Specialized branches of medicine are interesting as they tend to focus on only one organ and the problems and solutions associated with it. Such medical branch is audiology. Here’s a short explanation on what audiology presents, who are the specialists that work in this area, what exactly they do, and what problems they solve.
Hearing, balance, and related disorders are the main subjects audiology examination and practice. It examines problems with hearing loss and looks for ways to proactively prevent damage. The specialists that practice audiology are audiologists. They treat hearing loss and search for the best way to prevent further damage of the hearing.
Audiologists are trained to conduct various testing strategies such as hearing tests, otoacoustic measurements, videonystagmography, and electrophysiologic tests. Using these strategies, audiologists aim at determining which portion of the hearing is affected and to what degree. After setting the diagnosis, an audiology expert will prescribe a suitable hearing aid. In addition, audiologists are trained to work with clients in rehabilitation from conditions such as tinitus, auditory processing disorders, patients with cochlear implants and/or hearing aid.
So What Exactly Do Audiologists Do And Who Do They Treat?
People that have any type of hearing problem, regardless of the age (from pediatric populations to veterans) are subject to audiologist treatment. As trained and certified health-care professionals, audiologists identify, diagnose, treat and monitor disorders of the auditory and vestibular system parts of the ear. Among other things, audiologists help in designing and implementing hearing safety programs for personal and industrial use, hearing screening programs for babies, hearing screening programs for schools, and providing special ear plugs and other devices for hearing protection.
Certain countries have special requirements to be met so a person can become an audiologist. For instance in Australia, the person must have a Master’s degree in Audiology, or alternatively, a Bachelor’s degree from overseas that is VETASSESS certified. Although audiologists in Australia don’t need to be members of any professional body, they need to have have 2 years clinical experience and be registered with the Audiology Australia or Australian College of Audiology.
They need these registrations and certifications to be able to dispense hearing aids to eligible pensioners and war veterans. All this is necessary to support the credibility of this type of health care professionals, since like all other medical personnel, they too carry a huge responsibility for their patients in properly diagnosing the degree of hearing loss and prescribing the proper medications.