If you or a family member has recently been given a referral to see an audiologist, you may be a little nervous. You may not know exactly what an audiologist does. Audiology is a wide field that offers many different solutions to common problems. Here are some of the problems that an audiologist can help with:
One of the main jobs of an audiologist is to diagnose hearing problems. In order to do this, audiologists have a wide range of tests to pinpoint what exactly is wrong with one's hearing. Tests for hearing loss are given to newborns, as well as in most public schools They can also be administered on demand, should there be warning signs of a hearing problem. Many elderly people experience hearing loss. While this can be hereditary, some people lose their hearing more quickly than others due to their jobs. For example, people who work on the runways at airports often lose their hearing due to being so close to the planes when they take off. All of these problems are something that an audiologist can help you with.
While some people may not recognize that balance is related to hearing, the balance center for the entire body is located within the inner ear. The balance center is found within a branch off of the cochlea called the vestibular system. The vestibular system has three semicircles going vertically, horizontally, and diagonally which are filled with fluid. When the fluid within these semicircles shifts, the brain is told that the body is moving. Sometimes the brain is then told that the body is moving when it is not. This creates balance issues such as vertigo. Audiologists have methods of treating this vertigo sensation, including twists and exercises which could help to even out one's balance.
The Need For Cochlear Devices
The cochlea is the location where the body translates sound into brain waves via nerves. Should any of these nerves be damaged, the sound will not reach the brain, and will not be "heard" correctly. A cochlear device is a modern piece of technology that can take a sound and transmit it directly into the auditory nerve so that there is a greater likelihood of the sound being heard. With the help of audiologists, the source of hearing loss can be pinpointed. When this is done, a cochlear implant can be done, and can remain in place for a person's life.
In conclusion, audiologist appointments are nothing to fear. They are medical specialists who are very skilled at helping individuals hear better. If your doctor feels that you could use the support of an audiologist, schedule an appointment as soon as possible for the best results.