An audiologist is a doctor who diagnoses, treats and prevents hearing diseases, selects hearing aids.
Audiology is one of the branches of defectology that studies the problems of adaptation and rehabilitation of people with hearing impairment, or suffering from complete deafness.
The audiologist is able to perform operations that are unique in their kind. They can restore hearing even with severe deafness. Modern medicine is able to make auditory ossicles from the patient's own nails and then prosthetics in the ear.
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- What does an audiologist do?
- What diseases does the audiologist treat?
- When do you need to come for a consultation with an audiologist?
- Research methods used by the audiologist
- Audiologist's recommendations
- Appointment to an audiologist
What does an audiologist do?
The main activity of the audiologist is the diagnosis and therapy of pathologies of the organ of hearing. It is necessary to contact a specialist if problems are found with determining the direction of sound, with difficulties in understanding people's speech.
It is within the competence of the audiologist to examine the ear using an otoscope, identify existing problems and select a hearing aid.
To one degree or another, nearly 10 percent of the population has hearing problems. However, many do not know about this, since the brain is able to compensate for ear pathologies and a person understands by meaning what he is being told and what he hears.
The doctor not only identifies existing violations, but also determines the causes of their occurrence, which may include:
- Passion for listening to music with headphones;
- Frequent stay in places with a high level of noise (for example, in nightclubs, discos, etc.);
- Head injuries received;
- Postponed severe otitis media;
- Taking medications, namely, neurotoxic antibiotics;
- Congenital anomalies in the structure of the hearing aid or auditory nerve;
- Complications of past illnesses;
When the cause leading to the hearing loss is identified, the doctor will begin to look for ways to solve this problem.
What diseases does the audiologist treat?
The audiologist can treat his patients with medication, physiotherapy, and perform surgical interventions as needed. Diseases that an audiologist can help get rid of:
- Meniere's disease, in which the middle ear is affected, hearing loss and tinnitus occur.
- Acoustic neuroma, which is characterized by the formation of a benign tumor. In addition to hearing impairment, the disease also provokes balance problems.
- Perforation of the tympanic membrane.
- Senile hearing loss.
- Tinnitus (see also: causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of tinnitus).
- Noise-induced hearing loss. It is important to know that a single-stage, high-intensity noise can provoke a rupture of the tympanic membrane and damage the hair cells. As a result, the person will become completely deaf.
When do you need to come for a consultation with an audiologist?
Pain and tinnitus, hearing loss - all these are good reasons to visit an audiologist.
Even if sometimes a person notices his hearing impairment, draws attention to the fact that he did not hear the knock on the door or the phone ring, it is necessary to visit a specialist. In addition, the reason for going to the doctor is the remarks from close people, regarding too loud speech. At the same time, it seems to the person himself that he is talking normally.
After examining the patient, the audiologist can send him for a consultation with another specialist, for example, a neurologist.
It is also important for parents to pay attention to how their child hears. Poor hearing often leads to speech impairments. Therefore, if there are any doubts about the child's hearing, it must be shown to a specialist in a timely manner.
Research methods used by the audiologist
In his practice, the doctor uses tympanometry. This study allows you to assess the condition of the auditory tube. In addition, it evaluates hearing at various frequencies (at 11).
If indicated, electrocochleography may be performed. It is prescribed when there is congestion in the ears, a person is worried about dizziness and hearing loss.
In addition, the common diagnostic methods used by the audiologist are: otomicroscopy, reflexometry and audiometry.
Audiologists give their patients and people with no hearing problems the following tips:
- It is important to pay attention to the delayed speech development of the child, as this may be the first sign of hearing loss.
- If the baby does not respond to clapping with palms next to him (at a distance of a meter), then this may indicate hearing impairment.
- If the living conditions are such that the noise threshold is often exceeded around, then you should try to reduce it as much as possible. To do this, install soundproofed windows and keep them closed. This applies to people living along the road, along noisy highways, etc.
- If you have hearing problems, then you should not tolerate them. Modern medicine has many ways to combat deafness. Timely treatment will allow not to worsen the quality of life and get rid of the existing pathology.