Audiologists are trained experts who specialize in examining, diagnosing, treating, and managing problems associated with hearing, tinnitus, and balance conditions. One is required to possess a minimum of master’s degree to practice as an audiologist in Canada. Audiologists operate in a hearing clinic where they utilize a range of procedures and tests to fully assess the hearing ability or any balance problem of an individual. Some audiologists also dispense hearing aids and other hearing devices.
Working as an audiologist gives you the opportunity to deal with people of all ages, from children to seniors. They work in the public sphere including hospitals, health units, and clinics and also in the private sector.
What to expect on your first visit to the audiologists
Your first visit at the audiologist is a general patient consulting session, likely to last an hour. You will be asked questions about your medications, medical history, and whether you have a family member who suffers from hearing loss. The hearing assessment includes checking the outer ear, eardrum, and ear canal.
Audiologists will use an otoscope to check your ear for any blockages or problems. He/she will then perform some hearing tests including the tympanometry test to measure the response of your eardrum to light pressure, together with a pure-tone test. The audiologist may also perform a speech test. After the tests, he/she will review the results to determine the best treatment for your hearing loss.
What is the difference between audiologists and a hearing aid practitioners?
Audiologists and hearing aid practitioners differ in the level of education and scope of practice.
• While to be allowed to practice in Canada, audiologists are required to have completed a master’s degree or Ph.D. in audiology, hearing aid practitioners only need to complete a 2-year diploma course and train in basic hearing testing as well as hearing aid fitting to do their work.
• While audiologists also dispense and fit hearing aids, they have a more advanced scope of practice and skills/expertise than hearing practitioners. They specialize in the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of hearing and balance problems, for people of all ages.
Audiologists play one large role- to help you hear clearly. They assist in determining the problem, diagnose the issue, treat it, and follow-up with you make sure the issue is completely treated. If you are found to have a hearing impairment, surgery might be recommended, or you may be advised to use a traditional hearing instrument. If you suffer from hearing impairment, then do not hesitate to visit a hearing clinic and get the patient consulting that will help you solve your issue.