Why Do I Need an Audiologist?
Hearing loss is a lot more common than people think. In fact, the malady affects about one in eight people in the U.S. 12 years and older, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). As the statistic indicates, hearing loss isn’t limited to older individuals; the NIDCD also reports more individuals in their teens and early 20s are becoming increasingly susceptible to developing hearing loss.
Symptoms of hearing loss
If you find people begin to mumble more often or you find yourself asking “What?” or “Can you repeat that?” chances are you could be suffering from some degree of hearing loss. The only way to be certain if you are suffering from hearing loss is to visit an audiologist.
What is an audiologist?
An audiologist is a hearing healthcare professional specializing in “assessment and management of the auditory vestibular system,” according to the American Audiology Association. In simple terms, an audiologist understands how the ears function and how noises are perceived and understood by the brain. Because of their education and training, audiologists can identify problems and recommend solutions for an individual with hearing loss.
How is an audiologist special?
While many types of hearing healthcare professionals can help those with hearing loss, an audiologist tends to be considered the “cream of the crop.” Unlike other hearing healthcare professionals, audiologists are the only professionals who have attended a college or university and have trained to become licensed to identify, evaluate, diagnose and treat hearing loss disorders. As such, audiologists are qualified to assess and treat infants, children and adults. Additionally, they also provide amplification, counseling and education and training to help make the most out of your hearing solutions.
Also unlike many other hearing healthcare professionals, audiologists go beyond treating patients. Many audiologists constantly engage in research activities to help further their field of medicine. They may study assessment techniques or new rehabilitative technologies, focusing on hearing aids or other hearing devices. Audiologists often write or peer-review reports for medical, scientific and audiology journals.
Should I see an audiologist?
If you believe you suffer from hearing loss, contact a local audiologist. To find one near you, look online, ask friends and family for references or contact your primary care physician for a referral. Once you’ve set up your appointment, a new life of sound, joy and clarity awaits.