WHAT DO AUDIOLOGISTS DO?
Audiologists are experts who can help to prevent, diagnose and treat hearing and balance disorders. They provide a personalised service to improve an individual’s quality of life by giving them the ability to hear through effective audiology management
Audiologist are highly educated specialists who test patients based on their symptoms and then diagnose the problem to determine the most suitable method of treatment. They also get involved with counselling patients and their family members about how to deal with the difficulties of having a hearing impairment.
They offer a variety of services that assist with a range of disorders present in babies, children, adults and the elderly. These conditions and their treatments are explained below:
- Hearing Issues – An audiologist can work out the exact extent of hearing loss with the use of an audiometer. Deafness is usually the results of inner ear or nerve damage.
- Amplification – Hearing loss is can be improved by amplifying the sound around them with the use of assistive hearing devices, especially useful when the hearing loss effects someone’s speech. Audiologists assist with identifying the most appropriate device to fit.
- Auditory Processing – These are disorders where an individual’s brain struggles to process sounds. Symptom includes difficulty in understanding speech in noisy environments, or difficulty in following instructions and distinguishing between sounds. Audiologists measure a person’s ability to hear various sounds and frequencies to test their auditory processing.
- Tinnitus – This is the perception of noise or ringing sound in the ears, which is usually is a buzzing or whistling sound at a low intensity and present all day. Audiologists can help reduce this sound’s effects of people as much as possible.
- Hyperacusis and Misophonia – Hyperacusis refers to increased sensitivity to everyday sounds in the normal environment. It’s a decreased tolerance for loud sounds. Misophonia is the selective sensitivity to small repetitive sounds, which means normal sounds are amplified. It’s an intense dislike of a sound or group of sounds.
- Balancing Disorders – These are caused by an inner ear balance being disturbed. The symptoms are the feeling of being unsteady or dizzy, as if you are moving, spinning, or floating, even though you are standing still.
- If you are struggling with any of the issues mentioned then you need to contact an Audiologists to assist you. They usually practice out of private practices, doctor’s offices, hospitals, schools, tertiary institutions and rehabilitation centres[iv]. Kelly can be found at St George’s hospital in Port Elizabeth.