audiologist may take this approach one ear at a time. The patient covers one ear while different kinds of sounds are made. This will help ascertain how well the patient hears various sounds.
- The tuning fork test: the tuning fork is designed to produce sound. This instrument can be very useful to determine a hearing loss problem. This device can be used extensively to determine the actual cause of a hearing loss. When a hearing loss is due to a problem with the vibrating parts of the ear or eardrum, the tuning fork will help detect this.
- Audiometer test: this kind of test is more comprehensive. The patient wears earphones. Different kinds of sounds will be directed to one ear at a time. The patient will be asked to identify each sound and to notify the audiologist each time a sound is heard. The sounds are played at high and low levels to identify when the patient can hardly hear a sound. The audiologist can also present different sets of words. These will help to determine the patients hearing ability and identify the level of hearing loss.
Treatment for hearing loss
The treatment for the hearing aid depends on the cause of the hearing loss. Some hearing problem is more severe than the others. While some hearing problem requires treatment, others require the use of an amplification system to improve hearing. The treatment options for hearing aid loss include:
- Getting rid of earwax blockage. When a hearing loss is caused by earwax blockage, it can be treated. There are different ways the audiologist can get rid of earwax. One of the ways of getting rid of ear wax blockage is by flushing. The wax is first loosened with oil before flushing. Other methods include suctioning and scooping out the wax after melting it with oil.
- Correcting ear injury through a surgery. In some cases, surgery might be required to correct an ear injury that led to a hearing loss. For people who suffer from a repeated ear infection, there may be a need to insert special tubes in the ear. This will improve draining of the ear and reduce infection.
- The use of a hearing aid for the treatment of hearing loss. Hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear can be corrected by the use of hearing aids. Hearing aids are designed to amplify sound. These sounds are then delivered directly to the inner ear through a receiver. It is the duty of the audiologist to discuss with the patient on the need to use a hearing aid. The audiologist also recommends a hearing aid according to your demands.
- Cochlear implants. For people suffering from severe hearing damage, cochlear implants might just be what you need to restore your hearing. The cochlear implant is designed to compensate for damaged portions of the inner ear.
Why it is important to treat a hearing loss problem
Once the cause of a hearing loss has been established, it is very important to get it treated. Hearing loss can be a source of social stigma and depression. Treatment can help improve the quality of a patient’s life by improving participation in active daily activities. Some of the benefits of treating a hearing loss problem include:
- Increased self-confidence. The treatment of a hearing loss problem does not only improve the hearing but also boosts the patient’s self-confidence. Interaction is increased among the patient and his family and friends.
- Improved relationship with loved ones: when a hearing problem is treated, the relationship with loved ones are
- Improves the patient’s general view on life. A hearing loss can change a patient’s about life. Early detection and treatment can help return a person’s perception of
- It reduces depression. Most people with hearing loss problems are often found to be depressed. Depression can further lead to other complications. This is why it is important to deal with it early to reduce depression.
How to find an Audiologist for your hearing loss problems
It’s not always an easy task to search for a hearing aid professional. In fact, good audiologists are not easy to find. A good Audiologist is a specialist when it comes to providing their patients with comprehensive health care with modern facilities. They have licensed personnel who are trained to determine the level of your hearing loss and the best way to deal with it. It is their duty to ensure that whatever treatment recommended for your hearing loss is the best for you. Below are a few steps to take when settling for an audiologist.
Referrals are very important
One of the ways to find the best hearing aid professional is through referral. This is also one of the basic ways audiologists get new clients. It is always good to ask your doctor for a referral. Talk to family and friends who have had first-hand experience with an audiologist. For patients who do not have close relatives and friends who have visited an audiologist before, you can get information from your local physician. They can always help refer you to a good audiologist for your hearing loss treatment. This reduces the pressure on finding a suitable audiologist for your hearing loss diagnosis and treatment.
You can get information from an insurance company
It is likely to bump into an insurance company that covers the hearing loss diagnostics and treatment. When you come across one, check their directory to ensure the audiologist’s clinic you’re going to covered by their insurance policy. Majority of the insurance company will likely not cover an audiologist who has no professional experience and no referral. This is why it is safe to go through an insurance company. Be sure you carry out proper research before settling for an audiologist. Dealing with sensitive parts of the body like the ear requires a lot of care. Therefore it is not something to be handled with kid gloves.
Look for an audiologist with a successful history and track record
For hearing aid professionals with clinics that have lasted over a long period, it is likely that they provide quality services. Such clinics are accountable over a long-term. It is important to have a first-hand investigation of a clinic, find out what other people think about them. Before settling for an audiologist, go through their website, read other people’s reviews. This is one way to figure out other people’s experience and opinion about the clinic. A lot of clinics always provide customers the avenue to air out their experience on their website. Therefore, the website is a good place to start your research. There are a lot of websites who provide first-hand information and profile of audiologist. This information is made open to the general public. Visiting this site can be a good way to find out more about the audiologist.
Where you stay is one of the strong points to consider when selecting a clinic.
There are some locations with less number of audiologists. Therefore, it is always important to put this into consideration. Finding an audiologist can be much easier if you have a lot of them in your area. It is more difficult for people with fewer options in their location. You might consider traveling to get your hearing loss problem treated. This is, however, not the best option to consider. We also know that there is a lot of stress involved in traveling for medical healthcare. What if your hearing aid develops a problem? What if servicing or cleaning is required? This means you have to take the stress to travel all the way to fix a minor problem. These reasons make your location a factor to consider when choosing an audiologist.
Always keep your expectations high when looking for an audiologist
Having a clear view of the kind of services you expect in mind is very important. Certainly, nobody expects the less from their hearing aid professional. Look for an audiologist with the passion for helping people regain their hearing and confidence. This point is the core reason why most professionals get into the profession in the first place. An audiologist with the passion for getting people to feel better will always offer a better quality of service than others with different views. Whenever you find out that an audiologist’s main concern is selling a product to you and making a profit instead of your wellbeing, you need to stay clear of that person. There are a lot of things involved when it comes to caring for the ear. A professional audiologist should be willing to learn about a patient’s hearing requirements, his lifestyle and things that serve as motivation to him. All these factors come together when designing and recommending a hearing aid for the patient. A hearing aid that does not help the needs of the patient as well as fit into his lifestyle is certainly not the best. These tiny details can spoil this huge investment. This is why you need to be detailed when settling down for any audiologist for your hearing loss diagnosis and treatment. Your wellbeing comes first. Ensure it is the primary aim of the audiologist. Check online directories and get first-hand information from people about their personal encounter with the audiologist. Never settle for less.
Where to find a local audiologist
There are quite a number of clinics that offer ENT services. It is most likely to find an audiologist in these clinics. Some of these clinics run extensive services when it comes to taking care of those with hearing deficiencies. There are a lot of them that even carry out cochlear implant and recommend hearing aids for patients. It is, therefore, the first place to start your search when looking for an audiologist.
Check online directory and websites for information on the location of an audiologist near you
The website is a vast collection of information. It is one place you can get thousands of information about products and services. When looking for information about local audiologists near you, the internet is a very good tool to start with. Visit online directories, check clinics online for the latest information on audiologists. There are a lot of websites dedicated to collecting information about audiologists around the world including their contact details and addresses. Visiting such sites can be a good start for your search.
Check private clinics dedicated to caring for the ear
There are quite a number of audiologists who run private clinics. Ask friends and family if they are aware of such clinics. You can also rely on online resources to find such clinics. These professionals are simply dedicated to caring for those with hearing loss problem. In most cases, they are more focused and specialized since they don’t bother themselves with so much. When selecting a private clinic, ensure it is one that has a lot of positive reviews. One on one interview with beneficiaries of their services can help you make your choice. Don’t just settle for any practitioner, settle for the best one who can take care of your hearing problems.
There are hospitals where you can find an audiologist
There are a number of hospitals these days that employ the services of an audiologist. If you have a hospital you always visit for your healthcare needs, you can inquire if they offer hearing loss services. You are most likely to get a positive answer.
Military administrative hospitals employ the services of an audiologist most of the times
Military Administrative hospitals are the most likely places to find a professional audiologist. They need the services of an audiologist due to the nature of the military. Depending on state laws and policies, these clinics, however, may not be open to the general public except for veterans. In countries where the laws permit, you can visit one to have your hearing problem diagnosed and treated.
When do you know its right to visit an audiologist?
Whenever you notice that your hearing quality has reduced delaying a visit might lead o more damage. There are quite a number of times people don’t even notice their hearing deficiency until neighbors and family members bring it to their notice. For example, family members might begin to notice how loud your TV volume is or how often they will have to repeat themselves before you hear them. One other sign most people suffering from a hearing loss experience is tiredness after a conversation. This is due to the fact that they need to put in extra effort to hear what people are trying to say. A hearing loss can be disturbing not only to the person suffering from it. The entire family and friends are also affected. Generally, the hearing loss makes communication more difficult. It breaks the free flow of information. Once people have begun pointing the signs out, the next action to take is to visit an audiologist. The earlier you begin your appointments and treatment, the better for you. Treating a hearing loss certainly helps to improve your relationship with people.