What is that you say? Ideology? Audie-what-a-ty? Audiology: A growing profession of hearing and balance healthcare experts and professionals. If you are considering that you, your family, or close friends are experiencing decreasing hearing or issues with dizziness and balance, these are the professionals for you. Audiologists complete thorough auditory and vestibular evaluations, make diagnoses, provide options, management, and rehabilitation.
Previously required to have a Masters degree in their field, Audiologists are now required to hold an Au.D., doctorate degree in their discipline. Schooling for an Au.D. typically consist of 4 years of undergraduate and 4 years of professional education and training. Requiring almost 2000 hours of supervised clinical rotation hours, you can be certain that even a new graduate is knowledgeable and prepared to evaluate your hearing and balance needs.
Testing typically performed by audiologists includes, but is not limited to:
Otoscopy is an assessment of the state of the outer ear canal and ear drum.
Tympanometry is an objective pressure assessment of the middle ear system (the area just behind the ear drum that contains the middle ear bones and space).
Otoacoustic Emissions Evaluation
Otoacoustic emissions evaluation is an objective assessment of the inner ear (specifically the sensory cells of the organ of hearing, the cochlea).
Pure-tone audiometry consists of behavioral test to assess the sensitivity of your hearing across a range of pitches or frequencies.
Speech audiometry consists of behavioral assessment of speech awareness, identification, and comprehension in quiet and in a background of noise.
Evoked Potential Examinations
Various evoked potential examinations exist. Evoked potential evaluations are objective tests of the pathways of hearing and balance from the peripheral organs to the brain.
Vestibular assessments are available to those having balance or dizziness issues. Each person's needs are determined based on the needs assessments to make a confident diagnosis of hearing and vestibular disorders.
Audiologists also provide options for management of hearing and vestibular disorders, including amplification and therapy. These hearing healthcare professionals are well-equipped to determine what hearing aids or assistive listening technologies are right for you, program and fit the amplification, and make adjustments as necessary. Vestibular therapies may be provided or your audiologist may refer you to an appropriate physician.
Your local audiologist is your best resource for your hearing healthcare. They can provide you with friendly, informative, compassionate, and thorough information regarding your hearing and balance health.