An audiologist specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of hearing and balance disorders. They are educated to identify, assess, and manage hearing-related issues, such as hearing loss, tinnitus, auditory processing disorder, and balance problems.
Audiologists can work with individuals from all age groups, from infants to the elderly, providing a wide range of services, including hearing diagnostics, hearing aid fitting and programming, hearing loss management, and vestibular rehabilitation.
You can find audiologists in various settings, including clinics, hospitals, private practices, and schools.
In general, audiologists play an integral role in helping individuals to communicate effectively, engage in social activities, and maintain their overall quality of life.
Five Reasons to See an Audiologist
Symptoms of hearing loss or balance disorders can occur gradually and can be very subtle in the early stages. It is essential to seek professional help as soon as you notice issues in your hearing and balance because prolonged, untreated hearing/balance issues can lead to long term damage.
Below are five common signs of hearing loss or balance disorders:
Frequently asking people around you to repeat what they say.
Having the perception that the people you are talking to are mumbling or not speaking audibly.
Difficulty hearing and understanding speech in noisy environments.
Turning up the volume on devices (TV, radio) more than usual.
Random episodes of dizziness or lightheadedness.
What is the difference between an audiologist and a hearing aid dispenser?
Audiologists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of hearing and balance disorders. They have a masters or doctoral degree in audiology and are licensed to practice audiology.
They are trained to identify hearing and balance disorders, perform comprehensive hearing evaluations, and provide a wide range of treatment options, including hearing aids, assistive listening devices, cochlear implants, and vestibular rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, a hearing aid dispenser is licensed to fit and dispense hearing aids to people with hearing loss. They are trained to fit and adjust hearing aids, but they do not have the same level of training and education as audiologists.
Hearing aid dispensers are not licensed to diagnose or treat hearing and balance disorders.
In summary, while both audiologists and hearing aid dispensers can work with hearing aids, audiologists have a higher level of education and training, and they are licensed to diagnose and treat hearing and balance disorders.
Hearing aid dispensers are licensed to fit and dispense hearing aids, but they do not have the same level of training and expertise as audiologists in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance disorders.
How can an audiologist help manage hearing loss and balance conditions?
Audiologists can treat or manage hearing loss and balance conditions using various methods and techniques such as:
Providing comprehensive hearing evaluations: The first step to treatment and management is getting an accurate diagnosis. Audiologists perform various tests and assessments to evaluate the type and extent of hearing loss or balance problems.
Fitting and programming of hearing aids: Once a hearing loss is established, an audiologist can recommend the ideal device and program the hearing aids to match the hearing requirement. Audiologists can also provide ongoing care and maintenance to ensure that the hearing aids are working optimally.
Vestibular rehabilitation: Audiologists are trained to provide vestibular rehabilitation therapy to patients with balance disorders. This may include exercises and other techniques designed to reduce symptoms of dizziness or vertigo and improve balance.
Counseling: Audiologists can provide professional counseling and hearing rehabilitation to individuals with hearing loss or balance disorders. This can include discussing coping strategies for managing hearing loss, education on how to communicate effectively, and guidance on how to improve overall communication and quality of life.
Audiologists in Swampscott and Peabody, MA
Atlantic Hearing Care is an audiology clinic with clinics in Swampscott and Peabody, MA, that offers comprehensive hearing care from professional and compassionate audiologists. We provide a wide range of treatment options and support to people with hearing loss.
If you are diagnosed with a balance condition, we are able to help facilitate a diagnosis and provide appropriate referrals to help patients treat and manage their balance condition.