An audiologist is able to determine hearing function in those patients who are deaf. But do you know what exactly they do? Audiologists are hearing professionals who diagnose potential hearing problems and specialize in treating these disorders. These audiology experts are also fully trained to perform prosthetic restorations. They also give support to those patients who suffer from or are beginning to suffer from hearing loss. Audiologists should guide patients and their families on issues related to hearing health, as the causes of deafness, rehabilitation of hearing or use of hearing aids, among other things.

Are they a physician?

They will have likely completed a master’s degree and are qualified and licensed healthcare professionals. If an audiologist completes a doctorate degree, they will then become a Doctor of Audiology. Some people choose to take this route whilst others decide to opt to stay an audiologist and assist those within the ENT department. They will however have a vast knowledge of ENT. They do require a long list of skills that assist people with issues relating to their hearing including:

  • The anatomy of the brain and ear to understand how sound reception works
  • Possible causes of hearing loss
  • Techniques for people with hearing problems to improve their communication skills
  • Recommend and advise on the use of hearing aids
  • They teach the technique of sign language and lip reading
  • They can also treat problems with balance, teaching different techniques to alleviate it. They help specialist doctors to detect possible neurological problems. They deal with the part of balance that concerns the middle and inner ear.

They will also be trained fully in audiometry. It is a subjective test that is performed by a medical equipment called an audiometer that allows the type and degree of hearing loss to be diagnosed. There are different types of audiometry: 

  • Liminar: It is performed at the hearing threshold and gives us more information. 
  • Verbal: Gives us the patient's ability to understand words. 

Some patients require other types of audiometry: children, people with tinnitus or hearing aid users. Within this same phase of the audiometry, it may be necessary to assess the state of the auditory nerve and the audiologist will also undertake all of these tests and checks. 

Work hand in hand with other hearing specialists and medical therapists, health professionals or social assistance and people working in social services departments. In some cases, the audiologist specializes in treating children. That is, they diagnose permanent hearing loss and prepare parents to deal with this news. So, audiologists undertake many tasks and skills that are imperative for a physician. They will also work alongside a physician to ensure that you have all the tests and treatment that you need that will best suit your hearing issue. 

They often study a doctor of audiology degree. Typically, it takes four years to complete this post-graduate degree. Their workplace covers a wide range, as they can carry out their work in settings such as home health services, private practices, hospitals, education centers. Universities and rehabilitation centers. The audiologist is related to other sciences such as: otorhinolaryngology, neurology, speech therapy and many times is related to these specialists for the comprehensive management of the patient and may have studied other areas. 

Is there a difference between Audiologist and ENT?

Technically, yes. Ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists are medical doctors (MDs) who attended medical school and specialized in otolaryngology. Audiologists often work alongside ENT doctors or within ENT clinics or offices and they conduct a number of specialized hearing tests and dispensing hearing aids.

As we can see, it is very important to put yourself in the hands of a good hearing care professional with the means and experience to reach the correct diagnosis of hearing loss through a complete audiological study. Audiologists often work very hard to ensure that the patient has the correct path of treatment as well as valuable advice about hearing, hearing aids and any other hearing related issues such as tinnitus and other issues. 

For more information on Audiology and Hearing Aid Center for what an audiologist does and if you may need to see one, please feel free to call us today at 920-969-1768. Whether you need a hearing test, information relating to your hearing aid or any other questions relating to hearing, please contact us.