Audiology is the healthcare profession concerned with the treatment of hearing loss, hearing disorders, and certain balance disorders. In short, audiologists help people hear better.
There are many different issues that can cause hearing loss, including problems present at birth, infection, or even built-up earwax within the ear. A visit to the audiologist usually begins with the audiologist asking questions about the hearing loss: how long it has been going on, or whether it affects one or both ears. Audiologists may also ask their patients if they have experienced any illnesses or other events that may have impacted their hearing. The visit usually includes a physical examination of the ears, as well as hearing tests.
Audiologists provide many services to patients, including:
Fitting and tuning hearing aids
Fitting cochlear implants
Treatment of tinnitus
Aural rehabilitation, or helping people adapt to hearing loss
Compensation skills training, such as lip reading or communication tactics
Hearing is an major part of the way we communicate and navigate the world around us. While a wonderful life without hearing is certainly possible, hearing loss can be upsetting or even frightening at first. Audiology is an important field that gives people with hearing disorders the tools to lead their lives with confidence.