Untreated hearing loss contributes to a variety of negative mental and physical health conditions and leads to a reduced quality of living. Hearing care provided by a professional audiologist can limit or eliminate the impact of hearing loss on you and your loved ones.
As we celebrate National Audiology Awareness Month, we would like to provide a closer look at why an audiologist is your best choice for your hearing healthcare.
What is audiology?
Audiology is the study of hearing but includes other areas of study related to the ears as well. In medical terms, audiology is the science dedicated to hearing, balance, and disorders associated with them.
Though a concern with the function of hearing dates back to Hippocrates in the 4th Century BC, modern audiology did not develop until the late 1940s as scientists searched for ways to treat servicemen who have noise-induced hearing loss.
By the 1960s, audiology had advanced significantly as new programs and treatments dealing with speech and aural rehabilitation became more common.
The past two decades have seen the most significant advancements in both diagnostic and treatment within the field of audiology.
What can an audiologist do for you?
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or the American Board of Audiologists license doctors specializing in hearing care.
These doctors, referred to as clinical audiologists or simply audiologists, are healthcare professionals involved in evaluating a person’s ability to hear sounds and the treatment of individuals with hearing disorders.
Common areas of healthcare that involve audiologists include:
- Language learning and speech
- Anatomy of the ear and auditory nerves as they relate to sound processing by the brain
- Hearing loss causes
- Aural rehabilitation, which includes improved speech and communication for the hearing impaired (lip-reading, sign language, etc.)
- Hearing instruments and hearing technology
A visit to an audiologist typically begins with a hearing assessment designed to detect various types of hearing loss, severity, and the best options for correcting the problem, which sometimes includes fitting the patient with hearing aids. Audiologists also treat people with balance problems.
Audiologists set up screening programs for schools, government agencies, and community hearing speech centers and engage in private practice hearing healthcare.
Why is it important to partner with an audiologist for hearing care?
Audiologists are most often compared with otolaryngologists or hearing aid specialists, but there are some differences between their specific areas of emphasis. An otolaryngologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to the ear, nose, and throat (ENT).
Audiologists tend to maintain a reciprocal relationship with ENT doctors because some conditions require specialized treatment, but these doctors are not primarily focused on hearing care.
In contrast, hearing aid specialists, though certified for testing and fitting people for hearing aids, are not doctors but focus more on dispensing hearing instruments.
Audiologists are your best option when it comes to hearing care because they follow best practices, achieve the best results, and provide a higher level of ongoing hearing healthcare.
Consulting an audiologist has become more critical during the past decade due to the development of online screenings for hearing and the capability to purchase hearing instruments without a complete diagnosis or failing to understand the potential damage they can produce.
Also, hearing loss or hearing impairment can be covering up a more serious medical issue left entirely undetected without a proper hearing assessment from an audiologist.
Partner with Cornerstone Audiology to Receive the Best Possible Hearing Care
Because untreated hearing loss leads to various mental and physical health problems and reduces your capacity to live an independent and rewarding lifestyle, it is best to identify it and begin treatment early.
A comprehensive hearing assessment by a licensed audiologist at Cornerstone Audiology is the best way to ensure that you receive the best possible hearing care.