8 Things An Audiologist Can Do For You
What is an audiologist and what can they do for you? Lots actually! An audiologist is a professional in the healthcare industry and can diagnose, treat, evaluate, and manage hearing issues in newborns, children, and adults. We have compiled a list of 8 things that your hearing professional can help you with.
1. Give you expert advice
If you are experiencing any sort of hearing or balance issue, an audiologist is the best person to give you the advice and help that you may need. Your audiologist will be able to provide you with services and advice in relation to: tinnitus, hearing loss, communication issues, balance issues, wax build up, hearing aids, hearing protection, and hearing tests.
2. Help with tinnitus
If you suffer from tinnitus, your audiologist will be able to help you out in many ways. As tinnitus is a symptom, a full medical and audiological assessment should be done to rule out any underlying disease. Underlying issues could include blood pressure, noise exposure, emotional stress, or allergies. Once this is done, your audiologist may refer you to the right medical professional to receive treatment of the underlying condition or advise you further on how you can manage your tinnitus. Management may involve using sound therapy, tinnitus retraining therapy, or cognitive behavioural therapy.
3. Advise on products available
There are many amazing products available out there for tinnitus, hearing loss, and hearing protection. You can discuss all of the options available to you with your hearing professional and they will be able to recommend one that they think is suitable. As each individual is different, there may not be a one size fits all solution. It could take some time to find a product that suits you but your audiologist will be there to help you through this process.
4. Fit your hearing aids
One of the services that audiologists provide is to advise on, and fit hearing aids. Based on your hearing test and results, your audiologist will programme and fit a hearing aid that is right for you. The hearing aid should be programmed to match your unique hearing loss and follow up appointments should be scheduled regularly to ensure that your hearing aid is working as well as it should be.
5. Hearing protection
There are a wide range of excellent hearing protection products available on the market and your audiologist is someone who can provide you with advice on which type might suit you. They may recommend foam earplugs, solid earplugs, musician earplugs, industrial earplugs, noise blocking earmuffs, or over the ear hearing protection – to name but a few. Another service your audiologist can provide is custom fit hearing protection. This involves molding the hearing protection to the shape of your ear for maximum protection from noise.
6. Wax removal
If you have a wax build up in your ear, your audiologist can remove it safely for you. You should never stick anything in your ear in case you damage it, therefore it is advised that you get the wax removed professionally. The process may involve microsuction or irrigation. You may experience tinnitus, dizziness, ear pain, decreased hearing, or drainage from the ear canal if you have a build up so it’s always best to get it seen to by a professional.
7. Hearing tests
Your audiologist can perform a hearing test for you which produces an audiogram. An audiogram is graphic representation of the results received during a standard hearing test. During your hearing test each ear will be presented with various different tones and a mark is placed on the audiogram at the point where the sound is just audible, this is called the threshold. Different sets of symbols are used for the results of the left and right ears.
8. Advise on balance issues
It is important to see a medical professional if you are experiencing dizziness and balance issues. An audiologist can provide a number of different balance tests. They may also test your eye movements as your eyes can give clues to the function of the inner ear. Your audiologist may also perform a hearing test as many inner ear disorders are accompanied with changes in the hearing system. Once your audiologist has made a diagnoses they can provide you with expert advice.
In addition, we asked some of the audiologists that we work with to explain the services they provide in a few sentences.
“As a hearing specialist we can offer services such as Wax Removal by Microsuction, Comprehensive Hearing Test, Tympanometry (compliance of the eardrum and middle ear) , advice on the latest technology in hearing aids, service and fitting of hearing instruments, Tinnitus advice, and ear protection.” Angela from Connect Hearing advises.
“The ear is the most neglected health organ. When an ear problem first arises often people decide to wait for years before getting help, thinking it might resolve itself. Professional help and early intervention is key. Some ear issues are easily resolved like wax removal and ear protection and others require complex care and management. Visiting an audiologist is about healthy ears”. Nina Reade, Audiological Scientist, The Ear Clinic at www.earclinic.ie and The Ear Shop atwww.EarShop.com.