If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with hearing loss in Plano, you can expect to become pretty well acquainted with your audiologist. Prior to your diagnosis, if you thought of an audiologist at all, you probably pictured somebody who wore a white coat and who peered into your ears with a lighted instrument. Guess what? Not all audiologists dress in white, and they do a lot more than look inside your ears. Since you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your audiologist’s office, an understanding of everything this person does may prove helpful as you navigate through the challenges of living with less than perfect hearing.
Definition of an Audiologist
An audiologist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. The majority of audiologists possess a Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) from an accredited university. All receive in-depth training in the prevention, identification, assessment, and treatment of a wide range of hearing and balance disorders. They are required to complete an internship, pass a national competency examination and obtain professional certification and licensing in the state where they wish to practice. It’s pretty obvious your audiologist has more than just a passing interest in ears and hearing to have devoted so much time to their studies!
The Role of an Audiologist
Your audiologist in Plano does a lot! His or her duties include any (or all) of the following on any given day:
- Identify, test, diagnose, and manage hearing and balance disorders and tinnitus
- Counsel and educate patients and their families on hearing health, treatment and management strategies, and methods for improving communication.
- Assess candidacy for hearing aids, cochlear implants, and implantable hearing devices.
- Administer audiologic rehabilitation programs including speech reading, language development, and communication skills.
- Evaluate and manage patients with central auditory processing disorders.
- Design and implement hearing conservation programs.
- Supervise and conduct newborn hearing screenings.
- Recommend, dispense, fit, and program hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
- Examine the ear canals and eardrum, removing excess earwax, and making custom molds from ear impressions.
- Assist surgeons with medical procedures involving the ears.
Texas audiologists work in a wide variety of settings. They may practice in hospitals, clinics, educational facilities, hearing aid dispensaries, private practices, and VA hospitals, among other places.
The next time you visit with your Plano audiologist, you might just have a better understanding of the many hats this individual wears!