If you suspect that you have hearing problems or feel that it’s time to get your ears tested, you should seek the guidance of an audiologist. While you know that they deal with ears and hearing, it’s quite likely that your knowledge on what they actually do is quite limited.
Allison Audiology and Hearing Aid Center in Houston and Lake Jackson has three audiologists on staff to assess your hearing abilities and ease you into your journey of better hearing.
The audiologist’s job description at a glance
In basic terms, an audiologist is responsible for preventing, diagnosing, and treating a variety of hearing and balance disorders. While hearing loss may be incorrectly associated with elderly people, audiologists can treat people of all ages – including pediatric patients, teenagers, and young adults with hearing loss.
An audiologist will have several years of education behind them, boasting a Master or Doctorate in audiology and related fields. Additionally, they will boast an extensive knowledge of various issues related to hearing health. With over 50-million Americans suffering from hearing loss, their role in the healthcare sector is vital.
What conditions does an audiologist treat?
Audiologists are professional experts that can treat patients with a range of hearing health issues. The most common issues are listed below:
An audiologist is the best person to screen a person for potential hearing loss and can use a range of examinations to identify the type and severity of hearing loss. The list of tests conducted by an audiologist include;
- Physical inspections for abnormalities
- Speech testing testing
- Tympanometry and middle ear testing
- Bone conduction testing
- Pure-tone testing
- Acoustic reflex testing
- Auditory Brainwave Response (ABR)
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)
The audiologist will, therefore, need to use a range of equipment from otoscopes to sound booths and auditory response monitoring systems. The average hearing test lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.
Tinnitus is another very common issue that affects millions of people across the country. It can be described as hearing sounds despite the lack of an external sound source. The most common sounds to be reported include:
The sounds may be in one ear or both while they can be continued or intermittent. Through the use of intricate tests, as well as discussions, it is possible for the audiologist to gain a clear idea of what you are hearing before finding a treatment.
Dizziness and balance issues
The ears aren’t only responsible for hearing and will play a pivotal role in your balance. This is why vertigo and similar issues are often best seen by an audiologist. Similarly, dizziness can be heavily linked to the ears.
Visiting an audiologist gives you the best chance of discovering the reason behind the problem, as well as confirmation as to whether it’s linked to another health problem.
What treatments and management solutions will an audiologist use?
Each case of hearing loss and tinnitus is unique, meaning it deserves a tailored solution. It is best to visit with one of the audiologists at Allison Audiology & Hearing Aid Center to discuss your specific concerns and challenges so a treatment plan will be made specific for you.
Still, the most common solutions are:
Hearing aids can be used to treat hearing loss of all severities. Whether it’s a mild, moderate, severe, or profound case, there will be hearing aid devices designed to help your cause. Meanwhile, hearing aids are shown to have a positive impact on tinnitus too.
The audiologist will find the best type of hearing aid for the patient’s hearing profile, lifestyle, and budget.
The main categories are behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), and receiver-in-canal (RIC). However, there are various models of each. Learn more about hearing aid styles offered at Allison Audiology here: https://allisonaudiology.com/hearing-aids
Sound therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy
Both sound therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are primarily used to aid tinnitus sufferers. At Allison Audiology, the audiologists utilize Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) to address the needs of tinnitus patients. This therapy method allows the patient to focus on a different stimulus, allowing the brain to habituate to the tinnitus. Over time, the tinnitus is less noticeable and the negative effects of the tinnitus is also reduced.
Why Tinnitus Retraining Therapy?
A 2019 study by the Journal of American Medical Association for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery shows the discomfort caused by tinnitus was reduced using Tinnitus Retraining Therapy in all groups studied. For more information on the study, visit: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/article-abstract/2734346
By reducing the control that tinnitus has on your life, the situation will look brighter than ever.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
In addition to hearing aids, the audiologist may look to point you towards the direction of assistive listening devices. These devices may work as an extension to your hearing aids, such as an external microphone to pick up the speech of your guest in a loud restaurant, allowing you to hear the conversation. Other assistive devices may help to make the phone louder and clearer, even without the use of hearing aids.
Either way, those devices can improve your daily life with great results.
Book an appointment with the audiologist today
Ultimately, the audiologist is the best person to treat all hearing and balance related issues. To book an appointment with audiologists you can trust, give Allison Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, P.C. a call today or book online at www.allisonaudiology.com