What Does an Audiologist Do?
If you have ever suffered from hearing, ear health or balance related issues, you may have had an audiologist recommended to you in the past. However, you might not yet be fully aware of what, exactly, they can do for you.
As certified healthcare experts trained to diagnose and treat a wide host of hearing and balance-related issues, here are just a few examples of what the audiologist most commonly helps with.
Providing hearing tests
Frequent hearing tests are one of the best protections you have against the risk of permanent hearing loss. Furthermore, if you already suspect you might have undiagnosed hearing loss, they can help you understand it.
Hearing tests include a visual examination of the ear as well as a range of tests that are designed to explore your entire range of hearing. If the audiologist discovers any hearing loss, they can move on to recommending the best course of treatment.
Hearing aid selection and fittings
The most common way of dealing with hearing loss is with the use of devices built to amplify sound and restore your hearing. Audiologists aren’t just hearing health experts, they are also well-versed in hearing aid technology.
Familiar with the market of devices out there, the audiologist can help you better understand your needs by looking at your level of hearing loss, your lifestyle, hobbies and occupation. From there, they can recommend which hearing aids might be best suited to your needs. They will then schedule a fitting to make sure that it fits, that it’s properly programmed and that you’re comfortable in using it.
Hearing aid maintenance, repair and advice
Hearing aids are sophisticated devices that need plenty of care and attention. From cleaning them to protecting them against moisture, your audiologist will teach you how to take proper care of your device.
If any issues or malfunctions do crop up, it’s recommended you take the hearing aid back to your audiologist. They will be able to make the majority of the most commonly requested repairs there on the spot. For anything more complicated or extensive, they can get in touch with the manufacturer on your behalf for fixes and replacement parts.
If you’re waiting for a replacement hearing aid, the audiologist will also be able to provide a temporary replacement, so you’re not left without any kind of help.
Provide help with tinnitus
Tinnitus is another hearing issue that audiologists frequently deal with. Defined as the experience of noise and sounds that are uniquely heard by you alone, it’s a symptom that can cause a lot of distress, including anxiety and sleep deprivation.
While the cause of tinnitus can often be difficult to pin down and many people never fully understand what prompted their own tinnitus, the audiologist can help narrow down potential causes and recommend treatment as necessary.
For chronic cases of tinnitus, audiologists can offer a few options, too. This can include tinnitus masking devices, which are like hearing aids but are designed specifically to help you habituate and ignore tinnitus. They may also recommend a range of tinnitus therapies that can help you not only cope with the tinnitus itself but the stress or anxiety it may also cause.
Diagnose and treat vertigo and other balance issues
Vertigo is the most common balance-related symptom that affects a lot of people, defined as experiencing the sensation of the environment spinning, rocking or moving around you, even when you are still.
Audiologists can help you find the cause of vertigo and other balance-related issues and provide a range of treatments to help combat them. For instance, vertigo is often caused by the presence of tiny calcium particles in the inner ear. In such a case, the audiologist may recommend a series of head movement exercises that can dislodge those particles and move them to an area that won’t affect your balance.
Recommend and customize ear protection
Ear protection, like earplugs and earmuffs, is one of the best safeguards we have against noise-induced hearing loss. Your audiologist can recommend products if you’re worried that you’re exposed to unsafe levels of noise. Furthermore, they can help you create an individualized mold for the custom earplugs, providing the most comfortable fit for devices better suited to long-term, frequent use.
The examples above provide a good look at what an audiologist does, but not a comprehensive one. Audiologists offer a complete level of care for all issues related to your hearing and balance health. If you think you might be in need of any of the services above or you want to find out more, don’t hesitate to get in contact with Cosmetic Hearing Solutions at (571) 312-7345.