What Does An Audiologist Do?

Published: 19th March 2010
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Audiology is a broad field that includes patients with varying ages and hearing disorders. Audiologists specialize in the identification and treatment of many different types of hearing loss. They use a wide range of tests to determine the specific cause of a patient's hearing loss.

Once the cause is found the the condition they have given their diagnosis an audiologist will then discuss different treatment possibilities with the patient so that a solution can be found. Audiologists undergo extensive training in their field in order to gain expertise in diagnostic testing procedures and treatment options for their patients.

The minimum requirement to become an audiologist is a master's degree in the field, however some regions require a doctorate degree be earned as well. In 2007, based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 states made doctorate degrees mandatory. Master's degrees and doctorates in audiology must be presented by accredited institutions to be considered valid. In order to receive a doctorate degree in audiology, a person has to undergo eight years of university education, combined with supervised clinical experiencse.

Every state requires audiologists to be licenses, and most also require continuing education to maintain the license. In some states, audiologists must have the proper license to give their patients hearing aids, while other states want their practitioners to be licensed for reimbursement. An audiologist must familiarize him or herself with all of the training required by the state they are practicing in and be certain they remain in compliance with the state's audiology regulations.

Audiologists practice in many kinds of offices, such as educational institutions, hospital clinics, or physician practices. Some audiologists even open their own practices, where they must learn the business end of health care as well as the patient side of their jobs. Audiologist can choose to work with all patients or to specialize in a particular group such as youth or elderly patients. Some audiologists decide to work more on the research side of things, such as studying noise pollution in working environments in order to find ways to prevent hearing loss.

Specialized equipment is used to evaluate patients' hearing status. There are a myriad of factors such as genetics, the environment, or the aging process that can cause hearing loss. In the audiologist's evaluation, they will determine the specific reason for hearing loss, as this could affect how the patient is treated. Occasionally an audiologist may be brought in to evaluate a condition that could possibly be caused by an ear issue, such as dizziness and problems with balance.

Audiologists can give out the proper treatment and diagnose these particular conditions accurately. Other times, an audiologist may refer a patient to another specialist, like an ear, nose and throat doctor for further evaluation. Many times these specialists have staff who are audiologists in order to support the treatment and diagnosis of patient's suffering from hearing loss. The audiologist is usually the most knowledgeable professional in the field of hearing aids and can most adeptly counsel patients on the best devices for their needs.

Audiologists might also provide information to the general public about hearing loss. They assist people in deciding which hearing aids will help them the best. Audiologists can diagnose particular issues with hearing evaluations at school clinics, which are performed regularly. As an audiologist, you can do research & development work on ways to preserve hearing.

Talk to an audiologist if you think hearing loss is something that you may be experiencing, as they can help the most. With their help, you'll be able to find out what is causing your hearing loss, and how to treat it effectively. Most times audiologist have the most knowledge on what hearing aids are currently available and the best, as well as any other medical treatments that may be available to aid in regaining hearing. If you have noticed a decline in the quality of your hearing and want to explore your treatment options, then the best individual to speak with is an audiologist.

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