A five-year-old child who is able to speak a bit, in spite of her hearing loss, might be referring to her friendly audiologist as her hearing doctor. Because that is what doctors do, right? They make people better. They take care of them. And that is what this girl’s audiologist in Houston will be doing. With a gracious smile on her face, giving a frightened little child fresh hope, the audiologist will be helping the young child to hear again.
Or maybe this is a child who never could hear much, not since childbirth. If that was the case, it is quite possible that her concerned parents will have taken her in to see an otolaryngologist. This is a specialist medical practitioner who would have previously been referred to as the ENT doctor; as in ears, nose and throat. Actually, the mouth has been included in this doctor’s specialties. So, for the benefit of the young child, she comes to see this doctor as nothing more than an ear doctor.
But wow to her audiologist because it is that professional who is going to address the child’s gross hearing impairment and help her hear again, or for the very first time. The above-said doctor diagnoses the root causes as to why this poor child cannot hear like all the other children at her school. But it is the child’s new audiologist who diagnoses the extent and/or severity of the child’s hearing deficiency before making a full prescription for a hearing aid or a different solution.
For the record then; an audiologist is a licensed health care professional that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the hearing loss and hearing balance disorders in both children and adults. The sudden loss of hearing can strike a person at any time. As a child or as a mature adult, he or she could be struck by illness, a long and debilitating illness that affects his or her ability to hear properly.
Or the patient has been the victim of a nasty accident, on the school playground, on the road, or even on the factory floor. The loss of hearing also occurs naturally, but this is usually an affliction that affects the mature and aged adults. But why call this an affliction when it is now possible to live quite comfortably and normally. That normal lifestyle is, of course, thanks to your beaming audiologist.
Just like the abovementioned otolaryngologist, the audiologist can be a qualified doctor, but nine times out of ten, she qualifies without the doctor’s degree. She specializes though, in the following services. It is she who carries out complete hearing exams. It is she who critically oversees and does the work of fitting, adjusting and maintaining the hearing aids of her patients. Some fully qualified audiologists will also be treating patients for tinnitus (that’s that ringing in the ears you might have experienced before) and running hearing and speech rehabilitation programs on behalf of qualifying patients.