Understanding the Role of an Audiologist
4 mins read

Understanding the Role of an Audiologist

Audiologists are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat hearing loss and balance disorders. They usually work in a physician’s office or audiology clinic. They also have to be licensed by the state in which they practice.

Audiologists should have excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to explain complex information clearly to patients. They also need to be able to work independently and concentrate for long periods.

They can diagnose hearing loss

If you are experiencing ear ringing, difficulty hearing other people, or losing balance, you should visit an audiologist Sudbury. They can diagnose hearing loss by comprehensively evaluating your hearing and speech abilities and suggesting treatment options.

They use a device called an audiometer to check your ability to hear. With headphones placed on your ears, they present varying tones at various decibel levels. You will be asked to raise your hand when you can hear the tone and indicate when you can no longer hear it. The same test is conducted with words to determine your ability to understand them.

Audiologists can also recommend hearing aids and assistive technology, such as TV listening systems, phones with built-in microphones, apps that boost phone sounds, tinnitus maskers, etc. They can also help prevent further damage by providing knowledge, support, and strategies to manage your hearing. Moreover, they can refer you to an otolaryngologist or ear, nose, and throat doctor who can diagnose your condition.

They can recommend innovative products for tinnitus

If your tinnitus is particularly persistent, many innovative devices can help. These are designed to mask or alter the sound of your tinnitus, reducing its volume. It is called tinnitus sound therapy. These devices can come in the form of hearing aids, wearable sound-generating devices, or even simple sound pillows and table-top noise generators. In addition, environmental sounds can also be used to help drown out tinnitus, such as fans or open windows.

In addition, researchers have developed a device that uses bimodal stimulation to treat tinnitus. This device uses a combination of auditory and somatosensory stimulation, using sound signals to counteract your tinnitus and pulses that reset nerves and suppress those that cause tinnitus. This device has been developed for a few years and has shown promise to some patients. It is currently in phase 2b studies and should be available soon. 

They can counsel patients and their families

Aside from providing hearing consultations and tests, audiologists can also counsel their patients and their families. They can help them overcome feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety by guiding them through effective coping strategies.

They can also guide their patients through choosing and using the proper hearing aids. They can explain different technologies, the best fit for your hearing loss, lifestyle and budget, and many other considerations.

It is a crucial role recognized by several audiology graduate programs, including a counseling course in their curriculum. However, there needs to be more variability in the structure of how counseling skills are taught and supported during clinical instruction. The research found that most students surveyed reported valuing counseling, but less than half experienced consistent counseling-focused teaching/feedback from their clinical supervisors. It may lead to the under-development of counseling skills in practice. It needs to change.

They can offer various solutions

Aside from offering ear tests and hearing aid dispensing, an audiologist can provide patients with various solutions that improve their quality of life. From digital hearing aids to tinnitus therapy, an audiologist can help patients find the best option.

For example, a digital hearing aid comprises a powerful minicomputer that translates the sound environment from data gathered by microphones in your ear and then filters out the sounds you do not need help with. It then amplifies the result in your ear, making it personalized.

In addition, an audiologist can also recommend hearing aids that suit your lifestyle and fit your ears. Ears are as unique as fingerprints, and it is crucial to work with a professional to ensure that your hearing healthcare plan is personalized to your specific needs.

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