An audiologist is a health care professional who diagnoses and treats balance and hearing problems. They usually have a Doctorate in Audiology (AuD), but they can earn other degrees in audiology. Most states require an audiologist to have a license in order to practice.
What Does an Audiologist Do?
An audiologist can provide any of the following services:
• Administer hearing tests
• Fit patients for hearing aids
• Prescribe hearing aids or other devices
• Provide rehabilitation training
• Treat most types of hearing loss
How Often Should Someone See an Audiologist?
Young children are periodically screened for hearing loss. Audiologists can even perform tests on newborns for congenital hearing loss. Children also undergo hearing tests when they start school. The audiologist will usually administer a pure tone audiometry in which the child wears headphones and listens for beeps played at different pitches and volumes. When the child hears a beep, they either raise their hand or press a button.
Healthy adults who are between 21 and 50 years old with no family history of hearing loss only need to get their hearing checked once every ten years. Adults who are over 50 should get their hearing checked once every three years.
Signs of Hearing Loss
Unless it’s caused by a physical problem like a perforated ear drum, hearing loss is typically painless and gradual. The patient with hearing loss, therefore, may not realize they even have a problem. There are still some behavioral cues that experts recommend watching out for, such as:
• The patient has trouble following conversations in which two or more people are speaking at the same time
• The patient turns the TV volume up too high
• The patient has trouble picking out specific sounds from a noisy background
• The patient has to strain to understand conversation
• The patient frequently asks people to repeat themselves
• The patient can’t hear high-pitched sounds like the voices of children or most women
A person should also get their hearing checked if they develop tinnitus or “ringing in the ears.” Audiologists are also the go-to medical professional for age-related hearing loss or an excessive accumulation of ear wax.
Contact Our Office Today
Basically, if you have any issues with your hearing, take a moment to make an appointment with our audiologist at the office of Daniel J. Leeman, MD in Austin. The sooner you seek treatment, the better. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.