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An Audiologist is a health care professional qualified to diagnose and treat hearing and balancing problems in both children and adults. They differ from an ENT doctor and an Otolaryngologists as these specialties are gained after completing a basic medical course and involve nose, throat, and mouth along with ear.
Some of the conditions for which you can consult them include tinnitus, loss of hearing (less, moderate, severe), etc. They do certain hearing exams and diagnose the condition. The treatment includes the provision of hearing aids, implants, management of disorders of balance, rehabilitation programmes for hearing and speech. They can also advise about the basic ways of taking care of the ear.
When you face any hearing problem, it is possible to contact an audiologist online instantly to discuss the problem and update yourself with the cause and management of the disorder you are facing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of an audiologist?
Audiologists are healthcare professionals, who prevent, diagnose, and treat problems with hearing and balance. They help patients suffering from hearing loss, select and custom-fit hearing aids, treat balance problems, screen for hearing loss, and advise ways to cope with tinnitus.
Can audiologists perform surgery?
No, audiologists do not perform surgeries and neither do they prescribe medicines. Surgery for ear problems is done by an ENT (ear, nose, throat) specialist.
When to consult an audiologist?
In the following conditions, consulting an audiologist is best:
- Problems with hearing.
- Hearing mumbled or slurred sounds.
- Problems following a conversation.
- Balancing difficulties.
- Ringing in the ears.
- Difficulty hearing high-pitched voices.
What to expect during the first audiologist visit?
During your first visit, an audiologist will ask you about the symptoms you have been experiencing, your lifestyle, and about the environment that you live in. If he or she finds something wrong with your hearing, then you will be asked to get a few tests done. Some of the common tests include pure tone audiometry, speech audiometry, auditory brainstem response (ABR), and transtympanic electrocochleography.
What to do in case of suspected hearing impairment?
If you think you have problems hearing, then consult an audiologist immediately. The audiologist will diagnose the cause and the extent of hearing loss through various tests. Based on the results, the audiologist will suggest removing earwax, hearing aids, etc.
What are the early signs of hearing loss?
The early signs of hearing loss are:
- Muffled sounds or speech.
- Difficulty following a conversation.
- Problems hearing consonants.
- Asking others to speak loudly.
Is it possible to cure hearing loss?
If hearing loss is due to damaged hair-like cells in the inner ear, then hearing cannot be restored. Hearing aids and cochlear implants can help with sensorineural hearing loss.
What causes loss of hearing?
Inner ear damage, buildup of earwax, ear infection, bone growth, bone tumors, and perforated eardrum are some of the causes of hearing loss.
How long does an audiometry test take?
Audiometry tests a person’s hearing. It usually takes about 30 minutes, but it can take longer depending on the number of tests performed.