Washington residents who have just been diagnosed with hearing loss are likely to be a little unclear about what, exactly, their audiologist does (besides look inside their ears with a lighted instrument). The short answer: an awful lot! Read on to learn more about a typical day in the life of a Woodinville audiologist.
What is an Audiologist?
An audiologist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of a wide variety of hearing and balance disorders. Audiologists receive extensive education from an accredited university, with most earning a Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) degree. This four-year graduate program is completed after the student has earned a bachelor’s degree in another field. Depending on the program, the student might specialize in a specific area of interest, such as pediatrics, balance or auditory processing. Students receive extensive training on the prevention, identification, evaluation and treatment of hearing and balance disorders of all kinds. They must finish an internship, pass a national competency exam and obtain professional certification and licensing in the state or states where they want to practice.
An average day in the life of a Woodinville audiologist may involve any or all of the following:
- 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.
- Evaluate candidacy for hearing aids, cochlear implants and implantable 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, removing excess earwax and make custom molds from ear impressions.
- Help surgeons with medical procedures involving the ears.
Your Woodinville audiologist can find work in a large variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, private practices, schools, universities and hearing aid dispensaries.
With such extensive training and experience, there is no doubt your Woodinville audiologist is the person best equipped to provide long-term hearing health care that will help improve your quality of life.