What is an Audiologist?
You may be wondering, “What is an audiologist?” We at Hearing Resources are frequently asked that question. An audiologist is the health care professional specializing in identifying, diagnosing, treating and monitoring disorders of the auditory and vestibular portions of the ear. Audiologists have a masters or doctoral degree from an accredited university, state licensure, and hold membership in the American Academy of Audiology or the American Speech and Hearing Association. They are trained to work with hearing disorders for persons of all ages — infants through adults. The treatment of hearing loss always includes patient counseling, including the teaching of coping and compensation skills in addition to amplification.
An audiologist’s scope of practice includes the design of newborn and school screening programs, noise protection and noise induced hearing loss prevention programs, industrial hearing protection programs, and the identification of cochlear implant candidacy and patient follow-up, hearing and hearing aid research and development, teaching at the University level, cerumen (ear wax) management, tinnitus evaluation and remediation, inter-operative monitoring and rehabilitation centers.
In addition to working in physician’s offices and private practices, audiologists are also employed in hospitals, schools for the hearing impaired, government health advisor offices, the military, as well as University and manufacturing settings.
Audiology at Hearing Resources
The audiologists at Hearing Resources work specifically with diagnosis of hearing loss for our doctor’s patients and for their own Hearing Resource patients. Testing and evaluation of a patient’s hearing is done in a very controlled sound environment – usually referred to as a sound booth. Testing may also be done of the middle ear via tympanometry. OAE testing is available as needed and is usually done for children. Once the audiologist has determined the type and amount of a patient’s hearing loss, he or she is able to recommend various solutions to help improve the patient’s hearing.
An important consideration when choosing hearing health care at Hearing Resources is the close partnership our audiologists have with our ENT physicians. When audiologic testing reveals a need for medical treatment, referral to one of the three otologists (ear doctors) of the ENT Center can often result in the patient seeing the doctor on the same day.
The audiologists of Hearing Resources serve patients with varying degrees of hearing loss on a daily basis. Most types of loss can be treated with hearing aids. The newer technology of digital processing, blue tooth technology and improved cosmetic design have increased acceptance of hearing aids by patients in recent years. The choices are many and our patients are often amazed at how easy hearing can be once again.