What Are The Duties Of An Audiologist?
Audiologists perform several different types of duties regularly. Their job is to ensure patients that come to them experiencing hearing loss get the best and most effective treatment possible.
However, there is more to being an audiologist than just telling patients they have hearing loss. Audiologists must diagnose and treat hearing loss, as well as do several other things to ensure that they are providing the best hearing healthcare services possible. Let’s take a closer look at some of the duties of an audiologist:
Examine patient’s medical history
The audiologist will review the patient's medical history with them to get a better understanding of what might be causing their problem. They will also perform an examination of the outer ear (pinna), the middle ear (tympanic membrane) and the inner ear (cochlea).
Diagnosing hearing loss
An audiologist is a specialist who evaluates, diagnoses and treats people with hearing problems. They are trained to identify the type of hearing loss someone has by using a variety of tests. Hearing loss can result from prolonged exposure to loud noise, as well as aging. In addition to hearing problems, audiologists can also assist in identification and treatment of balance disorders.
Balance disorders are often the result of nerve damage in the inner ear that affects signals sent to the brain about where you are positioned. This type of damage can happen as a consequence of some other condition such as diabetes, certain medications, or chronic illnesses.
Luckily, there are treatments available for both hearing and balance problems if they’re diagnosed early enough.
Audiologists also help determine what causes these types of hearing issues, including ear infections or tumors. Finally, they help create a treatment plan that may include medical management and rehabilitation therapy for patients with sensorineural hearing losses.
Audiologists provide treatment for tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing in the ear. People with tinnitus usually hear buzzing, ringing, or hissing noises inside their ears for no apparent reason and can often go away on its own. However, if tinnitus lingers for weeks, months or years, it can become very difficult to live with. Audiologists specialize in providing treatment solutions for this common hearing problem, ranging from hearing aids with masking devices to sound machines.
Devise and adjust treatment plans
Audiologists help with hearing aids; their job is to diagnose hearing loss and then find the right hearing aid to suit their patient’s needs. Hearing aids are not a one-size-fits-all solution, so your audiologist will work closely with you to determine the best device for your hearing loss, aesthetic and lifestyle needs. The most common hearing aid styles include:
- In the ear (ITE)
- Behind the ear (BTE)
- In the canal (ITC)
- Invisible in canal (IIC)
- Completely in canal (CIC)
Each style has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and your audiologist will go over these with you to ensure the best fit possible.
Keep track of patients’ progress
One of the responsibilities of an audiologist is to record the progress of their patients. They provide a baseline assessment as well as maintain a long-term evaluation to monitor the progression of hearing loss. Audiologists also create individualized programs from which they can measure outcomes and success rates.
When audiologists do this, they are able to help individuals with hearing loss continue to live independently and participate fully in life. Audiologists help adjust to a new way of communicating effectively. Individuals will often communicate through lip-reading, closed captioning and hearing aids that have been customized for them.
Educate people on how to prevent hearing loss
Audiologists are tasked with educating patients on ways to prevent hearing loss, and teaching them about the latest in treatment options when they do experience impairment, this includes the fitting of hearing aids if necessary.
Working to preserve patients' ability to hear well is just one part of their job. As mentioned, before they also help individuals who are ready for treatment make sound decisions about getting fitted with a hearing device that works best for them.
Keep up-to-date with research
There are many different ways in which people may get hearing loss. Birth defects, head trauma, viral infections, and aging are among the most common causes of hearing loss. Audiologists ensure that they do research and keep up with the latest medical discoveries about hearing loss.
Keeping up with the latest scientific discoveries ensures that audiologists have state-of-the-art equipment and know the most effective methods to address hearing loss no matter how it happened.
Are you experiencing hearing and need to find an expert audiologist, learn more about Salyer Hearing Center, call: Sylva: 828-586-7474, Franklin: 828-524-5599 or Murphy: 828-835-1014