If you’ve recently been diagnosed with hearing loss in Lake Charles, you’ve probably already met with an audiologist. If you’re unfamiliar with the many roles your hearing doctor plays, don’t worry – you’ll get to know this person pretty well over the course of your treatment. It turns out they do a lot more than stick a lighted instrument in your ears!
Becoming an Audiologist Requires Lots of Education
An audiologist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation and management of a wide variety of hearing and balance disorders. Most audiologists possess a Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) degree; others may have a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited university. Regardless of the fancy piece of framed paper hanging on their wall, all audiologists receive in-depth training in the prevention, identification, assessment and non-medical treatment 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 (or states) in which they practice before seeing patients.
The Many Roles of an Audiologist
Audiologists have a lot of responsibilities. On any given day, their work might involve any (or even all, if it’s a really busy day!) of the following tasks.
- Identify, test, diagnose and treat 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 other hearing devices
- Administer audiologic rehabilitation programs including speech reading, language development and communication skills
- Assess and treat 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, remove excess earwax and create custom molds from ear impressions
- Assist surgeons with ear-related medical procedures
Audiologists in Lake Charles work in a wide variety of settings. They may find employment in hospitals, clinics, private practices, schools and universities, VA hospitals, hearing aid dispensaries and other locations.
If you are suffering from hearing loss in Lake Charles, an audiologist is uniquely qualified to provide you with the treatment and resources to ensure you enjoy a better quality of life.