An audiologist aids people who have hearing problems by diagnosing their condition and administering certain devices for the correction of the same – this being their main function. But what are the other functions and what else do audiologists do? In this following article, we will concentrate on the varied functions that form an audiologist’s job profile and study the other aspects of this profession as well.
Hate. Absolutely hate it when my ears are blocked. It’s this surreal feeling of being stuck in a semi-vacuum, not knowing what is going on and carrying about things like that. Worse still? Did I tell you about the time I woke up, climbed down the bed and almost lost my balance and was about to fall? Then when I regained my balance, I realized that it wasn’t a temporary feeling at all. All day through I felt all skewed about my balance. So it was decided that I would be taken to an audiologist. Pause. Audiologist? Who is an audiologist and what does he do? A simple way of remembering what they do? Link the term with ‘audio’ and an inkling of their work will become clear. The audio, as in, the hearing abilities of a person. What does an audiologist do, therefore? He deals with the ear and the problems that may be associated with the same. These could include problems with the hearing power, problems associated with balance, tinnitus problems and others that are associated with the ear. Know what? Let’s get you some more details of what an audiologist does and you’ll understand this factor better.
What is the Role of an Audiologist?
Like I mentioned earlier, an audiologist will perform several roles that are associated with the proper functioning of the ear. The range of these duties are quite extensive and a clear understanding of the same is necessary. Let’s get to that?
■ Audiologists are given special training to be able to carry through tests that calculate the balance and the hearing of a person (child, adult and senior). Based on these tests, they are able to diagnose the range and severity of the problem and therefore are able to decide the treatment course that should be adopted. In that way, the diagnosis and the rehabilitation of the problem is the crux of their profile.
■ They should have the expertise to diagnose the problem that a person is going through. This is done by carrying forth several tests such that they are able to distinguish whether the problem is in natural order brought on by old age or whether it is caused due to an infection, trauma or disease. This procedure will include a wide range of tests that study behavioral problems, the middle ear and the varied functions of the eardrum as well as tests that include brain functioning.
■ In case it is a problem that is brought on due to an injury or trauma, they will recommend a physician who will be able to provide the correct treatment and thereby be able to correct the problem. For this they will study the eardrums and other parts of the ear and diagnose the problem. Sometimes the problem is quite severe and will require a surgery to correct the problem.
■ In instances of hearing loss, the audiologist will have to formulate varied ways in which a person can be treated. For instance starting out on hearing rehabilitation exercises like listening strategies that improve the functioning of the ear. If a patient’s hearing loss cannot be corrected or markedly improved with these exercises, then the only option is that of taking the help of digital hearing aids. These specialists have the liberty to dispense hearing aids to their customers and help them fit them as well. Depending on the severity of hearing loss, in both ears or one, the kind of hearing aid that should be fitted is decided upon by the specialist.
■ Other than these functions, most audiologists will also undertake the cleaning of ears, so that the accumulation of wax can be cleared and can thereby help in clearing the hearing problems that could be caused due to this factor.
■ Audiologists work in a health set up that could include clinics, hospitals, educational institutes, speech and hearing centers and nursing homes and could have their own private practice as well.
■ Other than performing these functions, an audiologist might also dispense information to the general public about hearing loss, how it comes about and how it can be prevented. They might also demonstrate certain hearing exercises that will help improve the hearing power and prevent loss of hearing. Of these, one of the main pointers that is taught is the effect of loud noise on the functioning of the ear.
This is a very promising field to get into. Seeing the wide range of functions that an audiologist performs and the varied settings and age groups that he works with, it comes as no surprise that audiology is a popular field to get into. For more details on the audiologist education requirements and the salary of audiologist, refer to these links.
Why see an audiologist? For all the factors mentioned above. An audiologist helps in bringing about relief from all the varied ear problems. Problems that are related to the ear could lead to acute hearing loss, which could affect the very quality of a person’s life. Thus, if there is ever a problem with your ears or you notice a significant change in your hearing abilities, do yourselves a favor and get to an audiologist’s clinic quickly.