What Should You See an Audiologist For?
When you experience difficulties with your auditory system, you may be unsure what kind of professional you need to see. An audiologist is an expert in all aspects of health care related to the ear and, in particular, hearing. To find out more about the individual conditions an audiologist can assist with, read on:
Earwax can sometimes accrue in the ear canal to the point of becoming impacted. When this happens, you may experience symptoms such as:
- A feeling of fullness in the affected ear
- Hearing loss
Impacted earwax should always be removed by a professional audiologist, who can use tried-and-tested medical techniques to remove the wax and resolve your symptoms.
There are several different causes of hearing loss, ranging from age, exposure to loud noise and – as we have discussed above – impacted earwax. Symptoms of the condition include:
- Feeling the need to increase the volume on a TV or radio constantly
- Noticing that sounds appear to be muffled
- Tiredness or fatigue following social interactions
An audiologist will be able to assess your hearing, diagnose the type of hearing loss you are experiencing and decide on a course of treatment. In many cases, hearing aids will be prescribed; a process that is also monitored by audiologists.
Meniere’s disease is a type of balance disorder that presents with the following symptoms:
- Vertigo (dizziness and a sensation of spinning)
- Tinnitus or loss of hearing in one ear
- Loss of balance
Although Meniere’s disease cannot be cured, audiologists have several different treatments at their disposal that can help to reduce symptoms and hearing aids can also be prescribed for those who have developed hearing loss as a result of the condition.
Tinnitus is a hearing health condition that tends to be linked to hearing loss, though can occur as a result of medications or as a symptom of conditions such as hypertension. There is one primary symptom of tinnitus:
- Hearing sounds that have no physical basis
- Ringing is the classic tinnitus sound, but other sounds – such as whistling, beeping or chirping – are also relatively common
- How frequently tinnitus sounds are heard can vary; some people will hear sounds constantly, for others they will be fainter or more infrequent
An audiologist can assess your tinnitus, make a diagnostic decision and decide on the best course of treatment. Treatments include hearing aids that are equipped with a tinnitus masking feature; this feature plays a continual sound, which serves as a distraction from tinnitus sounds and subsequently provides effective relief from the condition.
If you experience symptoms of any of the above health issues, then arranging an appointment with an audiologist is strongly advised. Your audiologist will be able to assess your symptoms, make a diagnosis, and – importantly – manage treatment going forwards.